Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) today announced the second part of its COVID-19 Relief Package aimed at supporting final-year undergraduates as they enter a tight job market amid the pandemic.
This follows the University’s announcement earlier this week, unveiling its first COVID-19 Relief Package which comprised three new coordinated measures to assist students facing financial hardship due to the pandemic. It includes the S$2 million OneNTU Fund which offers financial aid to needy students that can be reimbursed to the University two years after graduation, and new NTU Priorities Fund, a pay-it-forward scheme launched and seeded by an initial anchor gift of S$100,000 from NTU President Professor Subra Suresh and his wife, Mary.
All fresh graduates in this year’s undergraduate Class of 2020 will receive an additional S$1,600 in alumni credits which could be used to offset the fees for a suite of NTU Continuing Education and Training (CET) courses, and are valid until June 2021. This is on top of the existing S$1,600 in credits available to all alumni to benefit from NTU’s CET courses.
“It is often said that opportunities come to those who are prepared. We want to help the NTU undergraduate Class of 2020, graduating in this period of unprecedented challenges. Our newest graduates will now have the opportunity to apply these new alumni credits to benefit from various NTU continuing education courses, and to selectively stack their academic credits from these courses towards a MiniMaster’s Certificate. This will give them a competitive edge in securing employment,” said Prof Suresh.
To boost the graduates’ employability, the academic credits from selected bundles of NTU’s Continuing Education and Training courses can be ‘stacked’ towards a MiniMaster’s Certificate. The additional alumni credits for the undergraduate Class of 2020 which are valid up to June 2021 may also be used to offset part of the course fees for a MiniMaster’s programme.
Each MiniMaster’s programme has half the academic load of a full Master’s programme. The course credits earned from a MiniMaster’s programme may be accepted as partial fulfilment of the requirements for a full Master’s degree, which could be pursued at a later date. The National Institute of Education at NTU already offers 12 MiniMaster’s programmes in diverse and emerging areas such as advanced pedagogical practices, drama education and e-learning instructional design. The new university-wide MiniMaster’s programme launched now will progressively add more MiniMaster’s and Continuing Education and Training modules and courses in the coming months.
Exploring traineeship positions for fresh graduates
In conjunction with Workforce Singapore, NTU plans to create several hundred paid traineeships for the undergraduate Class of 2020 to support the SGUnited Traineeships Programme. Under this Programme, the Singapore government provides 80% of the training allowance to graduates meeting certain eligibility requirements. These traineeships will be available across NTU’s colleges, schools, research centres and institutes, as well as corporate and joint laboratories with strong industry engagement. They are open to the undergraduate Class of 2020 from all disciplines.
Professor Suresh said, “NTU has 5,700 final-year undergraduates most of whom aspire to join the job market this year and we have intensified our efforts to engage employers and create job openings. Our graduating seniors are naturally worried about uncertainties in the current job market and we are pursuing all possible avenues to help them in their job search.”
Training assistance and support for NTU staff
To help NTU staff to upgrade their skills, the University is setting aside S$270,000 to help members of the NTU Branch of the Education Services Union (ESU) tap into approved training and educational opportunities offered by the University or any other institution in Singapore. This contribution, together with matching support of up to S$30,000 from the Union’s Education and Training Fund, and subsidies from the Government for approved courses, will provide S$1 million for NTU staff union members to upskill and participate in training programmes of their choice.