With the launch of the pilot run of the Personalised Learning Pathway (PLP) announced by then Education Minister Lawrence Wong during the Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) graduation ceremony on 3 May, our students could graduate with a minor on top of their diploma. They could choose their minor from four pathways – professional skills, entrepreneurship, global readiness and social leadership. With the added skill set, our students will be well-placed to pivot more easily to new growth sectors in the future economy.
With the rapid growth of the food delivery sector, our CET Academy (CETA) has been supporting the training and development of food delivery riders to enhance their service standards and career growth. For instance, it partnered Grab Singapore to curate a two-day course, which was launched on 4 June, to provide food delivery riders with the knowledge and skills in customer engagement, food hygiene best practices, and occupational safety while on the road. About 1,100 learners have benefitted from the course from July 2021 to March 2022.
A team of researchers from NP, Nanyang Technological University and the National Heart Centre Singapore invented a tool that could speed up the diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases. Powered by artificial intelligence, their innovation uses electrocardiograms to diagnose coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure to an accuracy of more than 98.5 per cent. The scientists hope their innovation could support the diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases in clinical settings, specifically while physicians carry out preliminary electrocardiograms (ECG), ultimately leading to speedier treatment.
NP launched the Everyday Heroes Award 2021 on 13 August to pay tribute to the big-heartedness of students in the face of the pandemic. A total of 92 awards were given out to students who stepped forth to help needy families, people with special needs and the less fortunate during these tough times. Pharmaceutical Science graduates Kee Chiu Thon and Chong Jing Yin for instance, set up a fundraiser on Giving.sg to raise awareness for the Association for Persons with Special Needs. They collected a total of $2,099 which went towards supporting persons with special needs with meals, social workshops, counselling services and training support for open employment. Home kits were also distributed to the students to facilitate home-based learning.
The Robotics Research & Innovation Centre (RRIC) was launched on 12 October to promote collaborations with industry players to customise robotic solutions that will streamline business processes and accelerate growth. Bringing together NP’s multidisciplinary expertise in infocomm technology, engineering, and health and life sciences, the RRIC will advance our capabilities in the key areas of service robots, autonomous vehicles, autonomous underwater and marine vessels as well as unmanned aerial vehicles. With the RRIC, our students and staff can look forward to enhancing their skill sets in robotics engineering through working on deep tech projects.
The event also marked our collaboration with SingHealth Polyclinics to develop a disinfection robot known as HIRO (Healthcare Assistive Robot for Frontline Infection Control), and our partnership with SGInnovate to launch the Specialist Diploma in Robotics Engineering. The RRIC hosted its inaugural Robotics e-Symposium titled “Robotics Solutions for the Pandemic Era” on the same day, bringing together more than 12 partners and 300 participants to explore how robotics applications can overcome challenges brought forth by the pandemic.
To address the rise in mental health concerns due to the Covid-19 pandemic and spark new conversations about youth well-being, NP and The Social Quotient, a Singapore-based consultancy which advocates for inclusion, held an inaugural one-day virtual conference on 8 October. The Mastery of Heart and Mind conference was graced by Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State for Social & Family Development and Education, and featured keynote addresses by mental health experts. More than 200 students from Institutes of Higher Learning went away with a better understanding of how to develop mental resilience, as well as support their peers in distress.
Our longstanding donor, the Ngee Ann Kongsi, donated $6.6 million on 25 October to NP to support our students’ holistic development. In addition, our students benefitted from the donations of bursaries, scholarships and student aid grants from a total of 70 individuals and organisations in the last academic year. Four new endowments were also established in the names of the following:
- Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple
- Diana Koh Foundation
- Wan Boo Sow Family
- SAEA Real Estate Business
Our CET Academy (CETA) has been actively working with partners to coach workers in digital skills, which is fast becoming a must-have skill in the modern workplace. Together with NTUC Learning Hub, NTUC U SME and UOB FinLab, it detected digitalisation gaps in the industry and expanded the Digital Reboot programme on 29 October beyond five tracks to include an accounting and human resources automation track. The programme has benefitted 262 participants from 55 companies so far. In June, CETA also stepped forth as a training partner for a two-day SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace course with IBM and in December, rolled out a part-time diploma in digital communications.
The School of InfoComm Technology pioneered a partnership with OCBC Bank on 20 December to co-design a one-year curated internship programme to train our information technology students in industry-current tech skills. The Technology Young Talent Programme @ OCBC programme represents a new industry-in-curriculum pathway that opens the door for full-time employment with the bank for our students. Designed to accelerate the development of a next-generation tech workforce to meet the rising demand for talents in the tech sector, the programme gives students hands-on experiences with Web 3.0 technologies in the banking field. The first batch of 20 students were selected from a OCBC-sponsored hackathon and started the curated internship in March 2022.
