LEE Sing Kong

Dean, NIEI

Natural Sciences & Science Education (NSSE)

Office Location
NIE7-03-115A , ADM 0



Office Telephone Number
67903890 ,65927837

  • Current Appointments
    • Professor (Biological Sciences), Nanyang Technological University (since 2002)
    • Managing Director, National Institute of Education International (NIEI) (since 2009)
    • Vice President for Education Strategies, NTU (since 2014)
    Previous Appointments
    • Director, NIE (since 2006 - 2014)
    • Dean, External Programmes Office, NIE (2005 to 2009)
    • Dean, Graduate Programmes and Research Office, NIE (2000 to 2006)
    • Senior Lecturer/Head, Biology Division, School of Science, NIE (1991 to 2000) 
    • Head of Biotechnology, Ngee Ann Polytechnic (1989 to 1991)
    • Officer/Deputy Commissioner, Parks and Recreation (1975 to 1989)

    Professor Lee Sing Kong is a horticulturist by training and a Professor of Biological Sciences at the Nanyang Technological University. He obtained a 1st Class Honours in Horticultural Science from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand in 1974, supported by the Colombo Plan Scholarship and awarded by the Public Service Commission of Singapore. He received his PhD in 1985 from the National University of Singapore in Plant Biotechnology.

    After an illustrious career in the civil service, Prof Lee joined NIE in 1991 and was in various positions of leadership. He spearheaded several initiatives, most notably, the redesigning of NIE's organisational structure based on the matrix model. In 2000, as Dean of the Graduate Programmes and Research Office, he implemented a wide range of professional development initiatives to enable teachers to develop professionally and to acquire postgraduate certification. He was appointed Director of NIE in 2006 and concurrently served as Dean of the External Programmes Office (EPO). When EPO evolved into NIE International Pte Ltd, Prof Lee assumed the position of Managing Director of the new company.

    Prof Lee has launched many key initiatives that has greatly impacted Teacher Education in Singapore and internationally. He led in the articulation of the 3:3:3 Roadmap which outlines NIE's strategic directions from 2007-2012 which will guide NIE to achieve her vision of becoming An Institute of Distinction. In 2007, he served as the inaugural chair of the International Alliance of Leading Education Institutes, putting NIE firmly in the global league of Teacher Education providers.

    A true educator and scientist at heart, Prof Lee sees a quality teaching force as the key that can improve student learning outcomes, a view shared by other world renowned educators. He championed the frontiers of inquiry-based approaches for teaching biological sciences. His accomplishments include regenerating terrestrial vegetation and mangroves on reclaimed plots that serve as teaching resources for students to grasp different aspects of environmental and biological sciences.

    Prof Lee's passion for agrotechnology, urban forestry and plant tissue culture has led to several national initiatives such as the greening of Singapore and development of new technologies for food production in the urban landscape. He researched aeroponics at NIE, developing and adapting ground-breaking technology for the production of temperate vegetables in the tropics through rootzone modification, work that has earned him national and international recognition.

    Prof Lee has served on several national committees on education, agrotechnology and biotechnology over the years. He also serves on the boards of several key establishments and has received numerous awards for his contributions. Among his accolades are the Public Administration Medal (Bronze) (1981), Save Planet Earth Merit Award (1992), Asian Innovation Award (Bronze) (1998), Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques (1999), National Technology Award 2000, Urban Agriculture Award 2000, Excellence for Singapore Award 2001, Singapore Innovation Award 2001, Public Administration Medal (Silver) (2004), Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Biology (2005), NUS Distinguished Alumni in Science Award (2009), Public Administration Medal (Gold) (2011) and Medal of Honour for the Cause of Education (Vietnam) 2011.