To recognise teaching excellence and the impact great teachers have on their students, NTU Singapore initiated the "University Scholars Award", first presented to the graduating class of Academic Year 2006/2007. This award was renamed the Koh Boon Hwee Scholars Award in 2010 in recognition of NTU Board of Trustees Chairman Mr Koh Boon Hwee's personal gift of S$2.5 million to the University in the same year. Together with the Singapore Government's dollar-for-dollar matching, the gift established a S$5 million endowment fund that supports the award.
This award gives recognition to the influence of inspirational teaching, and the enduring bonds that are forged between teachers and students. It aims to establish long-lasting and fulfilling relationships between the University, the students and their teachers.
Top NTU students who win this award have achieved excellent academic performance, displayed strong leadership ability, demonstrated potential for contributing to society, displayed exemplary conduct and been held as role models for their peers.
Winners each acknowledge an NTU faculty member as well as a teacher from their former junior colleges, polytechnics, or equivalent institutions, who have inspired them and contributed significantly to their education.
These teachers and NTU faculty members are honoured at the NTU Convocation. The teachers are also recognised for their inspirational teaching by having individual S$5,000 cash grants established in their names. Each honoured teacher can nominate a student from their junior colleges, polytechnics, or equivalent institutions to receive the S$5,000 grant upon admission to NTU.