Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Education
Mr Goh Yew Lin, Chairman, Duke-NUS Governing Board
Professor Tan Eng Chye, President, National University of Singapore
Professor Ivy Ng, Group CEO, SingHealth
Professor Thomas Coffman, Dean, Duke-NUS Medical School
Mr Tony Chew, former Duke-NUS Governing Board Chairman
Mr Chan Yeng Kit, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health
1. I want to thank everyone for being here, and making Phase IV possible. I have followed Duke-NUS for a long time, and have the privilege of watching Duke-NUS grow over several years.
2.. When I was Minister for Education in Phase II, I wondered why the finances of Duke-NUS was so different, compared to the funding structure of other universities. I started to question and began to understand what a clinician-scientist and the Academic Medical Centre (AMC) are. I think the answer lies in what I have always told Eng Chye and other colleagues in the education sector. Global ranking pushes universities to do a lot of research, in order to rise in the rankings. All our local universities have been very wise. While ranking is important, we focus on teaching and other activities at the same time.
3. Where it comes to research, the model research faculty is medicine. Take COVID-19 for example. So many of our policies that were implemented during the pandemic were informed by research published in top journals. When you look at the journals and their findings, you find them clinically actionable, whereas in many other fields of research, it is much harder.
4. As a practising economist and a public policy practitioner for some time, it is difficult to look at research in other fields and find it actionable. But somehow in medicine, where there is a concept of a clinician-scientist – where you practise and yet you are a scientist, and you publish but at the same time, you are still performing surgeries. That has always been something special about the medical faculty, and I think it is that essence that makes Duke-NUS special as well.
5. I am fairly confident you will do well in Phase IV, and I am fairly confident that we will have a Phase V. I think we have ourselves a very good partner in Duke University. Thank you very much for all the hard work. May you go higher, wider, deeper.