NUS held its first staff awards ceremony to honour outstanding staff excelling in teaching, research and service. The awards were given out under three categories: Teaching Excellence Awards, Outstanding Researcher Awards and Staff Achievement Awards.
The Bioinformatics Centre was set up to spearhead the development of state-of-the-art bioinformatic tools and provide bioinformatics services to the biotech industry in Singapore.
The East Asian Institute was set up as the University's first non-natural science research institute. The institute was established to study developments in East Asia and succeeded the Institute of East Asian Political Economy (IEAPE).
NUS Library took the lead amongst local libraries to install INNOPAC, a library automated system with the ability to handle Chinese, Japanese and Korean characters. The new system enabled users to search for books using Chinese characters, making its online catalogue (LINC) available in English and Chinese.
NUS took up the call made by Prime Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong to make Singapore the "Boston of the East" by working towards becoming a world-class university. A need-blind admission policy was introduced in the new academic year to attract more top students from both Singapore and the region. In line with this policy, NUS scholarships were established for outstanding undergraduates.
An International Academic Advisory Panel (IAAP) comprising 11 eminent academic administrators from top American, European and Japanese universities was set up to help the University chart the directions and research strategies which would help it to develop into a world-class university.
NUS was voted one of the top 10 universities in the Asia Pacific region. It ranked fourth in a survey of 50 top universities in Asia and Australia. In ratings by academic reputation, NUS was placed second by its academic peers in Asia and Australia. The survey was conducted by Asiaweek, a regional news magazine.
NUS received the Top IT User Award '97 from Computerworld, Singapore. The award recognised NUS' pioneering usage of leading-edge technologies such as Intranet, ATM networking and supercomputing.