SUSS receives SGD1 million donation to launch the Wong-Mah Jia Lan LEAD Academy

The academy will develop SUSS students to become ethical and compassionate leaders, and aims to raise another SGD4 million to sustain these efforts and initiatives.

Mrs Wong-Mah Jia Lan with her donated finger painting of a pine tree to SUSS to mark the launch of the academy.

Singapore, April 8, 2022 — Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) has received a donation of SGD1 million from Mrs Wong-Mah Jia Lan, one of Asia Pacific’s top philanthropists, to launch a student training Academy.  Named the Wong-Mah Jia Lan LEAD (Leadership Excellence & Affective Development) Academy, about 1200 SUSS students will benefit from the Academy’s suite of leadership and community learning initiatives that champion social good that have lasting social impact to communities in Singapore. 

The academy will conduct programmes to develop SUSS students into ethical and compassionate leaders in both the community and professional space. This will build on programmes in SUSS which cultivate a deep sense of, and participation in, community service in our students.

This endowed donation will help SUSS expand and deepen its existing programmes in leadership excellence and affective development (refer to Annex) to nurture student leaders to champion causes for social good. The student programmes will be rolled out over the next few years.

Through the academy’s initiatives and collaboration with community and industry partners, about 1,200 students are expected to benefit annually from the experiential leadership training and programmes. They comprise capacity-building workshops and facilitator-led training to equip students with knowledge and skillsets to contribute to SUSS and the wider community.

To mark today’s launch of the Wong-Mah Jia Lan LEAD Academy, a finger painting of a pine tree with the Chinese wordings “学無止境,永葆初心”by Mrs Wong-Mah was unveiled by SUSS President Professor Cheong Hee Kiat and Academic Advisor, Professor Eddie Kuo, to mark the event. The pine tree represents wisdom and longevity, while the translation for the Chinese wordings is “Learning is an enduring endeavour, stay the course”. The painting will be installed in the new academy’s venue in future.

Professor Cheong said, “SUSS is thankful to Mrs Wong-Mah for her generous donation. This newly launched academy augments SUSS’s mission to empower and transform youths into ethical and compassionate leaders, who can create positive ripple effects through impactful community engagement programmes. With this initiative, I hope to see an increase in the number of student leaders in the community and look forward to their contributions to building a better society for Singapore.”

Mrs Wong-Mah said, “I hope this gift to SUSS will provide opportunities to mould our students to be future leaders for social good, contribute to the community and able to realise their personal growth through positive impact on others.”

The Wong-Mah Jia Lan Lead Academy will be led by SUSS Office of Student Life Specialist, Ms Kong Hwee Ling, and supported by Deputy Director, Centre for Experiential Learning, Ms Yeo Lay. Mrs Wong-Mah and Professor Kuo will be the academy’s Patron and Advisor, respectively.

The academy targets to raise another SGD4 million over the next few years through fundraising to sustain these efforts and initiatives.

For more information on the Wong-Mah Jia Lan LEAD Academy, please vist

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For media queries and interviews, please contact:
Valerie Ng (Ms)
Senior PR Manager, Communications & Marketing
Singapore University of Social Sciences
Email: [email protected]

Tian Zhiyuan (Mr)
Manager, Communications & Marketing
Singapore University of Social Sciences
Email: [email protected]

About the Singapore University of Social Sciences

Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) is a university with a rich heritage in inspiring lifelong education, and transforming society through social sciences. We develop work-ready graduates and work-adaptive alumni to their fullest 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 made available through 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 learning to build capabilities of the training and adult education sector in Singapore and beyond.


For more information on SUSS, please visit


The programmes under the Wong-Mah Jia Lan LEAD Academy will be conducted by SUSS Centre for Experiential Learning specialists and industry experts from the government and not-for-profit agencies. The duration ranges from a one-day workshop to an 12-month programme. The Leadership Excellence and Affective Development (LEAD) programmes are:

Leadership Excellence (via Experiential Learning)



Learn to Serve

Capacity-building workshops to prepare students for community engagement and service


Our Wellbeing Listeners (OWLs)

Training of peer supporters to provide support for the SUSS students and advance positive well-being programmes


Experiential Teambuilding

Training of student leaders to facilitate the teambuilding programme & mentor Year 1 students


Career Teaching Assistant

Training of students as teaching assistants to co-design and deliver upskilling workshops for their peers


Student Interest & Competition Groups

Development of student leaders to lead their interest and competition groups towards achieving their team’s goals


Coaching & Mentoring

An 12-month leadership, coaching & mentoring programme for student leaders to create and lead more than 20 projects that have a positive impact to SUSS and the wider community


Affective Development



Workshops and Events (on Mental Health, Emotional Intelligence, Holistic Wellbeing etc.)


Provision for eight to 16 workshops and events for students every year

Support for Students with Special Needs


Academic mentoring; Career development, and industry coaching


Counselling Services


Provision for 600 hours

of professional counselling in a year