Dell Technologies announced on 3 December a joint commitment with NP and three other Institutes of Higher Learning to enhance the pre-employment training curriculum for students to shape the next generation of tech talent here. Over the next two years, the programme will benefit over 5,000 students who will gain access to an industry-relevant curriculum, Dell’s digital learning platform as well as mentorship from Dell Technologies’ experts.
About 90 third-year business students from the School of Business & Accountancy had the invaluable opportunity to help small and medium-sized enterprises go digital. Under the two-year collaboration between NP and Prudential Singapore announced on 3 January, students developed a digital commerce playbook for 26 companies to guide them on the use of digital technologies that best meet their business needs, including how to create engaging content for social media. Through the experience, students not only saw the relevance of their education at the workplace, but also felt empowered to contribute to the growth of a company.
Under an MOU renewal, the School of Humanities & Social Sciences (HMS) and Singapore Press Holdings’ Chinese Media Group (CMG) collaborated in various areas including organising workshops to equip seniors with digital skills and continuing education programmes for business professionals jointly developed by HMS and CMG’s adult learning platform, Han Culture and Education. The agreement also deepened industry experience for students in the Chinese Media & Communication (CMC) as well as the Chinese Studies (CHS) programmes through learning journeys for instance. CMG scholarships were also given out to outstanding third-year CMC students.
To connect global start-up leaders to young entrepreneurs, our Global Innovation Alliance office partnered Enterprise Singapore, the organiser of the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH), to launch the inaugural Global Start-up Festival on 25 March. The one-day hybrid event saw budding entrepreneurs from various polys pitching their business ideas to the global start-up community. At the fireside chat featuring outstanding entrepreneurs such as alumnus Marcus Tan, co-founder of Carousell, Dr Gang Lu, founder of Technode, and Peter Vesterbacka, one of the founders of Angry Birds, more than 300 virtual and on-site audience gleaned insights into the start-up world.
In line with the nationwide Green Plan 2030 to transform Singapore into a sustainable tourism destination, we partnered with Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) to launch the Sustainability Programme at RWS (Sustainability@RWS) on 29 March for our Tourism & Resort Management students. Through the co-design, co-delivery and co-assessment of curriculum in two modules, students will have the opportunity to propose and execute sustainability-related business solutions for RWS. Students can look forward to immersive learning experiences as they attend lessons at RWS’ extensive facilities, where they will benefit from industry-relevant learning. They will also learn on NP Virtual World, an innovative digital platform where content and interactions are presented in a 3D environment. Through this collaboration, students will develop the skills and competencies to seize exciting career opportunities in the green economy.
In a collaboration with one of Singapore’s leading furniture store, Scanteak, and Choa Chu Kang Town Council, our design students from the School of Design & Environment (DE) put their design and entrepreneurship skills to good use when they upcycled nearly 1,000 kg of discarded furniture from Choa Chu Kang residents into 35 pieces of commercial furniture. The collection of designs curated for display and sale at Scanteak’s Toh Guan showroom from 12 to 15 March and the Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre from 17 to 27 March was well-received and some designs sold out quickly. This was part of DE’s way of designing for good, as proceeds from the sales went to the town council’s Community Development Welfare Fund to fund green initiatives and the needs of underserved communities. The project was also showcased by MediaCorp as part of its CNA Green Plan campaign.
HMS students can look forward to more industry-based initiatives to better prepare them for a career in the increasingly important social services sector. The MOU, signed on 11 March between Metropolitan YMCA (MYMCA) and the School, not only solidified the ongoing partnership in the areas of internships and volunteering, it also opened up new opportunities for students to gain industry experience through part-time attachments at MYMCA. Students in the Community Development course will also get to co-create solutions for real-world challenges, getting hands-on experience even before they embark on their careers in the social service sector.
Adult learners from our Specialist Diploma in Community Optometry offered by our School of Health Sciences completed a Service-Learning cum Design Thinking project in partnership with Essilor Vision Foundation ASEAN, as part of its goal to bring vision care to 300,000 migrant workers in Singapore. The project looked into how to configure vending machines so that migrant workers could self-test for vision problems, and then access the right pair of reading glasses – free of charge – stocked in the machines. The machine was launched at the Migrant Workers Recreational Centre Recreation Club at Soon Lee on 31 March and there are plans to repurpose it for refugee camps overseas. In engaging with migrant workers, our adult learners developed a deeper understanding of how they might better serve this community.
Aware that gig workers may be facing increased stress due to rising consumer expectations amid the challenges brought about by the pandemic, the CET Academy teamed up with Grab Singapore and mental health tech company Intellect to launch a new course tailored for this group of workers on 10 March. The course, Mental Wellness: Practical Tools to Safeguard and Enhance Yours, aims to strengthen gig workers’ mental well-being on a personal and professional level. Participants will learn more about the importance of mental health and how to better deal with stress. The course also adopts a blended learning approach, which gives participants the flexibility and convenience to complete the learning at their own pace.