Gift from Confucian Scholar to establish Book Prize and Conference for Social Good

Singapore, October 26, 2022 – Understanding of the impact of Social Good in Singapore received a boost with a generous donation of SGD1 million to the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS). At the cheque presentation and gift agreement signing ceremony graced by Guest-of-Honour Mr Heng Chee How, Deputy Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress, Professor Robbie Goh, Provost of SUSS and Dr Alan HJ Chan, inked an agreement to establish an annual book prize and a biennial conference focused on social good in Singapore.

This is the first gift that Dr Alan HJ Chan has made to SUSS. Dr Chan is a strong believer in education, who as a successful entrepreneur in his 40s, completed the Advanced Management Program of Harvard University in July 1979 and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by Bond University, Australia, in February 2014. He said “SUSS as Singapore’s main university of lifelong learning with its core philosophy of Head, Heart and Habit, provides an education strongly grounded in social good. This enables SUSS graduates to use their knowledge to build a better future for themselves and the communities they live in. The purpose of my gift is to build understanding and galvanise thinking on how social good makes a difference in Singapore’s society.”

On behalf of SUSS, Professor Robbie Goh expressed SUSS’ gratitude to Dr Chan for the gift. Coupled with the Singapore Government matching grant, the endowed fund of $2.5million will enable SUSS to further its mission and vision as Singapore’s leading university for social good.

SUSS President, Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, said that “the gift will serve three purposes which, over the years, are expected to cover broad-ranging socio-economic themes, workforce and business imperatives, public policies, societal thinking, issues of national importance, and the like. These align well with SUSS’s purpose and vision.”

Purposes of the gift 

(1) The Dr Alan HJ Chan Annual Author Book Award aims to recognise the best spirit of creative writing in Singapore that has a significant impact on societal thinking or issues with a prize of SGD20,000. Administered by SUSS and World Scientific Publishing, the inaugural award made in 2023 will select from books published from 2020 to 2023. The selection panel will include, and is not limited to, academics from SUSS and other Autonomous Universities, distinguished writers and critics, and publishers. The book must be written by a Singaporean or a resident of Singapore, available locally and must have a Singapore element in its narrative. The book can be of any genre as long as it has a Singapore element in its narrative and the focus is on Singapore. 

In addition to the Book Prize, the gift will (2) support applied research and (3) the Dr Alan HJ Chan Biennial Conference. In line with SUSS’ mission and vision, the inaugural conference in 2024 seeks to galvanise thinking and action on social good. The biennial conference will be a signature event for SUSS and will bring together local and foreign academics, prominent practitioners and leaders in the private and public sectors. The findings from the conference will be compiled and published in an academic volume.

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About the Singapore University of Social Sciences
SUSS is a university with a rich heritage in inspiring lifelong education, and transforming society through applied social sciences. We develop students and alumni to be work-ready and work-adaptive, aspiring to reach their full potential, through our 3H’s education philosophy – ‘Head’ for professional competency with applied knowledge, ‘Heart’ for social awareness to meet the needs of the society, and ‘Habit’ for passion towards lifelong learning.

We offer over 80 undergraduate and graduate programmes, available in full- and part-time study modes, which are flexible, modular and inter-disciplinary, catering to both fresh school leavers and adult learners. SUSS also offers a broad range of continuing education and training modular courses for the professional skills upgrading of Singapore’s workforce.

Our programmes and courses are offered by our five schools:

  • S R Nathan School of Human Development
  • School of Business
  • School of Humanities and Behavioural Sciences
  • School of Law
  • School of Science and Technology

To date, over 42,000 graduates have experienced our unique brand of education, and each year, about 17,000 students are pursuing their full- and part-time studies with us.

The Institute for Adult Learning (IAL), as part of SUSS, leads in the field of research on adult and workplace learning and training of adult educators to build capabilities of the training and adult education sector in Singapore and beyond.

For more information on SUSS, please visit

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Gift from Confucian Scholar to establish Book Prize and Conference for Social Good

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