Press Releases

July 14, 2012

23rd International Biology Olympiad Held in Singapore Ended on a High Note

Best Showing for International Biology Olympiad Ever—Singapore Placed First with Four Gold Medals

The Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE), on behalf of the International Biology Olympiad (IBO) Organising Committee, would like to congratulate all winners and thank all participants for their enthusiastic participation at the 23rd IBO. In particular, MOE would also like to extend its congratulations to the Singapore students for doing the nation proud with their outstanding performance.

The Singapore team obtained four Gold medals. This placed Singapore 1st in a field of 236 students from 59 countries. This year’s result is an improvement over our 3rd placing in 2011 and is the first time Singapore has been placed first in the IBO.

The Singapore Gold medallists are Mr Nol Swaddiwudhipong, Ms Zhang Hui Ting and Ms Mao Haitong of Raffles Institution; and Mr Lim Yuan Wei of Hwa Chong Institution. Mr Nol Swaddiwudhipong is also the top Gold medalist in the 23rd IBO.

The Singapore delegation was led by Dr Beverly Goh, Natural Sciences and Science Education, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University; and Dr Ng Ngan Kee, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. The Singapore team was also mentored by a team of professors from NUS, NTU, NIE and former Biology Olympiad participants.

The other top team that received four Gold medals was from the United States of America. A list of top winners can be found in Annex A (32kb .pdf). The full list of winners can be found at the IBO website.

A Joint Effort

Our students’ participation in the this International Olympiads is a joint effort between the Ministry of Education and the following organisations:

  • National Institute of Education;
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • National University of Singapore; and
  • Singapore Institute of Biology.


The International Olympiads for Science bring together the best and brightest students from around the world, challenging and stimulating their minds in the spirit of competition. Through rigorous tests of theoretical knowledge, students demonstrate their mastery of scientific concepts. Their experimental skills are also put to the test in the Science Olympiads.

The Olympiads are global platforms to stretch some of our most able students in Science. By pitting their skills and knowledge against international peers, not only would our students be exposed to an enriching learning experience, they would also be motivated to strive for excellence in the international arena.

Singapore hosted the prestigious IBO for the first time from 8 to 15 July 2012, which saw participation from over 230 pre-university biology students and 205 officials from 59 countries.