Scoring a place in a local university is tough enough, but these stellar graduates from Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) have achieved the rare academic feat of being accepted into the most prestigious universities around the world. Here are their success stories.

Lovell Ong, Imperial College London, UK


Having found his calling since he was a child, Lovell’s love for engineering was sparked after watching a television advertisement of a watch morphing into another form, which piqued his curiosity of how materials are made. It comes as no surprise that he eventually chose to pursue his passion in NYP’s Diploma in Nanotechnology & Material Science, landing him a spot in the Imperial College London where he’s currently completing his direct Masters in Materials Science. 

“Nanotechnology is cutting-edge. We work on an atomic or molecular scale, so the possibilities are endless. What we may think is impossible today, may be possible in 20 or 30 years’ time,” the NYP School of Engineering graduate explains. “There are so many environmental issues these days. I hope to bring something new and useful to the market that can help save our planet.”

Julius Tan, Columbia University, USA


Julius Tan is among the few who were accepted into Columbia University, and the School of Business Management alum is pursuing a degree in Political Science. Julius’ interest in philosophy and politics dates back to his days as an NYPian, where he represented the polytechnic in debate competitions through the Current Affairs and Debating Club.

He has since started his own non-profit organisation based in Columbia, which he again attributes to the foundation he got at NYP. “I would say my experience at NYP allowed me to make real choices,” he says. “And sometimes mistakes, which are very valuable if you learn from them. That has definitely benefited my experiences at Columbia University.” 

Rayden Chia Yong Xiang, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA


Graduating from NYP’s School of Information Technology with a perfect grade point average of 4.0, Rayden was offered not one – but four places to read at some of the best institutions in the world: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, Carnegie Mellon University, and New York University. He ultimately accepted the offer by MIT, where he reads computer science and engineering while working on information technology research at the institution’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

It was NYP that intensified his passion for IT: “Before NYP, IT was merely my interest. But now, I can spot industry trends, and possess business skills and knowledge that I can apply to the industry. The years I’ve spent at NYP were valuable and I am very appreciative of the support my lecturers have given me.”

As if his achievements aren’t impressive enough, Rayden also boasts multiple professional certifications from Red Hat, Microsoft and Oracle, and was also part of the winning team in the 2014 edition of the Microsoft Imagine Cup. The future looks bright for this budding tech whiz!

Fadzuli Said, Carnegie Mellon University, USA


With a keen interest in role-playing table top games and video games since young, Fadzuli was sold on the possibility of creating exciting storylines in video games, which led him to enrol in the School of Interactive and Digital Media (SIDM) at NYP.

Fadzuli’s time at NYP was nothing short of spectacular as he received the Media Development Authority of Singapore IDM Award, which was given to the most outstanding student at SIDM. Not long after, he was offered direct entry as a Media Development Authority-ST Engineering scholar into a Masters of Entertainment Technology programme at the Carnegie Mellon University.

“It’s been a great three years here at NYP, and the technical know-hows I have garnered to develop mobile games have helped me greatly when I was reading my Masters.” Today, Fadzuli is a Chief Technology Officer at Mighty Bear Game, and also hopes to contribute to Singapore’s growing gaming industry in the future.

Marcus Tan, NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine

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With a heart to serve the elderly, Marcus has his mind set on becoming a medical practitioner. While aspiring medical students would have gone down the ‘A’ Level route, he decided to take the path less travelled as he took up the Diploma in Pharmaceutical Sciences at NYP, which provided him a solid foundation for medical school.

However, it was during his internship stint at the Singapore General Hospital as a pharmacy technician that gave him renewed motivation to succeed in the medical field, hence enrolling into the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. “Through my frequent interactions with the elderly patients, it made me realise that I could serve them better as a doctor. I want to make sure they’re being well taken care of!”

Sheena Ramazanu, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong


Sheena has always lived her life with a big heart, but it was her father – who was a mental health nurse and a former nursing lecturer at NYP’s School of Health Sciences – who inspired her to become a professional nurse. Aspiring to follow in her father’s footsteps, she graduated with a Diploma in Nursing from NYP and is now on a scholarship to pursue her PhD in Family and Community Nursing at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

She still vividly recalls her first hospital attachment and having to break the news of a patient’s passing to the family members: “I realised that a nurse should help family members, not just the patient. The experience left an indelible mark on me, and reinforces my goal to become a nurse who cares for others.”

Ang Ying Xian, Pratt Institute, USA


You might be familiar with the visual masterpieces of Ying Xian, whose brilliant works have been exhibited at the Singapore Art Museum, PHUNK Studio, and The National Library. She has also been published on The Straits Times, The Substation’s Issue magazine, and Matilda magazine.

After graduating from NYP’s School of Design, the burgeoning artist went on to pursue her Masters in Communication Design at Pratt Institute, which is regarded as one of the top colleges in the world for art and design. “My time at NYP laid a strong foundation for me in terms of technical skills, as it allows me to focus more on theory and my motivations towards being a designer at Pratt Institute. Here, I’m learning more than before and also gained lots of exposure to the international arts scene.”

More related stories: Meet The 23-Year-Old Fashion Designer Who Debuted Her Graduate Showcase At Singapore Fashion Week!How These 21-Year-Old SMU Students Built A Successful BusinessScholarship Students Reveal What It’s Really Like Working In The Maritime Industry

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