Distinguished Science Alumni Awards 2007
YIP Soon Kwong John, PJG, PBS
BSc 1959, BSc(Hons) 1960
Director of Education, Ministry of Education (1987-1996)
Executuve Director/CEO, Singapore Institute of Management (1997-2003)

John YIP Soon Kwong received his Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Chemistry from the then University of Malaya in Singapore in 1960.
On graduation, Dr YIP joined the Education Service and served in various portfolios till his retirement in 1996. His last appointment was Director of Education of the Ministry of Education, a position he held for 10 years. During his tenure at the Ministry, he pursued relentlessly the development of educational excellence in both the Singapore and global context. He received several National Day awards, including the Meritorious Service Medal (PJG) in 1991. The French Government also honoured him with the award of Officier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques in 1993.
Dr YIP has done extensive research in education policies and practices. Of particular significance is the six-country collaborative research project on the nexus between education and economic development spearheaded with the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. He co-authored two books on Reflections and Renewal in Education in Singapore, one tracing the Evolution of Educational Excellence and the other the Development of Technical Education up to the tertiary level.
His passion for education prompted him to move on to the Singapore Institute of Management as the Executive Director and CEO upon his retirement from the Ministry. In this position, he played a major role in conceptualizing the Singapore Management University (SMU) as well as the SIM University (UniSIM), the latter providing working adults with a "second chance" to obtain a university degree. In 1997, he was conferred an Honorary DSc by Loughborough University, an accolade shared by several well-known personalities including NUS President Prof Shih Choon Fong. And in 2003, he received an Honorary Doctorate from the Open University of the UK.
Dr YIP is an Honorary Fellow of the Singapore National Institute of Chemistry and the Singapore Institute of Management. He was on the Board of a number of statutory and other organizations tasked with teacher education, technical and vocational education, educational management, promotion of science, the arts and the environment, among others. He was also active in several international professional bodies. A contribution he is especially proud of is bringing to realization the Government-funded Singapore International School in Hong Kong, which is among the top international schools in the SAR.
"Education empowers one to seek the truth and science illuminates the way."