Dr Catelijne Coopmans

Senior Lecturer Tembusu College National University of Singapore
Research Fellow Asia Research Institute National University of Singapore

Catelijne joined Tembusu in 2011 as Director of Studies, a portfolio she held until mid-2017. She was also a residential fellow from 2011 until 2015. Today, she works at the College as a full-time non-residential fellow, and also has a joint appointment at the Science, Technology and Society cluster of the Asia Research Institute at NUS.

Contributing to a collaborative, empowering teaching and learning culture at the College is something Catelijne feels strongly about. Her influences include: her exposure to interdisciplinary and problem-based learning as an undergraduate at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands; her experience of college life as a graduate student at St Cross College, University of Oxford; her training in the ‘interdiscipline’ of Science and Technology Studies; and her connections with local and international colleagues (many of whom are gathered in the Big Beacon movement) who approach higher education from a whole-person and organizational culture-perspective with the aim to make it truly transformative for students.

Catelijne teaches a junior seminar called ‘Fakes’ and co-teaches a senior seminar called ‘Time and Life’. She helped establish, and continues to be a member of, Tembusu’s Education Working Group, which pioneers student-faculty partnership in the teaching-learning space. She has been supporting student initiatives in the areas of classical music, wildlife conservation and gender/sexuality discourse and advocacy. Currently working towards her professional certification in Co-Active Coaching, she is a facilitator for the self-reflection workshops in the Third Year Experience and coordinates a coaching programme for Tembusu students.

Please visit Catelijne’s personal website to find out more about her academic background and her research on expertise and visual evidence. 

Please read the 2016 interview on Treehouse for Catelijne’s take on how Tembusu College has developed since 2011.



Biomedicine and Singapore Society
The Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans) is a large evergreen tree in the family Gentianaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia. Its trunk is dark brown, with deeply fissured bark, looking somewhat like a bittergourd. It grows in an irregular shape from 10 to 25m high. Its leaves are light green and oval in shape. Its yellowish flowers have a distinct fragrance and the fruits of the tree are bitter tasting red berries, which are eaten by birds and fruit bats.