The President’s Scholarship is widely regarded as Singapore’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to students who have distinguished themselves beyond excellence in academic pursuits and co-curricular activities. In awarding President's Scholarships, the PSC looks for outstanding young men and women of sound character who exemplify the ethos of the Public Service and dedication to improving the lives of Singaporeans.
The President's Scholarship is awarded in addition to another public sector scholarship.
The President's Scholarship Regulations were established in 1968 as information to the general public.
History of The President’s Scholarship
1885 - In The Beginning
- The Queen’s Scholarship is initiated by Sir Cecil Clementi Smith, Governor of the Straits Settlements, and awarded to the best student of the year by a special selection board comprising six members under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice.
- The scholarship was “awarded annually to enable those who wish to do so to take an approved course of study at an overseas university or institution”.
- Queen’s Scholarship holders include Mr E.W. Barker (former Minister for Law) and Madam Kwa Geok Choo (Mrs Lee Kuan Yew).
1959 - The Singapore State Scholarship
- The Queen’s Scholarship is abolished and replaced by the Singapore State Scholarship.
- The State Scholarship was only tenable at the University of Malaya and recipients were selected on the basis of merit from students admitted to the university.
- Singapore State Scholarship holders include Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam (Singapore’s 7th President) and Dr Yeo Ning Hong (former Cabinet Minister).
1964 - Revision of Regulations to the State Scholarship AND The Yang di-Pertuan Negara Scholarship
- Regulations to the State Scholarship are revised so that the scholarship is “awarded to the cream of each school-leaving year, on the basis of the Higher School Certificate results or where appropriate school certificate results, without exclusion on grounds of what or where these students prefer to study”. Students in all language streams of education in Singapore were also eligible for the scholarship.
- Underpinning this review was the desire to uphold the basic intention of the scholarship, which was that it was to be the most prestigious award available conferred to the very best students on the basis of pure merit.
- In August 1964, the Yang di-Pertuan Negara Scholarship is inaugurated to replace the State Scholarship.
- Yang di-Pertuan Negara Scholarship holders include Mr Lim Siong Guan (former head of Civil Service and currently Group President and Chairman of GIC Asset Management).
1966 - The President’s Scholarship
- The Yang di-Pertuan Negara Scholarship is renamed the President’s Scholarship following Singapore’s independence.
- The first President’s Scholarship holders were Mr Lee Yock Suan (former Minister for the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs), Mr Barry Desker (Distinguished Fellow, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies) and Mr Koh Cher Siang (former Chairman of the Housing and Development Board).