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JOINT MESSAGE BY CHAIRMAN AND PRINCIPAL

2015 was a special year as Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) joined the nation in celebrating Singapore’s Golden Jubilee. Along with the SG50 celebrations, we took great strides in spearheading new initiatives that support lifelong education, skills mastery and active citizenry, among others.


SkillsFuture Initiatives


The national SkillsFuture movement has provided an excellent platform for educational institutions to step up collaborations with industry partners and other key stakeholders. NP was appointed the coordinator for these three sectors: Accountancy & Financial Services, Offshore and Marine Engineering and Power Engineering. This saw NP launching various Earn and Learn Programmes and enhanced internships to help polytechnic students and fresh graduates get a head start in their careers while creating a talent pipeline for the sectors. As a result, three new Specialist Diplomas and one Advanced Diploma in these sectors have been developed. The first intake of the Specialist Diploma in Marine Production commenced its class in October 2015, while the Specialist Diplomas in Electrical Design & Operation, and Marine Design, as well as the Advanced Diploma in Accountancy will be offered from September 2016.


NP also inked a Memorandum of Understanding with some 27 companies to launch the Industry Mentors’ Network (IMN). Through linking our students with industry practitioners, the IMN enables them to gain career advice and build industry networking skills right from their first year.


With Education & Career Guidance (ECG) being a key element of SkillsFuture, NP also enhanced its ECG curriculum and training. A core programme for every student, the structured 60-hour ECG curriculum will be delivered over a span of three years. Some 460 lecturers have also been trained as ECG advisors to provide mentorship and career counselling throughout the students’ learning journey at NP.


During the year, our CET Academy also rolled out several new part-time and modular courses that cater for the needs of adult learners and industries, particularly those in the growth sectors. Through skills mastery, working professionals can look forward to better career advancement prospects. One example is the Certificate in Bridging Studies for Enrolled Nurses (CBSEN) that prepares trainees for a nursing diploma that will qualify them as Registered Nurses. In the early childhood sector that faces manpower shortage, we worked with industry partners to ramp up training and recruitment efforts to expand the talent pool.


New Service-Learning Pedagogy


Recognising that our students will face an increasingly volatile and evolving environment, we seek to prepare them using a three-pronged approach – developing a love for purposeful learning in our students, equipping them with 21st century competencies and nurturing a big-hearted spirit in them. To this end, we introduced a new pedagogy in Service-Learning. Starting from the new academic year in April 2016, Service-Learning will be infused into the core curriculum across all our diploma courses. Through the Service-Learning modules, students will be encouraged to use their course skills and knowledge to benefit society. We hope that this will imbue a sense of purposeful learning in our students, thus making them more engaged in their studies. At the same time, we seek to inculcate active citizenry, instilling in them the importance of empathy, values and civic responsibility.


Nurturing Entrepreneurship


In 2015, NP consolidated all innovation and enterprise efforts under The Sandbox (TSB). A new Kickstart Fund was introduced, offering up to $5,000 to finance business ideas. Also set up were the Maker’s Academy to encourage innovative product prototyping; The Incubator, featuring hot-desking stations and meeting rooms for start-ups; and an Entrepreneurs-in-Residence programme that provides a platform for student entrepreneurs to be mentored by NP alumni entrepreneurs.


NP also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE). This will see the establishment of an ACE Student Chapter to facilitate student-driven entrepreneurial activities while also enabling NP students to intern at the 500 start-ups that are part of ACE’s community.


In March 2016, we piloted a new Global Entrepreneurship Internship Programme (GEIP), where the first batch of 10 NP students were attached to eight start-ups in Silicon Valley. The GEIP is aimed at giving students who demonstrate an entrepreneurial ambition an opportunity to experience start-up life at leading innovation hubs around the world.


Staff and Campus Development


NP places much emphasis on creating a nurturing environment for staff. Staff Councils were initiated to provide a platform for staff to share ideas on how to make NP a great place to work. During the year under review, four Staff Councils were formed to tackle issues such as ageing and disability awareness. A new two-day programme, Connections, was also developed, to help staff discover and enhance workplace relationships.


The third Employee Engagement Survey (EES) was held in May/June 2015, with a 90% response rate, the highest to date. It was heartening to see significant improvements in all the categories evaluated when compared to the previous surveys held in 2008 and 2011.


There were also several refreshing changes in the physical environment of NP. 2015 saw the completion of our new Aerospace Hub at Block 46 as well as the renovated blocks at the Mechanical Engineering Division and the CET Academy. Another significant development was the new Green Mark (Platinum) certified Block 22 with its 1,100-seater food court, Sports Hall and student lounges. Meanwhile, upgrading continues for the School of Business & Accountancy and Administration Building.


Achievements and Appreciation


We are gratified that our students and graduates continue to excel in diverse fields. On the academic front, over 80 recent graduates were offered prestigious scholarships for their degree pursuits in Singapore and abroad. More than 1,000 NP students also received study awards and scholarships in recognition of their sterling academic performance.


Beyond academic achievement, our students have also made their mark in other areas. For example, four Engineering Science students won the first prize in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Competition for using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to help the visually-impaired use public transportation independently. Two graduates from the School of Life Sciences & Technology also won the HSBC/NYAA Youth Environmental Award for their "green" efforts.


We are proud that our students and staff have big hearts too, and have given back to the community both in time and in kind. We raised over $225,000 for the needy through activities such as the annual Arts Fiesta and the Fast-A-Meal Campaign, to name a few. Our staff also initiated their own community service projects for various local and overseas voluntary welfare organisations.


All these accomplishments of NP would not be possible without the dedication of our staff, and we would like to express our appreciation to them. We would also like to thank members of our Council, Advisory Committees, our industry and academic partners, our donors as well as the parents of our students for being our partners in education.


2016 and beyond


As we usher in a new future that will bring both challenges and opportunities, we will continue to equip our students with industry-relevant skills and help them navigate the new economy. Besides enhancing their career progression pathways through the SkillsFuture movement, NP will be leveraging technology to enhance the teaching and learning experience, tapping into Singapore’s Smart Nation platform. This will also mean providing staff with opportunities to enhance their competencies so that they will be well placed to equip our students for a future economy.


We look forward to the continued support of all our stakeholders to make NP a better place to learn and work in 2016 and beyond.



Tang Kin Fei

Chairman

Clarence Ti

Principal

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