9 February 2011
A total of 20 scholarships will be made available for the first cohort of Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) – The University of Manchester (UOM) students pursuing the Bachelor of Science with Honours in Nursing Practice. The scholarships will be offered by public hospital groups Alexandra Health Pte Ltd, Jurong Health Services, National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and Singapore Health Services. This was announced by Dr Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Education and Second Minister for Defence, at the official signing ceremony between SIT and UOM to seal the partnership today.
Professor Tan Chin Tiong, President, SIT, said, "We aim to provide degree programmes that are directly relevant to the needs of the industry. Working hand-in- hand with industry partners, we seek to ensure that our students can graduate with the knowledge that their degrees are highly sought after. The number of healthcare providers who have come forward to offer scholarships to students in our nursing practice degree programme further demonstrates the strong industry support that we have."
Based on the estimated cohort size of up to 70 students for the inaugural intake, this will mean that at least 25 percent of SIT-UOM Nursing students would be offered a scholarship. Students with a good academic track record, relevant work experience and who display the passion for nursing will be eligible to be considered for the scholarships. SIT is working to secure more scholarships for its pioneer cohort of nursing undergraduates and full details of the scholarships will be announced at a later date.
Singapore Institute of Technology – The University of Manchester partnership
With a rapidly ageing population and the opening of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in 2010 and Jurong General Hospital slated to open in 2014, the demand for degree-level nurses has increased significantly to meet Singapore's growing healthcare needs. The Nursing Practice degree programme will complement students' training in the current polytechnics' nursing diploma courses and enable the graduates to progress in management, clinical or education career paths. Nanyang Polytechnic will be the partner polytechnic for this collaboration.
Commenting on the partnership, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, said: "We are delighted to be working in collaboration with SIT and Nanyang Polytechnic to launch this honours degree programme for registered nurses. We anticipate a fruitful collaboration and we look forward to admitting the first cohort of students in September 2011. It will be extremely exciting for my colleagues here at Manchester to work with this inaugural group of students and to watch their progress throughout the programme. We are confident that we will attract a highly motivated group of students and that graduates from the programme will contribute widely to the Singapore healthcare system."
As part of the SIT-UOM partnership, the Ministry of Health (MOH) was consulted in areas such as student intake numbers and the specific skill-sets needed in order to meet the growing expectations of the healthcare sector. "Partnership with a reputable and globally recognised university such as UOM's School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work will provide diploma-prepared nurses the opportunity to receive high- quality tertiary education locally. The SIT-UOM nursing degree will enhance the quality of our nursing workforce and further prepare future nursing leaders with the right competencies and mindset to manage Singapore's healthcare needs", says Ms Pauline Tan, Chief Nursing Officer, MOH.
UOM is one of the United Kingdom's top universities. As a member of the Russell Group of research universities, it boasts some 25 Nobel Laureates among its present and former students and staff. It was the first university in England to establish a Nursing degree in 1969 and it was placed top of the table for nursing and midwifery research in the 2008 UK Research Assessment Exercise.
UOM's Nursing Practice degree programme challenges undergraduates to a higher level of thinking and builds on their leadership skills, further enhancing the quality of healthcare education and development of the nursing profession in Singapore. The programme emphasises methods of teaching and learning underpinned by relevant pedagogic approaches and technologies that maximise involvement of the student. The linking of theory to practice will help to foster an aptitude and skill for life-long learning in pursuit of excellence in the nursing practice. UOM's School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work has a wealth of experience using different approaches to learn in large and small group methods, problem-based learning and increasingly, distributed and on-line approaches. A wide range of student- centred teaching and learning methods is used within the programme to promote the critical thinking, problem solving and reflective skills required for modern nursing practice.
SIT Admission Exercise
SIT's admission exercise opened on 1 February 2011. Interested students can apply via the SIT website at www.SingaporeTech.edu.sg. SIT takes a holistic approach in assessing applicants, taking into consideration academic results, extra-curricular interests and the candidate's passion and personal qualities. Relevant work experience will also be considered and all shortlisted applicants will be assessed through interviews. For specific programmes, students may also have to submit portfolios or essays.
About Singapore Institute of Technology
SIT was established by the Ministry of Education in 2009 to provide upgrading opportunities primarily for polytechnic graduates. In consultation with various government agencies, SIT has brought to Singapore some of the best degree programmes in the world by partnering reputable overseas universities. These programmes are highly industry-focused and targeted at key growth sectors of the economy.
SIT is committed to a unique tri-partite collaborative model with the overseas university partners and the five local polytechnics to offer polytechnic graduates more opportunities for learning at tertiary level. Additionally, SIT's unique ‘distributed campus' model means that programmes are conducted at SIT facilities within each polytechnic, allowing for greater synergy and efficiency with regards to infrastructure and facilities.
SIT students are assessed holistically for both academic excellence and passion. All students are conferred the exact same degree as their counterparts at the home universities and are required to undergo an overseas immersion programme at their respective overseas university's home campus.
At steady state, SIT aims to take in at least 2000 full-time students per academic year. There are plans to eventually offer part-time degree programmes to cater to full-time working professionals.
Quotes from public hospital groups on offering scholarships to SIT-UOM students
Alexandra Health, Chief Executive Officer, Mr Liak Teng Lit:
"Alexandra Health believes strongly in developing talent in healthcare. Contributing to this scholarship is a way for Alexandra Health to show our strong support towards the learning and development of nursing staff in Singapore. We are pleased to be part of the SIT-UOM (Singapore Institute of Technology-The University of Manchester) programme for Nursing."
Jurong Health Services, Chief Executive Officer, Mr Foo Hee Jug:
"The launch of the SIT-UOM Nursing Practice degree programme is timely for JurongHealth as we expand our pool of nurses in the next 4 to 5 years for our new hospitals in the West - Jurong General Hospital and Jurong Community Hospital - scheduled for completion from 2014. As a new start-up, we offer ample opportunities for degree-qualified nurses to advance their careers along the management, clinical specialisation, research and education tracks."
National University Health System, Director of Nursing, Adjunct Associate Professor Lee Siu Yin:
"The SIT-UOM programme provides an additional avenue for nurses to upgradethemselves academically, allowing them to progress in tandem with advancements in other healthcare professions. The training will enable nurses to stay relevant and be better equipped to navigate an increasingly complex and demanding practice environment."
Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Director of Nursing, Ms Kwek Puay Ee:
"This MOU opens exciting possibilities for both our nurses and Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Our diploma holder nurses now have more opportunity to upgrade their skills and broaden their experience by gaining a degree. And for TTSH, this is an excellent way for us to invest in our staff development."