Hwa Chong Junior College

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Hwa Chong Junior College
Maktab Rendah Hwa Chong
ஹவா சோங் ஜூனியர் கல்லூரி
Hwa Chong Junior College (logo).png
The Main Facade of Hwa Chong Junior College, before the integration as the college section of the integrated Hwa Chong Institution in 2005.
661 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269734
Bukit Timah
Coordinates 1°19′36″N 103°48′13″E / 1.32654°N 103.803491°E / 1.32654; 103.803491Coordinates: 1°19′36″N 103°48′13″E / 1.32654°N 103.803491°E / 1.32654; 103.803491
Type Independent Junior College
Motto Towards Progress
Established 15 January 1974 [1]
Founder Tan Keong Choon (B.B.M.)
Status Current College section of Hwa Chong Institution
Colour(s)  Red   Yellow 
Vision Live with Passion, Lead with Compassion

The former Hwa Chong Junior College (HCJC/HJC) (Chinese: 华中初级学院) was a junior college in Singapore offering pre-university education. The college was founded in 1974 and was merged into The Chinese High School on 1 January 2005 to form the integrated Hwa Chong Institution.



Hwa Chong Junior College is the second junior college, and the first government-aided junior college to be established in Singapore, after National Junior College. In 1970, the then Minister for Education Ong Pang Boon approached a group of Chinese community leaders from the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) to discuss establishing ten junior colleges to replace the pre-university classes in the senior high sections of The Chinese High School and other high schools in Singapore. Mr Tan Keong Choon, a prominent businessman and the managing director of the board of The Chinese High School was appointed to oversee the project, estimated to cost S$2.2 million of which half of the total funds is to be funded by SCCCI.

After meetings and discussions, the Chinese community leaders declared to the government that due to financial constraints, they were able to raise sufficient funds for constructing only two of the originally intended ten junior colleges. Subsequently, the management board of The Chinese High School creased the school's pre-university classes in preparation for the building of a new junior college. In 1974, Hwa Chong Junior College was inaugurated at the Bukit Timah Road campus of The Chinese High School, and was run by the same management board as the high school. The junior college's name was an abbreviation of the high school's Chinese name, to mark the relationship between the two schools.

Hwa Chong Junior College commenced lessons in January 1974 in National Junior College, and the former Bukit Timah campus of the Singapore Management University. In June 1974, the college commenced its operation at its permanent site at 661 Bukit Timah Road, located adjacent to the campus of The Chinese High School.[2]

Moving out and return to Bukit Timah[edit]

Entrance cornerstone of the former Hwa Chong Junior College. It is one of the few remaining features that were preserved after the reintegration into Hwa Chong Institution in 2005.

Following the Hotel New World collapse in 1986, the school management committee ordered a review on the building structure after walls in the college was reportedly ruptured.[3] On 8 May 1987, Hwa Chong Junior College moved out of its premises at Bukit Timah Road due to structural problems with the building. The campus was redeveloped the following year, with the Ministry of Education covering 80 per cent of cost of standard facilities for the three-year long redevelopment project, the College itself raised the remaining $7 million.[4] Between May to December 1987, lessons were held temporarily at Ngee Ann Polytechnic and in Woodlands. The college shifted to Bukit Batok Street 34 (present-day site of Swiss Cottage Secondary School and St. Anthony's Primary School) later. HCJC moved back to its Bukit Timah campus in 1992. The new building had considerable changes to the architecture style, while the octagonal layout remained in the new building.

Hwa Chong Junior College was one of the first junior colleges to offer the Chinese Language Elective Programme (C-LEP) along with Temasek Junior College, when the course is introduced in 1990.[4]

Merger with Chinese High School[edit]

In January 2004, Hwa Chong Junior College became the first junior college in Singapore to gain independent status. On 1 January 2005, the college officially merged with The Chinese High School to form the current Hwa Chong Institution, to facilitate the running of the school's Integrated Programme.

