Senior Retention


Senior Retention Exercise (SRE)

SRE is a process to retain senior students who are interested to engage themselves intellectually and to enhance the living experience in the College after their initial guaranteed stay period. College expects retained senior students to fully utilize this opportunity to shape their personal and intellectual growth.

1. Eligibility:

Senior Retention Exercise (SRE) is only for RC4 Students and RC4 Alumni (who are currently in year 2, 3 and penultimate year of their NUS undergraduate study).

Note: If applicants are intending to stay under senior retention for semester 2 of AY1920 only, they will have to apply in this window itself (which is open from 5th April to 20th April 2019) – SRE application window for semester 2 may open in December 2019 only if there is a need at that point of time; otherwise, there will NOT be any specific application window for semester 2.

2.Terms and Conditions:

The terms and conditions stated below are only applicable to senior retention students, who will be in year 3, year 4 or final year of their NUS undergraduate study in AY2019/20. These do not apply to RC4 students who will be in year 1 and year 2 of NUS study in AY2019/20.

  • Successful SRE students will sign a declaration agreement about “Minimum Commitment Levels” (listed in Table below) that they will have to fulfil during their senior retention stay. Since there are only limited places available for senior retention students, those who are uncertain of fulfilling the “Minimum Commitment” levels are strongly encouraged not to apply for SRE. This will help other deserving candidates who are able to fulfil the minimum requirements to get a chance.
  • As indicated in Section 1, students can apply for 1 year retention (both semesters of AY 2019/20) or 1 semester retention (Semester 1 AY 2019/20 OR Semester 2 AY 2019/20). There will be mid-semester/mid-year review exercises to ensure that the senior retention students are on track to fulfil the minimum commitment requirements.
  • The decision to retain senior students will be based on the aspects mentioned in Section 4 of this document. This decision will not be made based on the houses they were in during their initial guaranteed period of stay – there is no fixed quota for each house.
  • Senior retention students may not be allocated to the same houses as they were in during their initial guaranteed stay period; so, they have to be open, matured and prepared for such a change. They are expected to be “peer mentors” and “role models” for the juniors staying in the respective levels.
  • Senior RC4 students (who are currently in year 2 and year 3 of NUS study) applying for Resident Assistant (RA) positions should also apply for SRE.
  • If the student body elects the current senior RC4 student (who will be in year 3 or 4 of his/her NUS study in AY1920) for the new “College Student Committee (CSC)”, he/she will be retained until his/her service in the CSC. Should the retained student holding CSC position resign or quit from CSC before his/her service, then his/her stay in college will be dependent on the Senior Retention Committee ranking given at the time of processing the application. This condition does not apply to CSC members who are not part of senior retention.

3. Minimum Commitment Levels expected from retained students:

College has devised “Minimum Commitment Levels” depending on the status of UTCP completion and the status of free spaces left in the curriculum of applicants. Free spaces refer to number of General Education (GE) modules or Unrestricted Electives (UEs) that are yet to be completed at the time when students start their retention stay in College.  Students will have to correctly declare the number of free spaces left in their curriculum while filling the application. College will verify the details in the application with student portal/home faculty. Any false declaration will lead to rejection of SRE application.

Category Minimum Commitment Levels to be fulfilled
 A.     Students who have already completed University Town College Program (UTCP) at the time when they start the retention stay

B.      Students who have not completed UTCP but do not have sufficient space(s) in their curriculum (i.e. if students have already completed all their GE modules or UEs in their curriculum at the time when they start retention stay)

 Retained students belonging to both categories A and B must fulfil all the three requirements throughout their stay:[R.1.] Enroll in at least one of the existing Cognitio pods initiated by Resident Fellows (RFs) and contribute actively to it throughout their stay; (or) retained students can initiate their own Cognitio pods and run them actively under the supervision of Director of Student Life (DSL).

[R.2.] Attend at least 2 Cognitio Tea sessions per semester

[R.3.] Show active participation in the house/college activities

C.      Students who have not completed their UTCP and if they have sufficient space(s) in their curriculum (i.e. if students still have to complete GE modules or UEs in their curriculum at the time when they start the retention) Following three scenarios are possible for students belonging to this category (minimum commitment levels will vary for each scenario):Scenario 1:  If a retained student in this category stays for one year and chooses to complete only one UTCP module during the first semester stay, he/she will also have to fulfil the requirements [R.2.], and [R.3.] in the first semester and must fulfil all the three requirements [R.1.], [R.2.] and [R.3.] in the second semester.


Scenario 2:  If a retained student in this category stays for one year and chooses to do more than one UTCP module, he/she need not commit to Cognitio pods. But, he/she must fulfil the requirements [R.2.] and [R.3.].


Scenario 3:  If a retained student in this category stays for one semester alone, then he/she will have to do at least one UTCP module in that semester itself. Also, he/she must fulfil the requirements [R.2.] and [R.3.].

4. Evaluation Process and Evaluation Criteria

All submitted SRE applications will be first verified by college office using the data provided by the student life participation record (mainly managed by the College Students’ Committee under College Office supervision), and the respective House Heads, Resident Assistants, and Resident Fellows.

