To stay relevant in this new economy, it is important to constantly upgrade oneself through Continuous Education and Training. In an effort to encourage more union members to upgrade their academic qualifications, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and SIM University (UniSIM) will double the number of sponsorship places under its NTUC-SIM University Sponsorship scheme to NTUC union members.
Under this scheme, 20 union members will be able to pursue degree courses with SIM University under sponsorships that do not carry a bond. This is the largest number of sponsorships ever offered by SIM University for its partner organizations. The NTUC - SIM University Sponsorship scheme aims to promote education and upgrading amongst union members who are working professionals and adult learners, and will cover 50% of the normal total course fees of a chosen programme.
Applicants should be NTUC union members and a Singapore citizen or permanent resident with good academic and co-curricular activities records, and effective language and leadership skills. Applicants must separately seek admission and be accepted into UniSIM's programmes before being awarded the sponsorship.
Sponsorships will be awarded twice each year. On average, ten will be awarded for the January intake and another ten for the July intake. The next application for this sponsorship scheme will be opened to all union members of NTUC general and ordinary branches from 1st to 31st August 2006.
This morning, NTUC and SIM University jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which was witnessed by Mr Lim Swee Say, Deputy Secretary-General of NTUC and Minister, Prime Minister's Office. Mr Seng Han Thong, Assistant Secretary-General of NTUC, who represented NTUC in the MOU signing ceremony said, "The collaboration between NTUC and SIM University is a valuable and value-added one indeed."
"It is valuable because the commitment by SIM University shows that it is an organization that takes lifelong learning seriously and fully supports the efforts of NTUC to promote Continuous Education and Training. It is also a value-added collaboration because union members can now enjoy a wider range of benefits, and are more aware of the variety of courses offered by SIM University."
Commenting on the sponsorship scheme, Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President of SIM University, said: "This joint sponsorship scheme signals UniSIM's focus on working directly with organisations and industry partners, like the NTUC, to reach out to adult learners, thus contributing to human capital development for our nation. As a university for working professionals and adult learners, UniSIM is geared and ready to customise its programmes to meet the needs of organisations. Through this sponsorship scheme, many more high-quality and competent individuals can be nurtured and developed for their benefit and for NTUC's gain, and indeed, I hope other organisations will also see value in such a scheme for their human resource development."
Before becoming SIM University, the former SIM Open University Centre (SIM-OUC) has been working with NTUC since 2004 to offer sponsorships to union members. To-date, 15 union members have benefited under this scheme.
Ms Thomas Louisiana Jacinta Annabella, 27, is a union recipient who has benefited from this scheme earlier. She had always wanted to get a degree and fulfil her dream of becoming a teacher. In 2004, she signed up for the BA (Hons) in English with Psychology programme at the SIM-OUC. Due to financial constraints, her studies were deferred for a year. She was able to resume her studies after being awarded the sponsorship. Jacinta is currently pursuing her studies at UniSIM.
Ms Teh Meijie, 24, another union recipient, shares the same sentiments as Jacinta. She is thankful for the sponsorship scheme as it helped her acquire a degree, despite facing financial difficulties. "I feel it is important for one to upgrade constantly. This scheme provided me with the opportunity to pursue my degree and improve myself at the same time," said Meijie, a civil servant who is currently pursuing the BA (English with Psychology) programme at UniSIM.
Union members who are interested in this sponsorship programme may contact NTUC at +65 6213 8008. For more details on programmes offered by UniSIM, please contact the university at +65 6248 9777. Applicants can obtain a copy of the sponsorship form from NTUC's website (http://www.ntuc.org.sg) or NTUC's Customer Service Centre at NTUC Centre, One Marina Boulevard during the sponsorship exercise.