Singaporean University Launches Program for Graduates’ Innovations

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. resilience / rɪˈzɪl yəns / (n) – the ability to recover from a difficult situation

    I admire her resilience; she managed to stay strong despite the difficulties she experienced.

  2. potential / pəˈtɛn ʃəl / (adj) – showing a possibility

    The client did not approve our proposal because he saw a potential problem.

  3. eligible / ˈɛl ɪ dʒə bəl / (adj) – qualified for something

    He meets all the qualifications, so he’s eligible to run for president.

  4. take off / teɪk ɔf / (phrasal) – to become popular or successful

    He felt so disappointed with himself because his career never took off.

  5. brilliant / ˈbrɪl yənt / (adj) – showing great intelligence or ability

    A lot of students admire him because he’s a brilliant professor.


Read the text below.

The National University of Singapore (NUS) recently launched a program that calls on its graduates to come up with innovations that will create a better post-pandemic world.

Called the Innovation Challenge, the program is under the NUS Resilience and Growth Initiative. For the Innovation Challenge, the university set aside $6 million to fund the projects of recent graduates. The program was created to give recent graduates a chance to do something that will benefit society.

The Innovation Challenge accepts proposals under three categories: Make Our People Better, Make Our Society Better, and Make the World Better. Recent graduates can submit proposals that include improving home-based education, building communities, addressing issues related to climate change, improving food security, and ensuring safety after the pandemic.

The university is looking for collaborative projects from different fields of study including arts and culture, health, social work, sports, and technology. Experts from each field will be assigned to check submitted proposals. Submissions will be evaluated based on creativity and potential impact on society.

NUS graduates from the classes of 2018 to 2020 are eligible to participate in the Innovation Challenge. Interested participants can form teams with three to five members. Each proposed project that is chosen will earn funding of up to $50,000 for six months. If a project takes off, the university is prepared to give further support.

One NUS professor advised participants to use the program as an opportunity to work with brilliant minds and make a difference.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think universities in your country should launch a similar program? Why or why not?
• If you could propose an innovation for one of the three categories, which one would you choose? Why?

Discussion B

• Do you think there are enough opportunities for recent graduates in your country? Why or why not?
• Do you think it is universities’ duty to support recent graduates in searching for opportunities? Why or why not?