Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd, an Asia-focused real estate development, investment and capital management company, made a gift to the National University of Singapore (NUS) to establish the Mapletree Bursary. Here, Mr Ho Seng Chee (’93), Group Chief of Corporate Services, explains why they chose to support students at the University.
What inspired Mapletree to make a gift to NUS?
Education promotes thinking, and thinking promotes societal improvement and positive change. As Singapore’s largest university, NUS provides an excellent platform for Mapletree to support this vision for education.
Why did Mapletree choose to establish a bursary, specifically?
There are many capable students for whom tertiary education would be unattainable if not for financial aid in the form of bursaries and scholarships. It is simply unconscionable to let the potential inherent in these students go to waste. From the beginning of our corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme, we decided to devote our resources to where we felt the greatest impact could be made – supporting students with great potential from humble backgrounds.
Why is CSR important to Mapletree?
CSR is about creating shared value between the giver, the recipient and the community in general. CSR recognises that individuals or corporate entities cannot exist, let alone thrive, in isolation. The sustained success of any company depends critically on the positive impact that its activities can create for those within its sphere of influence. A robust and well thought out CSR programme sends an important signal for the company – that it is a vested stakeholder in the communities in which it operates, and that it is committed to delivering long-term value for all concerned.
What advice do you have for the recipients of the Mapletree Bursary?
The university years are ideal for testing boundaries and exploration. I would encourage students to pursue interests that extend beyond their primary course requirements. Although excelling in regular coursework is important, I trust most students would agree that life is more than just lectures, tutorials and the library. I say this from personal knowledge – my most useful and memorable experiences from NUS were gained through activities outside of my regular curriculum.
Two Mapletree Bursary recipients tell us how the Bursary has changed their lives for the better.
“I am extremely thankful for the Mapletree Bursary. It has greatly relieved the financial burden on my family and has helped me cope with the costs associated with a university education. There is so much beauty in the act of giving without expectations of receiving. The Bursary has both humbled me and inspired me to give back to the community and, in particular, my juniors at NUS. Because I know what it feels like to have to worry about expenses in university, I would like to help them when I am able to. The Bursary has also motivated me to do well in school and I have am hoping to have a career in the media and communications industry,” shares Jeslyn Goh Jia Ling, Year 3, NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
“The Mapletree Bursary has really made a difference to my life at university. With the financial help, I am able to spend more time on my studies and excel academically while also being able to making the most of living in a residential hall at NUS. Hall life is so important because it is where you learn leadership skills, meet a diverse group of people, learn how to juggle various commitments and get involved in helping others in society. I am so grateful for all the opportunities the Bursary has afforded me and Mapletree’s generosity has left a deep impression on me. I hope to have a career in real estate business development or fund management and, at the same time, be actively involved in educational causes in our society. Perhaps one day I will be able to establish a scholarship or bursary as well!”says Lim Boon Kai, Year 3, NUS School of Design and Environment.
For information on making a gift to NUS, contact us at 1800-DEVELOP (1800-338-3567) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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