The National University of Singapore (NUS) Department of Social Work recently celebrated its 60th Anniversary. The celebration comprised a symposium, the unveiling of the book Ebb and Flow: 60 years of Social Work Education in Singapore, and the launch of the S R Nathan Professorship in Social Work.
The Professorship was established with combined gifts from the Tote Board, Singapore Press Holdings and Keppel Care Foundation.
Talking about the Professorship, NUS President Tan Chorh Chuan said that it will enable NUS to “bring in renowned academic leaders to advance social education and research among scholars in Singapore and Asia on issues related to social development, poverty, family development and asset building”.
Speaking at a dinner held to mark the occasion, former President and Social Work alumnus S R Nathan said, “We have a role to play in drawing the attention of the community not only of the existence of today’s problems but also to urge others to take ownership, address and do something about them.”
Mr Chan Chun Sing, Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports and Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defence said, “The NUS Department of Social Work should aspire to be the constant companion to our social workers in their lifelong learning journey.”
Other than the S R Nathan Professorship, gifts have also been made to establish student support at the Department of Social Work.
One such example is the Alice Goh Scholarship, which was set up in the memory of the late Madam Alice Goh, who was a social worker and the first wife of one of Singapore’s founding fathers, Dr Goh Keng Swee. The endowed Scholarship fund was set up with gifts from Madam Goh’s family, friends and well-wishers. It will benefit two deserving students who need financial assistance annually – one Undergraduate student and one Master student – starting from Academic Year 2013/2014.
Another gift that supports students pursuing Social Work is the Ee Peng Liang Memorial Fund. It was established in the memory of the late Ee Peng Liang who was a businessman and philanthropist, known as the ‘Father of Charity’. The Fund offers bursaries and scholarships to NUS students pursuing social work studies at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. It also supports professional social work research and training. The incumbent Ee Peng Liang Memorial Fund Scholar Mr Ng Kok Hoe is currently pursuing his doctoral studies in Social Policy at the London School of Economics.
NUS is committed to nurturing the next generation of social workers who will be well-equipped to shape and influence solutions as Singapore strengthens its social service sector to reduce the social divide in the face of rising income inequalities.
Fundraising efforts for the S R Nathan Professorship and Ee Peng Liang Memorial Fund are on-going.