SIT Students Impacted By COVID-19 To Get Timely Relief Fund

The generosity of over 40 donors has enabled the Student Relief Fund at SIT (COVID-19) in support of affected students

Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, a new student relief fund has been established at the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), thanks to prompt action from some 46 generous donors. As at 23 April 2020, $458,400 in gifts and pledges had been donated towards the Student Relief Fund at SIT (COVID-19).

Fundraising efforts are still ongoing. When the target of $500,000 is met, the Fund will provide grants to at least 250 SIT students who are facing unexpected financial hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak, in the current Academic Year (AY) 2019/20, and possibly the next AY (which will begin in September 2020) if the Fund has not been fully disbursed by then.

The Fund will disburse grants of up to $2,000 to each selected recipient to cover daily living expenses and educational expenses, including tuition fees, course materials, and cost of purchasing laptops. For SIT students whose Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP)[1] opportunities and allowances have been adversely impacted, the grant may also be disbursed to them as a partial allowance.

One of the donors to the Fund is Applied Materials South East Asia Pte Ltd. The organisation’s Regional President, Mr Brian Tan, hopes that the contribution will bring relief to the young talents in the community, allowing them to focus on their academic goals. “At Applied Materials, it is important to align what matters to our community with who we are as a company. The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our communities in unprecedented ways, and we would like to extend our support to SIT students facing challenges during this time,” commented Mr Tan.

Mr Chew Ghim Bok, another donor to the Fund, said: “In my interactions with SIT students, I have found them to be not just academically proficient, but also dedicated to a common goal of serving the community at large. Many of them have undertaken their own personal journeys to contribute their passion and efforts to the community. I hope that the SIT relief fund can play a part in ensuring that students may continue to focus on pursuing their goals of helping others, in spite of the challenging financial circumstances presented by COVID-19.”

Professor Tan Thiam Soon, President, SIT, remarked: “We are inspired to see SIT’s donors responding so urgently to our appeal, which began on 30 March. The Student Relief Fund at SIT (COVID-19) was established to help those of our students who have been hit the hardest by the outbreak and are facing financial emergencies as a result. Many of them are impacted by the family breadwinners’ loss of income. Or the students themselves have lost part-time work or internship opportunities that would normally have helped them cope with their expenses. A number of our students are lacking internet access or laptops at home for online learning during this time of stay-home measures. It is heartening that this Fund made possible by SIT’s philanthropic partners will work in tandem with existing relief measures by the Government to stabilise our students’ finances during this crisis, and help to ensure that their education will not be derailed. On behalf of our students, SIT is very grateful, and we look forward to seeing more donors come forward to support this Fund.”

Another donor to the relief fund, who prefers to remain anonymous, said that many families are making great sacrifices in order to allow their children to pursue their studies; but the pandemic may have curtailed their abilities to offer financial support.

“Having placed great emphasis on quality education all my life, I would find it very hard to accept that students who are able and willing to work hard were forced to give up their studies because of unsurmountable financial difficulties caused by the pandemic. Many students from weak economic backgrounds had worked part-time before the onset of the pandemic, in order to ease the financial burden on their families. These part-time jobs have now disappeared. At the same time, the forced distant learning has brought to light that many of these students lack basic tools, such as computers, necessary for distant learning. My contribution should help to allow deserving students to buy necessary tools for distant learning despite the prevailing challenging times,” said the donor.

Please refer to Annex A below for the details of the Student Relief Fund at SIT (COVID-19).


[1] The Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP) is a distinctive feature of SIT's degree programmes which provides SIT students the opportunity to undertake real work, thus allowing them to integrate theory and practice and develop deep specialist skills in their chosen field. Students will undertake six to 12 months of relevant work within the course of their studies. The IWSP is compulsory for all students in SIT and SIT-Joint programmes.


Annex A:

The Student Relief Fund at SIT (COVID-19) Grant, made possible through the Student Relief Fund at SIT (COVID-19)

1. The Student Relief Fund @ SIT (COVID-19) Grant is applicable to undergraduates who face unexpected financial hardship due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

2. A quantum of up to S$2,000 may be allocated to each successful applicant of the Grant. The exact amount in each case will be calibrated based on the applicant’s financial need.

3. In Academic Year 2019/20 and Academic Year 2020/21, grants of up to a total of Singapore Dollars Five Hundred Thousand Only (S$500,000) will be awarded.

4. The Grant is applicable to students who fulfil the following criteria:

  • Undergraduates enrolled in any undergraduate degree programme offered by the Institute on a full-time basis;
  • Students who can provide documented evidence of facing unexpected financial hardship due to the outbreak of COVID-19, which may include:
    • Family’s breadwinner(s) facing a loss of income.
    • Students facing partial or complete loss of existing part-time employment commitments, as well as students who cannot begin to secure part-time employment that they are newly in need of in the face of financial emergencies.
    • Inability to pay for a laptop when learning must go online.
    • Students whose Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP) opportunities and allowances have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

5. The Grant may be used to cover the following expenses:

  • Recipients’ own daily living expenses such as meals and transport.
  • Educational expenses such as tuition fees, course materials, laptop expenses and fees for other educational activities organised by SIT.
  • Partial allowances for those students whose Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP) allowances have been reduced or cut off because employers have been impacted by COVID-19.