$60,000 scholarship launched for ITE graduates by Tan Kah Kee Foundation, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

$60,000 scholarship launched for ITE graduates by Tan Kah Kee Foundation

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Come May, promising Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students will be able to apply for a new scholarship launched to support the next step in their education and training journey.

Awarded by the Tan Kah Kee Foundation, 10 scholarships worth $6,000 each will be given out each year. The scholarship will be open for applications every May from 2023.

Applicants are not limited to only academic courses, such as diplomas or university degrees, for their further studies.

Instead, the merit-based scholarship is also open to those who wish to pursue any structured vocational training or apprenticeship programme as well.

Moreover, an ITE graduate does not need to apply for the scholarship immediately upon graduation to qualify.

Instead, the scholarship will also be open to those who opt to start working first, before deciding to pursue further studies and training, said Associate Professor Eugene Tan. The Singapore Management University law don is vice-president of the foundation, which was set up in 1982 to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship and dedication to education displayed by the late philanthropist it is named after.

“This is not meant to be a one-off (scholarship), or a short-term one of five years; the intention is to make it long-running,” added Prof Tan, who also oversees selection of postgraduate scholarship awardees under an existing programme of the foundation.

Proceeds of over $1.3 million raised from a gala dinner held at the Shangri-La Singapore on Sunday to celebrate the foundation’s 40th anniversary will help to initially fund the scholarship for ITE graduates.

The funds raised will also be used to grow the foundation’s flagship activities, including the postgraduate scholarship and Young Inventors’ Awards, which are organised yearly.

The funds will also help to further improve the Pioneers’ Memorial Hall at 43 Bukit Pasoh Road, to better educate the public about pioneers in the Singapore community, such as Tan Kah Kee and Lee Kong Chian.

Prof Tan said the foundation welcomes all donations, especially from small and medium enterprises, to help expand the number of scholarships awarded each year.

There are no restrictions on the field of study for scholarship holders.

This distinguishes the foundation’s scholarship from scholarships offered by other organisations to ITE graduates, which are often targeted at specific fields, noted ITE chief executive Low Khah Gek, who attended the dinner.

“This scholarship is a more generalised one, and the message (it sends) is ‘I support your effort to upgrade, and I’m prepared to give you a scholarship’,” said Ms Low.

Minister for Education Chan Chun Sing, who was guest of honour at the dinner, said in a speech in Mandarin that the scholarship would greatly benefit ITE students, who are a group in need of support within Singapore’s education landscape.

Mr Chan also said that Chinese society bore a virtuous, time-honoured tradition of education, and there are three essential lessons that Singapore could draw from the life of Tan Kah Kee.

The first, he said, is a belief in education underpinned by defining success based on how much better off the next generation is.

The second lesson is to understand personal achievement as merely a means to an end.

“Personal achievements are stepping stones to one’s broader contribution to society,” said Mr Chan.

The third lesson is to foster a spirit of giving and gratitude, as exemplified by the foundation’s scholarships.

“When we award such scholarships, we are reminded that our successes are not purely of our own making but of the community around us.”

Institute of Technical Education (ITE)scholarships