Culture & Identity[edit]

Hwa Chong Junior College was well known for its inclusive yet equally competitive tradition. Despite commonly mistaken as a tertiary institution with a strong emphasis on Chinese heritage (partly due to its name and student population, of which used to be dominated by students from Special Assistance Plan high schools), Hwa Chong Junior College had a very diverse culture.[5] Malay and Tamil language subjects, as well as foreign languages such as German and French were offered to cater to students' diverse backgrounds and interests. Multi-cultural based co-curricular activities such as English drama, contemporary dance, as well as those representative of other cultures, such as Indian dance, are also featured among the college's array of activities.[5]


The college crest used before merger with The Chinese High School was represented by four upward arrows bounded by a horizontal bar. These arrows represents the initial streams in the college, namely Arts, Science, Technical and Commerce, as well as the educational aims of social, moral, intellectual and physical growth, together with continued advancement as indicated by the soaring arrows. The horizontal bar that holds the arrows together signifies unity and the withholding of excellence.[6]


The college anthem of Hwa Chong Junior College is presently the anthem for the college section of Hwa Chong Institution, sung weekly on Wednesdays. The anthem, written in English, reflected the ideals of the college as a multi racial environment for holistic learning and growth. A complementary anthem in Chinese was introduced with the English anthem in 1974, adopting the same chord.


The uniform of the former Hwa Chong Junior College was designed by a Malay female student (one of the pioneer batch of students who graduated from HCJC in 1975), and is a distinct feature of HCJC. The uniform for male students comprise a beige shirt featuring two shirt pockets, a identity of the uniform, complemented with long beige trousers. The uniform for female students comprise a beige blouse and a beige skirt. The same uniform was retained as the uniform for the college section of Hwa Chong Institution.[7]


The campus of Hwa Chong Junior College is the current college compound for the integrated Hwa Chong Institution, previously separated and fenced before 2006. The iconic octagonal shaped central building of Hwa Chong Junior College is based on the basis of a divine Taoist sign.[5] It houses facilities such as the college library, co-curricular activity (CCA) rooms, and provide ample space for student-led activities. The adjacent tutorial block houses three lecture theatres and an auditorium, as well special rooms for the humanities and language elective programmes.


Hwa Chong Junior College Central Plaza in 2004.

Hwa Chong Junior College was consistently ranked as one of the top junior colleges in Singapore based on the official college rankings by the Ministry of Education since the 1990s. The College was consistently ranked as the top college for Arts and Commerce. The college had also been ranked as the top junior college in Singapore in terms of academic performance for its Science stream students and in overall performance for a number of times.[8]

The College had an excellent track record in academia, sports, music, culture and the arts. Many of its graduates went on to become leaders in research, industry and government. Between 1980 and 2005, Hwa Chong had been recognized as one of the top junior colleges in Singapore, alongside others such as Raffles Junior College. Hwa Chong was also the first junior college to introduce the Humanities Scholarship Programme for students.[4]

As at the time of merger with The Chinese High School in 2005, Hwa Chong Junior College had produced the second highest number of President's Scholars (second only to Raffles Junior College). In addition, Hwa Chong graduates take an impressive share of government and private organization undergraduate scholarships annually. More than 15% of each graduating cohort move on to study in renowned universities worldwide, such as Harvard University and Cambridge University. Hwa Chong Junior College also had the distinction of being the top junior college for two elective programmes, namely the Humanities Programme and the Chinese Language Elective Programme.


External links[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "HCJC Alumni". www.hwachong.edu.sg. Retrieved 2016-10-24. 
  2. ^ 红玉, 叶 (2005-11-27). "献身教育36年 冯焕好院长最难忘3件事". newslink.asiaone.com. Retrieved 2017-06-28. 
  3. ^ "陈嘉庚侄子陈共存心脏病发逝世 - 南洋商报". e南洋商报Nanyang Siang Pau | 马来西亚新闻真实报道. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 2017-07-23. 
  4. ^ a b c "SPEECH BY DR SEET AI MEE, MINISTER OF STATE (COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT) AND (EDUCATION), ON THE OCCASION OF HWA CHONG JUNIOR COLLEGE 15TH ANNIVERSARY DINNER AT WESTIN STAMFORD BALLROOM ON SATURDAY, 12 AUGUST 1989 AT 7.30 PM" (PDF). National Archives Library - National Archives Singapore. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 September 1999. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c Singapore, National Library Board,. "Collegetimes v. 3, no. 2 (1986) - BookSG - National Library Board, Singapore". eresources.nlb.gov.sg. Retrieved 2017-06-30. 
  6. ^ 华中初级学院旅泰教育考察团特刊. Singapore: Xinjiapo : Hua zhong chu ji xue yuan lü Tai jiao yu kao cha tuan te kan. 1975. p. 2. 
  7. ^ Stephanie Ko (2008-10-02), HCJC 30th Anniversary Video - Part 1 of 3, retrieved 2017-07-16 
  8. ^ "Hwa Chong Junior College Alumni". hwachongjcalumni.org.sg. Retrieved 2016-10-24.