National University of Singapore (NUS) Law student Daniel Chen heads the Innocence Project, which aims to address wrongful conviction. He is also part of an informal student group, “Students swimming upstream”, which promotes interest in social justice.
Daniel, a Fourth-Year student, is a recipient of the NUS Undergraduate (Merit) Scholarship, which is awarded to Singaporean students with exceptional leadership skills and outstanding academic results.
Daniel chose to study Law at NUS because, he says, “The NUS Faculty of Law has an excellent reputation. I had heard that it was rigorous and I wanted to challenge myself.”
“The Scholarship has benefitted me tremendously,” he adds. “Financially, it has allowed me to avoid taking on a student loan. I do not have to depend on my parents. It has also allowed me to engage in what I am truly interested in. I spent a year in Italy on exchange, and it was truly life-changing. The Scholarship covered a good proportion of my living expenses.”
Thanks to that trip, Daniel is now fluent in written and spoken Italian and he became the first Singaporean to participate in Italy’s Grandfondo Fausto Coppi, a bicycle race.
Daniel is also passionate about his work with the Innocence Project, which was started by his senior in the NUS Criminal Justice Club, a sub-club of the NUS Law Club. The student-led project has enabled him to analyse cases from the perspective of offenders in prison and deal with different kinds of people, an eye-opener in many ways.
So what are Daniel’s plans for the future?
Daniel says, “I plan to set up a social enterprise law firm with friends from ‘Students swimming upstream’. The goal of this firm would be to fund cases that can help bring about positive social change.”
To attract the most talented Singaporean students to NUS, the University is committed to increasing the number of NUS Scholarships, such as the NUS Undergraduate (Merit) Scholarship, with support from the philanthropic community. To encourage gifts to NUS Scholarships, the University is supplementing all gifts to NUS Scholarships. This is in addition to the 1:1.5 matching that gifts to NUS receive from the government.