The year in review has been an eventful one for Ngee Ann Polytechnic. We have revamped existing course offerings and introduced new initiatives to give our students a top-notch education and a vibrant learning environment. Every step of the way, we have been unwavering in our commitment to give every student a learning journey with that something x'tra.
Cultivating student talentBuilding on our thrust to nurture every student talent, we have ramped up our scholarships and financial assistance packages during Financial Year 2011. The number of scholarships awarded totalled 709 in 2011, an increase of 68 per cent over the previous year. More students were also inducted into our talent development programme. The increased numbers reflect the diverse talents and outstanding qualities of the student population at Ngee Ann.
We have also awarded more bursaries to ensure that deserving students are not denied an education owing to financial difficulties. 4,400 students received financial assistance totalling nearly $10 million in 2011, up from 2,400 students who received $3.44 million in 2010. Thanks to the generous support of many well-wishers, corporate donors and government agencies, we have been able to go the extra mile to help more students in need.
New pillars for holistic educationThe completion of the Phase 6 campus development, which included the creation of the new Block Seventy3 and the revamped Sports Complex, marked an important milestone in our journey to rejuvenate our campus. Started in the late 1990s, the redevelopment project has unveiled a new facade and state-of-the-art facilities to support a holistic education. Seventy3 has been tailored to engage students in arts and cultural activities, while the revamped Sports Complex - with its extensive sporting facilities - helps our students grow through sports.
Dynamic learning platformsIn an effort to provide our students with a dynamic and industry-relevant learning experience, we continue to build mutually-beneficial partnerships with leading industry players and enhance our programmes and curriculum.
As an example, the Polytechnic signed a research collaboration agreement with HDB to support a more sustainable Singapore. Under the agreement, students from our environment-related courses will undertake rainwater quality studies and ecological studies at mangroves and wetlands. Under another agreement signed with industry leader Unity Technologies, we offer our students the opportunity to gain expertise in the areas of game art, design and development.
To sharpen our focus on the diploma courses centred on design and the built environment, we established the School of Design & Environment. The school hosts diploma courses in Product Design & Innovation, Sustainable Urban Design & Engineering, Hotel & Leisure Facilities Management and Real Estate Business.
As part of the Polytechnic's effort to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit among students, we have launched several new initiatives. One is the Ideawerkz Innovation Challenge which was designed to encourage students to come up with innovative ideas to improve life on campus. The competition set the campus abuzz with interesting student creations. Another new initiative is the Entrepreneurship Forum, where successful entrepreneurs share their strategies for growing businesses.
Developing the "heartware" of Ngee AnnCommunity initiatives continued to feature strongly among our key highlights for the year under review. Through active community engagement, we hope to develop the “heartware” of the Polytechnic and uphold Ngee Ann as a poly that cares.
To this end, we are heartened to see that our staff and students have taken the initiative to embark on numerous projects and programmes to help the community. A noteworthy example is the inaugural Arts Fiesta which culminated in a charity dance concert called The Carnival Act. Through ticket sales and donations, the Art Fiesta raised $150,000 for the many charities supported by the President’s Challenge.
In addition to organising fund-raising events, Ngee Ann staff and students have also used their expertise to create novel devices to help others. One such device is an automated bed for patients suffering from bedsores. The bed relieves pressure on critical areas of the body and improves blood circulation. The project was undertaken by our engineering students in collaboration with physiotherapists from the Singapore General Hospital. Not only has the automated bed brought comfort to the patients, it has also reduced the workload of nurses who can cut down on the frequency to turn their bed-ridden patients.
Our community projects extend beyond the shores of Singapore. Many students had the opportunity to take part in Youth Expedition Projects or service learning trips to countries in the region where they had a taste of serving the local communities. One such effort is the community partnership with a primary school in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, which saw 30 students from the School of Life Sciences & Technology refurbishing its facilities and having an enriching cultural exchange with local students.
In appreciationMuch effort has gone into moulding Ngee Ann Polytechnic's unique brand of education. We would like to thank all who have made the Ngee Ann experience possible - our Council, Advisory Committees, staff, alumni, parents, benefactors and industry partners.
We would like to place on record our deep appreciation to former Council Chairman Mr Tan Hup Foi and Deputy Chairman Mr Wee Tew Lim for their tireless efforts in taking the Polytechnic to greater heights. Their wise counsel and constant encouragement have spurred the staff of Ngee Ann Polytechnic to do their very best in providing students with an enriching and fulfilling learning experience. It is our goal to carry on the good work and grow the Polytechnic from strength to strength.
During the year, Council members BG(NS) Gary Ang, Mr Michael Chia, Ms Lim Huay Chih and Prof Tan Ser Kiat also stepped down from the Council. We are most grateful towards them for the unstinting support and invaluable guidance they have given to Ngee Ann.
With the continued support of all our stakeholders, we look forward to an even more exciting year ahead.
|Tang Kin Fei
Chia Mia Chiang