Red and white was the dress code of the day, as some 350 members of the NUS family gathered together on 8 August to celebrate Singapore’s 54th birthday at the annual National Day Observance Ceremony (NDOC). Together with the NUS Choir, the community sang a robust rendition of the Singapore National Anthem while representatives of the community — NUS Business alumna Ms Akanksha Batura Pai, Mr Abdul Hadi Bin Abu Bakar from NUS Campus Amenities, and Year 3 NUS Design and Environment student Tai Kwan On — raised the Singapore and University flags. The ceremony rounded off with the recitation of the National Pledge led by Mr Benjamin Loo, President of the 40th NUS Students Union Executive Committee, and NUS Computing graduate.
The experience was both an honour, as well as a nerve-wracking one for Ms Batura as she raised the Singapore flag. “It feels quite awesome to be back in NUS and it really does feel like a homecoming. It’s very heart-warming to hear the national anthem and to have the honour of hoisting the national flag. I hope I get to do this again at NUS on Singapore’s a-hundred-and-something birthday. It would be wonderful,” she shared.
This year’s NDOC was a special one as it was also an appreciation for the “Teh Tarik Talks” that went on over the past few months. These sessions allowed NUS Senior Management to interact and engage with staff from the various faculties and Schools. They also gave the senior management team a closer understanding of the current ongoing work, as well as a chance to take feedback in various areas.
In his speech at the event, NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye shared his hope that the University continues to be innovative in all it does — be it education, research, or enterprise.
“To have innovation at the heart of all our initiatives, we really need a curious and spirited community, one that is not afraid of setbacks and failures, and one that is willing to embrace change and progress,” he extolled. He also encouraged the staff to continue to be open and share feedback with the senior team.
A variety of projects, examples of the University’s innovation, were showcased at the event. These included educational programmes such as the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine’s Virtual Interactive Simulation Environment that allows students to experience mass casualty situations, and healthcare solutions such as Duke-NUS Medical School’s PROMISE study which aims to improve medical label understanding for the elderly, as well as a flexible, microfluidic tactile senor-embedded insole that helps mitigate foot problems faced by diabetic patients developed by FlexoSense, a spin-off company from NUS Institute for Health Innvovation and Technology. Work centring on Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative was also on display, including CURATE.AI — a platform developed by N.1 Institute for Health for personalised training, as well as the NUS Institute of Data Science’s EZ-Transaction Analytics which uses data science to better comprehend public transport behaviours.