The Division of Psychology offers scientific and practical training to introduce students to the field of psychology. The programme also introduces students to the professional practices of psychologists and prepares students with the skills and training needed to enter into postgraduate training should they prefer to carry on their education as a psychologist or behavioural researcher. Our division currently has fifteen full-time faculty members with postgraduate degrees from prominent universities in North America, Europe, and Asia. The division trains around 1,500 students each semester within our core and elective modules, and we have about 500 undergraduate students and 40 graduate research students currently enrolled in the programme.
Tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew
With the passing of the Founding Father of Singapore, many people here and abroad have expressed their affection, gratitude and admiration for what Mr Lee Kuan Yew had done. However, not many among the psychologists in Singapore know that Mr Lee was instrumental in expediting the growth and development of psychology (both professional and academic) in Singapore.
Since the late 1970’s, Mr Lee had shown keen interests in Psychology, especially about the “nature vs nurture” debate and the use of psychological assessment in the selection of President’s and Overseas Merit Scholars; as well as psychological and psychiatric evaluation of individuals earmarked for political office. In the early 1980’s during meetings with his Cabinet colleagues over the findings on these candidates, he would also question about the teaching of psychology at NUS and the manpower strength (or the lack of it) of psychologists in Singapore. Notably, two senior Ministers, Dr. Toh Chin Chye and Dr.Tony Tan Keng Yam had both been Vice-Chancellors of the University of Singapore and National University of Singapore, respectively. Present too, were Ministers for Health, Education and Defence.
In 1984, the Psychological Service (in the like of the Medical Service, Legal Service, etc.) was officially established as a centralised Psychological Service for the entire Civil Service (except for the Ministry of Education which had its own scheme of service for educational psychologists) with the Ministry of Health as the Central Appointing Authority. In 1986, Psychology as a degree programme was established in the Department of Social Work to create the Department of Social Work and Psychology.
Many psychologists in Singapore today owe Mr Lee Kuan Yew our thanks and as a community of psychologists, both in the profession and academia, we would pay our sincere tribute to the Founding Father of Singapore.
Assoc.Prof. (Adj) Fred Long Foo Yee,
Division of Psychology
School of Humanities & Social Sciences
Nanyang Technological University
(Retired: Head, Department of Psychology,
Institute of Mental Health/Woodbridge Hospital)
LFY/24 March 2015