By Kelvin Teh
In a boost to the local Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) industry, global healthcare company Eu Yan Sang International awarded Singapore's TCM scholarship to two outstanding undergraduates -Ms Chew Siew Tiang and Ms Zhang Ruifen -from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) on Thursday.
About the program
The NTU's Double Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences and TCM encompasses a unique and innovative "East Meets West" approach which exposes students to 21st century biomedical sciences as well as principles and practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
It consists of three years of study at the NTU School of Biological Sciences which equips students with fundamental biosciences knowledge and exposure to advances in life sciences.
This is then followed by two years of study at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine (BUCM) incorporating TCM advanced principles and clinical training.
Following which, the students will then graduate with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biomedical Science from NTU and a Bachelor of Medicine (Chinese Medicine) from the BUCM.
The scholarship, a first for Singapore's TCM industry, was introduced to strengthen the nation's role as a regional TCM hub and to groom the next generation of TCM professionals.
It is open to eligible undergraduates enrolled in NTU's Double Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences and TCM.
In a press release today, Mr Richard Eu - Group Chief Executive Officer of Eu Yan Sang - said the scholarship nurtures and develops talent in the field of Chinese Medicine by providing financial assistance to enable deserving undergraduates.
"If Singapore is to achieve this goal and stake our claim in the fast-growing Complementary and Alternative Medicine market, industry players like ourselves need to provide opportunities to groom and develop the next generation of professionals," he added.
Both Ms Chew and Ms Zhang - who will each receive $42,100 for the two-year scholarship - are currently pursuing a 5-year double degree programme in BioMedical Sciences and Chinese Medicine at NTU.
Having completed their first three years of study at the NTU, they will be embarking on the second phase of their degree programme in Beijng later this year.
Once graduated, they will join Eu Yan Sang as TCM physicians after obtaining their practising licences.
Said Ms Zhang, "I'm really delighted to be one of the the first in Singapore to receive this scholarship. It will definitely lighten my financial burdens and allow me to concentrate fully on my studies.
"And to be assured of employment with a reputable company like Eu Yan Sang upon graduation is a double bonus.
"I'm particularly interested to work with underprivileged children and I hope to put my knowledge to good use when I graduate."
Putting TCM to use
Ms Chew also has a keen interest in working with underprivileged children. "I'm grateful that Eu Yan Sang has given me the opportunity to pursue my studies and a dream career as a TCM physician. I've been actively involved in community service and hope to be able to contribute more when I'm fully trained."