NUS Giving Report 2020/2021 – Heritage Through Generations


Philanthropic support to the National University of Singapore (NUS) plays a strategic role in strengthening the NUS community and advancing key areas of research and education, especially emerging and important topics such as community building and social mobility, smart technology and connectivity, healthy longevity, innovation and enterprise, and urbanisation and sustainability. The generous contributions of donors have also greatly benefitted our students, their families and others in the community.

The National University of Singapore (NUS) Giving Report 2020/2021 features stories of our donors’ generous support and the difference they have made to the NUS community and beyond. This year’s Report is titled Heritage Through Generations – a reminder that a tradition of giving has helped shape NUS’ history. Within the pages of the Report are inspirational stories of donors who believe in the transformative power of a global education and groundbreaking research.

Thank you to all our donors for enabling us to empower our students, faculty and researchers. Together, we will build a stronger community, and shape a brighter future for all.

Impact of COVID-19 Research and Relief 

With the world battling an unprecedented pandemic, NUS has contributed on many fronts, from providing thought leadership, making groundbreaking discoveries in diagnostics and using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for optimum treatments, to creating new technology platforms to help different communities. NUS graduates and students have also benefitted from University initiatives designed to combat the impact of the pandemic. Multiple NUS donors rallied to support the Class of 2020 with a total of 427 SGUnited Traineeships for recent NUS graduates to gain skills and valuable industry experience that will allow them to gain a firmer foothold in the challenging job market.


“A university-wide initiative coordinated by the School of Continuing and Lifelong Education (SCALE), the NUS SGUnited Skills Programme is intended for professionals who have been affected by the economic impact of COVID-19.”

Building Computing Capability
(From left) Sea Limited Chairman and Group CEO Mr Forrest Li, then Education Minister Mr Lawrence Wong and NUS President Prof Tan Eng Chye at the signing ceremony.

Sea Limited, the parent company of Shopee, Garena and SeaMoney, made the largest corporate gift that NUS has received to date. The transformative gift will bolster NUS’ efforts in advancing key areas like AI and data science, supporting the advancement of research and education in these areas at the NUS School of Computing. It will also fund the recruitment and the development of academic and research talent through initiatives such as scholarships for undergraduate and postgraduate students, research fellowships, visiting professorships, support for professional development, and more.

“Sea is fortunate to be deeply rooted in Singapore’s world-class ecosystem of tech talent and research, and we are honoured to give back to our community by supporting the next wave of innovation. The talent, ideas, and breakthroughs in key technology areas that will result from this partnership will not only enhance Singapore’s already vibrant tech sector, but also create good jobs and cement our nation’s reputation as a global hub for technology innovation,” shared Mr Forrest Li, Chairman and Group CEO of Sea Limited.

“The impact of Sea’s gift on NUS Computing will be transformative and will dramatically accelerate the School’s growth to realise its vision of becoming a global computing tech magnet for Singapore and beyond,” said Professor Tan Eng Chye, NUS President.


Fighting a Global Health Crisis through AI
Tech giant Micron Technology and global insurer Sun Life Singapore have both joined in to support IDentif.AI (Optimising Infectious Disease Combination Therapy with Artificial Intelligence) at the N.1 Institute for Health (N.1) – the AI-driven platform that can determine the best combinations of drugs and dosages to rapidly and effectively treat COVID-19.

Dean Ho“IDentif.AI will provide our patients, healthcare workers and community with an early line of defence and quickly point us towards an effective intervention,” shared Professor Dean Ho, Provost’s Chair Professor and Director of N.1 and The Institute of Digital Medicine.


“The project aligns with our vision to use data to transform how the world uses information to enrich life for all. As IDentif.AI will be accessible worldwide, it could have huge impact in the global fight against the virus,” said Mr Chen Kok Sing, Corporate Vice President and Singapore Country Manager of Micron Technology, Inc.

SunLife“Founded more than 150 years ago, Sun Life today helps millions around the world achieve lifetime financial security and live healthier lives. We are pleased to be part of the Singapore community and are committed to playing our part in the fight against COVID-19. Established in 2018, N.1 has been at the forefront of health innovation. We hope our gift can help supercharge the COVID-19 study initiated by N.1 which aims to develop the optimal dosage of drugs that can be used in combination for the treatment of COVID-19 patients,” said Ms Belinda Au, Chief Executive Officer of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada Singapore Branch (Sun Life Singapore).  

Strengthening the Frontline
Wong Yeh Lan BursaryPublic-spirited individuals like Mr Thomas Lim thought of the nurses working tirelessly at the frontlines during the pandemic. This inspired him to set up the Wong Yeh Lan Nursing Bursary, named after his wife. The retired couple are life-long philanthropists who strongly believe in the transformative power of education. The Bursary will enable financially needy nursing students at the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, to achieve their ambition to be competent and compassionate nursing leaders.

“I retired from my own business in 2015. When I first learned of COVID-19, I thought of the frontline healthcare workers – the nurses who take care of patients day and night. We are thankful for their devoted commitment. Our society should have more qualified nurses, so my wife and I set up the Bursary for Nursing,” said Mr Lim.

Click here to read more stories in the NUS Giving Report 2020/2021.