SINGAPORE: In line with the Republic's SkillsFuture framework, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) students will receive S$500 upon graduation to enrol in future continuing education courses or modules at the university. This matches and is on top of the the Government's grant of S$500.
Called the Lifelong Initiative for Education (LIFE), the initiative was announced by SUTD's President Professor Thomas Magnanti at the graduation ceremony of its pioneering batch of 308 students on Saturday (Aug 29).
"We hope that through this initiative, we can not only support your continuing professional development, but also firmly retain you as a member of the SUTD family," said Professor Magnanti at the ceremony.
The programme takes effect from January 2016 but new graduates will still be allowed to benefit from it. They can take advantage of courses in areas such as cyber security, design innovation and advanced manufacturing.
"Given this initiative, even though we've graduated from SUTD, we can still have this same room to expand our creativity on, and to continue to do projects that may be a little bit unconventional, but would definitely make change and positive improvements to people's lives," said SUTD valedictorian Olivia Seow.
The valedictorian, who graduated on Saturday with a Bachelor of Engineering (Engineering Product Development) degree, shared that she might use the credits to develop her skills and explore certain ideas that she had in mind, such as building products that can help the elderly use the toilet in a more dignified manner.
DARE TO DREAM BIG
Also present at the event was Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, who called on the new graduates to dream big dreams of changing lives, to have the daring to follow these dreams, and in turn define both themselves and the society they live in.
"Continue to dream big dreams, knowing that you have the ability to bring them into reality. Dare to take risks and work hard. This is the foundation that all great accomplishments are built on. Be rugged, define Singapore by making a positive difference in the lives of those around you, and build this nation into a stronger, more beautiful one in the years to come."
Mr Heng added that the successful graduation of the pioneer batch of SUTD students was significant, and underscores governments commitment "to creating the best possible educational pathways for students, and to creating new ways that students can learn".
"At SUTD, there's a special brand of education where we focus on design and technology, and this will be important for our future because as technology becomes more and more significant in our lives, the ability to plan design and technology will create more opportunities for fellow Singaporeans," said Mr Heng.
"Building a new university is just a start - we still have a long way to go, and we must continue our commitment to building this university and to creating the resources that is needed. And whether our graduates continue to get great opportunities, whether as entrepreneurs or as professionals, will depend on how well our economy stays vibrant. This is something that we must focus on".