Following the verification, the SRE applications together with the data verified by College Office will be individually evaluated by 4 Senior Retention Committee members comprising of: (i) Dr. Naviyn Prabhu Balakrishnan (Director of Student Life); (ii) Dr. Lynette Tan Yuen Ling (Associate Director of Student Life), (iii) Dr. Wang Wei Yang (Assistant Director of Student Life), and (iv) Dr. Navarun Varma (RC4 Fellow).

The ratings given by the individual committee members will be consolidated and an overall ranking will be generated based on the consolidated scores. Based on this overall ranking and the number of places available in the college, Senior Retention offers will be made upon approval from the College Master. Since there are only limited places available, there are chances for deserving candidates to be placed on a ranked waitlist, who will be offered as and when there are new vacancies throughout the academic year.

Criteria: Length of stay in RC4 will not be a criteria for selection; rather the overall contributions during their stay period will be given prime importance. Each SRE application is assessed based on the following aspects (based on which the student portfolio form is created):

  1. Leadership contributions in college (Few examples: main committees and/or Subcommittees of CSC, Houses, RC4 Flag, Interest Groups/Cognitio Pods, Freshmen Orientation Camp, Arts Night or any other special projects, Resident Assistant, etc)
  2. RC4 Interest Groups and Student Initiated Cognitio Pods membership contributions (committee members will look at the overall membership contributions in terms of attendance collected, continuity and/or diversity throughout the stay period)
  3. Involvement in House (based on inputs provided by respective House Heads, Resident Assistants and Resident Fellows)
  4. Key initiatives launched in RC4 during the stay period, if any (example: founding an Interest Group, or launching a new initiative within RC4)
  5. Key achievements/contributions to external events/projects representing RC4 both within and outside NUS (few examples: representing RC4 in Inter-college games and/or prizes won, performing/organizing productions for public – RC4 arts night and dance productions, RC4 Student Ambassador Contributions, representing RC4 in NUS Day of Service, representing RC4 IG/Cognitio pod in university level event, participation in RC4 OCIP, RC4 STEER, volunteer/roamer in Open Day, etc)
  6. Key achievements/contributions to internal RC4 events (for example: inter-house games, performing in RC4 slumber party, performances in RC4 formal/informal dinners, general participation in internal events, etc)
  7. Applicant’s conduct throughout the period of stay
Note: For students who are applying for Year 4 stay, their involvement in college during their year 3 retention stay (should they have stayed in college in year 3 under senior retention) will also be assessed closely on top of their contributions during first 2 years of guaranteed stay.

5. Important Notes

  1. If you are looking for an accommodation within or nearby campus for next AY, you are strongly encouraged to explore alternate options as a back-up, as there are only limited number of places available for senior retention students. If you have already accepted other accommodations in NUS and your senior retention application becomes successful (before you start your semester stay in other accommodations), you may be able to internally transfer the deposit to RC4 Office of Housing Services. Ms. Tan Si Min will help you on this after the release of senior retention results.
  2. The official release of Senior Retention Results will be during the same period as that of previous years, which will be the week after the exam.
  3. SRE and Honour Roll are different: Please understand that there is NO connection between Honour Roll Award and Senior Retention Offer, as both are different in their own ways. Some of the important factors that make them different include:
      • There is no limit set on number of Honour Roll Awardees; as long as a nominee's consolidated peer review scores given by ALL his/her peer reviewers recommend that he/she deserves the award, he/she is most likely to get the award (unless there is any other reason). This is mainly set as a way to recognize and celebrate all the contributions of the nominee to the community; On the other hand, there will be only limited number of places left for senior retention students every academic year after allocating to new Year 1/Year 2/Exchange/stop-the-clock return students.
      • The potential contenders for Senior Retention places include the current Year 2/Year 3 students/alumni of RC4 who would still be pursuing their undergraduate degree in the next Academic Year; while for Honour Roll Award 2019 the nominees will be predominantly from the current Year 2 (there may be a few from Year 3/Year 4, should they did not get the award in previous years). Since there is a limit on number of places available for Senior Retention candidates, and there could be more eligible candidates across Year 2/Year 3 applicants, the evaluation criteria for both these processes are different. The Honour Roll Awards are predominantly decided based on the nominations and peer evaluations from the student body; while for Senior Retention, multiple stakeholders (including Senior Retention Committee members, Resident Fellows, House Heads/Resident Assistants, College record on contributions/participation attendance in IGs/conduct) are involved due to the limit on number of places available.
      • A decision on Senior Retention is mainly based on "overall ranking" generated from the consolidated scores given by individual Senior Retention Committee members, and data provided by Resident Fellows, House Heads/Resident Assistants, College record on contributions/participation attendance in IGs/conduct. Based on the overall ranking generated and the number of places available for Senior Retention Applicants, the Senior Retention offers are made; further, the wait list is moved based on this overall ranking as and when there is a vacancy.

6. Application Deadline and Results Release Period

To apply, CLICK HERE

Application period: 07th April to 21st April 2019 (11:59 pm)
Results release period: 13th May 2019 to 20th May 2019

For any queries on SRE please email to Dr. Naviyn ( or Ms. Tan Si Min (