The Grades Of My MA Thesis (Supplementary Notes)

17 August 2017

Dear Friends,

I would like to elaborate on my previous post The Grades of My MA Thesis
It has been pointed out to me that I had not provided a clearer picture of the grade(s) awarded by NUS back in 2005. In this post, I would let the NUS documents speak for themselves* and provide you with a clearer picture of the issue of the grades.

So, thank you for the feedback, dear attentive reader!

The issue of my MA Thesis grades is not just about how well-written my MA Thesis was. Indeed, the two examiners had awarded me grade "A" in October-November 2005, but NUS appeared to have downgraded my thesis grade to "B" when NUS conveyed the outcome of my thesis examination to me on 25 November 2005. At that point I did not know what my actual grades were versus the grade that NUS conveyed to me.

Amongst other things, an "A" grade means that no amendments to the thesis would be required.  Amongst other things, a "B" grade means that amendments to the thesis would be required. 

Since I was not aware of the actual grades that the examiners awarded me and that amendments were actually not required, I went ahead to make the amendments to my MA Thesis as set out in NUS' letter of 25 November 2005.

The following is a point-by point discussion of the grades with supporting NUS documents:

(1) 25 November 2005
 NUS conveyed my MA Thesis examination outcome in a letter to me. (My emphasis in highlights.)

(2) December 2005 to April 2006:
I naturally proceeded to make the thesis amendments stated in the letter of 25 Nov 2005. I turned in my amended thesis to NUS in March 2006. NUS accepted the amendments of my MA Thesis by an email dated 6 April 2006. By April 2006, I had also received the invitation letter (dated 6 March 2006) to take part in the 2006 Commencement ceremony. 

(3) Both examiners awarded grade "A" to my MA Thesis in October-November 2005:
Here are two emails from officers in the Registrar's Office to Vice-Provost Lily Kong and copied to the University Registrar (Assoc Prof Ang Siau Gek) informing them of the grades given by each of the two examiners. 
(Note: these two emails were disclosed by the Defendant (NUS) in the present lawsuit.)


(4) The grading rubric selected by the respective examiners in "Section A (Examiner's Overall Recommendation)":
(Note: these two documents were disclosed by the Defendant (NUS) in the present lawsuit.) 

(5) Compare and contrast the various documents:

(i) As noted at point (4) above, you will see that both examiners graded my MA Thesis by ticking the rubric at: 

(ii) Please take note of the rubric at (b) of the above form "Section A (Examiner's Overall Recommendation)" which reads:

(iii) Please compare (ii) with what NUS conveyed to me on 25 November 2005:

(iv) NUS has obviously utilised the descriptive rubric for a "B" grade when conveying the examination outcome to me on 25 November 2005. NUS informed me that I would be awarded the MA (Architecture) degree subject to making amendments to the thesis.

My immediate reactions (in 2013) upon reading the internal NUS documents exhibited above

I was very shocked to discover the discrepancy between what the examiners selected on the grading rubric and what NUS conveyed to me on 25 Nov 2005, when I finally had sight of the internal NUS documents in this lawsuit.

I was also infuriated upon reading these internal NUS documents because the downgrading of my thesis meant that NUS made me spend time working on amendments to the thesis contrary to the recommendations of the two NUS-appointed examiners (that no amendments were required) as evidenced at point (4) above.

Happy mid-week,

*A short note on the internal NUS correspondences and documents that I exhibit in this post

The Defendant's (NUS') disclosure of documents and emails from 2013 to 2015 in "discovery" in this lawsuit provided me with a significant amount of internal NUS documents related to, amongst others, my complaint against Dr Wong, the fate of Dr Wong's project (for which my MA thesis was a "basis" for that project), the COI's investigation into my complaint, the examination of my MA thesis (including the examiners' grades that I would otherwise have not seen or known), the discussions that surrounded the termination of my MA candidature as well as the discussions that surrounded the denial of my MA degree when I appealed twice to (two different) NUS Presidents in office in 2006 and 2009. 

I had referred to the content of the internal NUS documents exhibited in this post (regarding my "actual grades") while I was giving evidence in court in the witness box from 1-4 August 2017. 

I rely on the following article for my understanding of the point at which a document that is disclosed during "discovery" is no longer subject to an implied undertaking of confidentiality:

Gerald Leong, "High Court Clarifies Scope of Riddick Principle in Singapore:  Foo Jong Long Dennis v Ang Yee Lim [2015] 2 SLR 578", Singapore Law Blog (17 April 2015) (