Alan Tan & Swati Jhaveri win Teaching Excellence Award

Congratulations to Professor Alan Tan ’93 and Assistant Professor Swati Jhaveri for being honoured at this year’s NUS Annual Teaching Excellence Awards.

Teaching excellence awards serve three important functions in an institution of higher education. First, they recognise teachers who excel in their profession. Second, the awards are an indication of the importance the institution accords to teaching. Third, the awards send clear signals to the teaching community about what the institution regards as high quality teaching, i.e. by identifying the results that the institution’s teaching practices aim to strive for.

Professor Alan Tan

“I challenge my students to not only describe what the law is, but more importantly, to prescribe what it ought to be. In other words, they should be able to discern what is outdated, inadequate or unsatisfactory about the legislation and cases, and propose reforms accordingly. To do this, they must feel society's pulse and understand the social, political, economic and cultural forces that shape our policy choices, and the fact that these are dynamic and ever-changing. Along the way, they should know their place and be alive to the world around us, and the fact that developments in other countries have a significant impact on tiny Singapore.”

Professor Alan Tan teaches Aviation Law and Criminal Law. Born in Penang, Malaysia, he was educated at the Penang Free School and Raffles Junior College, subsequently obtaining an LL.B. from NUS and an LL.M. and J.S.D. from Yale Law School. He was the winner of the Koh Han Kok Prize for International Law at NUS, and his doctoral thesis on the law and politics of shipping regulation won the Ambrose Gherini International Law Prize at Yale Law School. Professor Tan has been a Justices' Law Clerk at the Supreme Court of Singapore and has also interned at the International Maritime Organization in London. He has published widely on aviation law, maritime law and environmental law, particularly in the context of Asian countries.

Professor Tan was Vice-Dean for Graduate Studies and Research at NUS Law (2006 to 2010) and Director (Projects) in the Office of the Provost at NUS (2011 to 2012), overseeing the Yale-NUS College's double degree programs. He was also Director of the NYU@NUS Dual Degree program through which students obtained two LL.M. degrees from the New York University and NUS Law Schools. In 2009, he was appointed the Hauser Global Visiting Professor at New York University School of Law, where he taught global aviation law and policy. He has also taught at the University of Sydney and served as a consultant to various governments and donor agencies, including the Vietnamese government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Professor Tan has also been engaged as a consultant on aviation liberalization in Asia by the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Arab League and various national governments.

Assistant Professor Swati Jhaveri

“One of the fundamental components of my teaching philosophy involves encouraging active oral participation in all classes, whether large lectures or tutorials. Active participation contributes to an increased confidence in the study of law. It is difficult to make the transition to university and Law can be one of the most challenging degree programmes, since students are being introduced to a subject matter they would not have had any exposure to in secondary school. Participating actively during class is critical to building their confidence. It allows students to test their thoughts in a more dynamic conversational manner within a safe environment (the classroom), forces them to defend their positions in reaction to comments by others, and improves their overall classroom and learning experience.”

Assistant Professor Swati Jhaveri joined NUS Law in August 2012. She teaches Law of Torts and Constitutional & Administrative Law. She previously taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Faculty of Law. Her areas of research include Public Law and the Law of Torts. She has published in these areas in Public Law, the Tort Law Review and the International Journal of Constitutional Law. While at CUHK, she was awarded the Vice Chancellor's Exemplary Teaching Award. She was also awarded a competitive research grant from the General Research Fund of the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong to investigate the post-1997 impact of judicial review on legislative process and content.

She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Jurisprudence (First Class Honours) and Bachelor of Civil Law (Distinction) from the University of Oxford. She previously practiced law at Allen & Overy, specialising in international commercial arbitration. She is a Solicitor of the Hong Kong SAR and England & Wales and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

More information on the Annual Teaching Excellence Awards may be found here -