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Fact Sheet – Media Education Scholarships 2015


15 September 2015 - The Media Education Scholarship (MES) is an initiative launched in 2003 to nurture industry leaders in the media industry. Since then, more than 190 have forged a successful career for themselves as film and TV directors, music producers, game developers and visual effects artists.

About the Media Education Scholarship

The Media Education Scholarship (MES) is an initiative launched in 2003 to nurture industry leaders in the media industry. Since then, more than 190 have forged a successful career for themselves as film and TV directors, music producers, game developers and visual effects artists.

Past recipients of the MES include Anthony Chen, director of Ilo Ilo, Wong Hock Hian, a layout artist at Dreamworks who worked on How To Train Your Dragon, and Adeline Foo, author of popular children’s book series The Diary of Amos Lee. To date, the MES has been awarded to a total of 199 scholars.

The MES was further enhanced in January 2012 to include industry collaboration through direct job-matching of scholars to companies, better alignment of scholarship to industry demands and requirements, and a clearer career path for professionals set by companies.

Features of the Scholarship are as follows:

  • Tuition fees and other compulsory university fees will be sponsored by MDA;

  • An annual allowance from the sponsoring media company will be given to the MES scholar to defray living expenses during the period of study;

  • Recipients will secure a position with their sponsoring media companies and they will be provided with training, internship and career opportunities in editorial, interactive media, journalism, TV production and new media engineering. Upon completion of their studies, MES recipients will serve a bond of three to five years with the co-sponsoring company. During the bond period, the MES scholar will be developed as a media professional or groomed for a leadership role.

  • MES partner companies this year include MediaCorp, Singtel, Singapore Press Holdings, StarHub, mm2 Entertainment and World Scientific Publishing.

In 2013, to ensure continued relevance following feedback from the film community, MDA introduced a film category, MES (Film), to nurture talent pursuing independent film careers. Aspiring film-makers can opt for the MES (Film) and subsequently undertake a two-year mentorship with a reputable film-maker upon the completion of their studies. The key difference is that MES (Film) scholars are not co-sponsored by partner companies and thus do not receive living allowances. MES (Film) scholars will have their tuition fees and other compulsory university fees sponsored by MDA.

This year, MDA is awarding a total of seven MES scholarships, including three for MES (Film). More than 130 applications were received this year.

Find out more details on the MES (576.04KB).


Media Education Scholarship (MES)

a) Chong Lii (21 years old)

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Gerrit Rietveid Academie (The Netherlands)

Chong Lii graduated from the School of the Arts (SOTA) with a score of 37.

Chong Lii chose an undergraduate course in Fine Arts rather than a media discipline because Fine Arts would provide the necessary space and time for experimentation, research, and most importantly, free play with elements and mediums will inform his perspective as a film-maker.

Chong Lii believes that integrating into a new culture and discovering the beauty of another country is an experience that fosters both self-reliance and a sense of belonging to the wider world. He hopes to stretch his abilities and perspectives, deconstructing and forming afresh his knowledge of installation, sculpture, design, and film, in hope of eventually showcasing works that will intrigue and challenge viewers.

Chong Lii will be attached to SPH under a bond of 4 years.

b) Darian Tan (22 years old)

Bachelor of Social Sciences (Geography), National University of Singapore

A mid-term scholar, Darian is currently studying for a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Geography) at the National University of Singapore (NUS). He is Creative Director of Geosphere 2015, Geography Society’s print magazine.

Working on his residential college’s Open Day and organising the NUS Geography Challenge made Darian realise his gift in leadership, and his skills in articulating his ideas and mobilising others.

Darian believes that the geographies of space, place, and time can offer new perspectives in various aspects of the media industry. This ranges from managing retail and distribution, to the selection of locations, design aesthetics and the spaces of any given brand or company.

Darian Tan will be attached to Times Publishing for 3 years.  

c) Low Ser En (25 years old)

Masters of Producing, National Film and Television School (NFTS)

Ser En scored a GPA of 4.5 at Nanyang Technological University’s Art, Design and Media School, graduating with a first class honours in Digital Filmmaking.

