STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields are traditionally dominated by men. However, a growing number of women are breaking barriers. According to the 2019 combined Singapore university intake data, women accounted for 41% of the student cohort in STEM courses. At NUS, women accounted for about 30% in STEM disciplines in 2021.

As Singapore transitions into a Smart Nation, the demand for graduates in STEM will continue to rise. While NUS is committed to developing talents in STEM, we also endeavour to shift the balance, and create opportunities for more diversity and new perspectives.  

The “NUS for Women” initiative aims to nurture and empower the next-generation women leaders in STEM. Through this meaningful initiative, we aspire to improve gender diversity and inclusion of female talents in all professions and sectors, as we strive to ensure that young women receive the vital support they need to succeed in STEM fields.

We hope to raise S$50 million to roll out a range of programmes aimed to empower and develop women talent in Singapore and across the region. These programmes include, but are not limited to, the following:

Seeding the pathway for youth

NUS believes that women empowerment should begin at a young age. Preparing girls at pre-tertiary level will better inform them when selecting their field for higher learning and future careers. The University looks to establish youth programmes that will encourage and develop the interest of pre-university girls in STEM, for example, in the form of summer camps. The objective of such programmes is to cultivate a positive mindset and culture among young girls to pursue their dreams in this sector.

Widening the talent pool in the region

NUS hopes to increase the number of scholarships awarded to women in both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. This will allow more female talents, especially from the ASEAN region, an opportunity to pursue a world class education which they may not otherwise have the chance to. The University also wants to offer more opportunities for female students to be exposed to research in their area of interest by offering fellowships.

Encouraging women to re-enter the workforce

At the same time, NUS hopes to support women who want to return to the workforce after balancing family commitments through continued learning courses that will reskill or upskill professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMET). This will break down the barrier to re-entry and provide working mothers the confidence to pick up where they left off.

Development of female academics

Offering more professorships to women faculty, particularly in engineering and computing, will help to attract highly sought-after professors who can lend their weight in their respective fields and increase the representation of women in academia as well as STEM. At the same time, NUS will organise distinguished lecture series to celebrate and showcase the successes of women in STEM.

Mentoring and coaching

The University also aims to promote more professional development skills, such as financial literacy programmes for women. Concurrently, the University will identify opportunities to enable students to be connected with female industry leaders as part of a mentorship programme. Such efforts will also bring together like-minded individuals and build a network of strong women who can support and encourage one another through their education and careers.

Make a gift today to enable NUS to develop and champion women leaders, as we equip them for their journeys to seed positive change in Singapore and beyond.


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