Former president SR Nathan donates $129,000 to needy Republic Poly students

SINGAPORE - The money will be used to set up the SR Nathan Endowment Fund to support bursary awards of $1,500 each. To qualify, students must be enrolled in a full-time diploma programme at Republic Polytechnic (RP), and have graduated from an ITE college.

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Here is the full statement from RP:

Former President of Singapore Mr. S R Nathan has donated $129,000 to Republic Polytechnic (RP) through the S R Nathan Education Upliftment Fund, with the aim of providing financial assistance to needy students who have graduated from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and are now pursuing diploma programmes at RP.

Mr Nathan attended a luncheon held in his honour at RP today, where he presented the donation to set up the S R Nathan Endowment Fund, which will be used to support bursary awards of S$1,500 each for up to six students per year.

Two students received the S R Nathan Education Award last year, while in 2014 this will be increased to four students, and then to six students per year from 2015 onwards. To qualify for the award, a student must be enrolled in a full-time diploma programme at RP, and have graduated from one of the ITE colleges.

The two students who received the awards in 2013 are Muhammad Hanafi Bin Halid, a second-year student enrolled in the Diploma in Biomedical Electronics at RP's School of Engineering, and Lim Pei Xuan who is currently in her third year pursuing a Diploma in Hotel and Hospitality Management at RP's School of Hospitality.

Muhammad Hanafi Bin Halid, who graduated from ITE College West (Dover) in 2007 with Higher NITEC in Electrical Engineering, said, "Previously, I had to work extra hours at my part-time job to support myself and cover my daily expenses. With this grant I no longer have to worry about my daily allowance, and can focus on my studies and even participate in various co-curricular activities."

"This grant allows me to save for my future, as I hope to further my studies when I graduate from Republic Polytechnic," commented Lim Pei Xuan, who graduated from ITE College West (Choa Chu Kang) in 2011 with Higher NITEC in Business Studies (Service Management).

"Many ITE graduates who have done well at ITE upgrade their knowledge and skillsets at polytechnics to gain a competitive edge in the industry. Some of these students come from financially less-privileged homes. The S R Nathan Endowment Fund will help provide support to deserving students who are in need of financial assistance. We would like to thank Mr. Nathan for his generous donation, as these grants will ease the students' financial burden, allowing them to focus on learning and excelling in their studies," said Mr. Yeo Li Pheow, Principal/CEO, Republic Polytechnic.

Mr. S R Nathan himself was a beneficiary of a bursary that enabled him to continue his education. He graduated with a Diploma in Social Studies from the University of Malaya (then in Singapore). Mr. Nathan set up the S R Nathan Education Upliftment Fund in 2011 after completing his term as President of Singapore.