Upon graduation, she worked at Widescreen Media and Double Negative, where her interest in being a producer developed. Ser En believes that studying at NFTS would allow her to gain experience working across various types of media.

Ser En would like to contribute to a media ecosystem where the film-makers can create works on different platforms, taking part in both big budget and small budget films. Ser En believes that big budget commercial films can drive the Singapore market, while the small budget independent films can participate in festivals and add cultural value, with the regular festival films drawing in more investors for bigger budget films.

Ser En will be attached to mm2 Entertainment for a period of 4 years.

d) Rubecca Wong (20 years old)

Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Queensland

Rubecca graduated with a diploma in Chinese Media and Communication from Ngee Ann Polytechnic. During her stint as a student correspondent of SPH’s Lianhe Zaobao and, she supported the production of documentaries and commercial projects.

Rubecca is keen to be a producer of news feature stories, programmes and short film exposés on the issues faced by the underprivileged, and other social issues such as teenage pregnancy, cyber bullying and juvenile delinquency. She hopes that her work will put in sharp focus the urgency of social issues and function as a mirror to society.

Rubecca counts Oscar-award winning Pakistani female director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy of the Saving Face and Humaira Dreamcatcher fame as her role model.

Rubecca Wong will be attached to SPH where she will serve a bond of 4 years.

Media Education Scholarship (Film)

e) Koh Zhi Hao (21 years old)

Bachelor of Arts, Yale-NUS College

Zhi Hao graduated with 4 distinctions at A Levels from Temasek Junior College. Born to 'blood and iron' hawker parents, he would personally like to see Singapore's unique hawker culture explored on the silver screen. Through the exploration of these customs and quirks that are held dear by Singaporeans, he hopes to develop a coherent, locally-styled cinematic identity that would be present in all his films. In doing so, he hopes to spark in filmgoers’ a greater interest in local cinema through an earnest and accurate portrayal of subjects such as the Singaporean identity and foodie culture in his work.

Zhi hao will serve a 2-year service commitment in Singapore’s media industry upon graduation.

f) Johann Fong (23 years old)

Bachelor of Science in Music Technology, Coventry University

Johann graduated from Singapore Polytechnic’s Diploma in Music and Audio Technology. He has been involved in events such as Music Matters (Singapore) and MTV Asia World Stage (Malaysia). Music has always been a part of Johann’s life – he started writing songs when he was 15 and has since learnt to play the guitar, drums and keyboard.

Johann envisions a vibrant industry with a local library of movies that resonate with the hearts of Singaporeans and the world. He desires to help bring home-grown media to the world stage by designing compelling soundscapes and moving soundtracks for films. In the longer term, Johann hopes to nurture future generations of post-production specialists.

Johann will serve a 2-year service commitment in Singapore’s media industry upon graduation.

g) Kannan S/O Vijakumar (23 years old)

Bachelor of Communication Studies, Nanyang Technological University

A mid-term scholar, Kannan is studying for a Bachelor of Communication Studies at the Nanyang Technological University. He was the writer-producer of Pradhana Vizha, which won the 2012 Best Docu-Drama Award. He also won awards for Best Direction, Best Story, Best Screenplay and Best Editing for A.Maatram, a Tamil short film he wrote, directed and produced, at the 2012 Online Cinema Talkies Regional Short Film Awards.

As his interest in cinema grew steadily, his internship with MediaCorp cemented his commitment to forging a career in the media industry. He worked as the main writer for a docu-drama (VIzhlgal, 2011) aired on Vasantham. Kannan’s daring exploration of provocative topics helped the programme achieve commendable viewership ratings as well as the accolade of Best Docu-drama series at the Annual TV Awards.

Kannan hopes to use his skills in media production to advocate for social causes as well as to educate audiences. He also hopes that he will be able to bring Singapore cinema to the world stage through his works.

Kannan will serve a 2-year service commitment in Singapore’s media industry upon graduation.

About Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA)

The Media Development Authority of Singapore ( promotes the growth of globally competitive film, television, radio, publishing, games, animation and interactive digital media industries. It also regulates the media sector to safeguard the interests of consumers, and promotes a connected society. MDA is a statutory board under the Ministry of Communications and Information (