Nathan gives $129k to needy students

SINGAPORE - Former president SR Nathan has donated S$129,000 to needy Institute of Technical Education (ITE) graduates now studying at Republic Polytechnic (RP).

The money will be used to set up the SR Nathan Endowment Fund to support bursary awards of S$1,500 each.

To qualify, students must be enrolled in a full-time diploma programme at RP, and have graduated from an ITE college.

Mr Nathan officially presented the donation to set up the fund at a luncheon held in his honour at RP yesterday.

Two bursary awards had already been handed out last year. This year, four awards will be given out, and this will go up to six a year from next year.

Mr Muhammad Hanafi Halid, a second-year biomedical electronics student who received the award last year, said that he no longer has to work part-time to support himself.

"With this grant, I no longer have to worry about my daily allowance and can focus on my studies," said the 26-year-old who graduated from ITE College West (Dover) in 2007 with a Higher Nitec in electrical engineering.

Ms Lim Pei Xuan, 23, a third-year hotel and hospitality management student, was the other recipient last year.

Republic Poly principal Yeo Li Pheow thanked Mr Nathan for his donation.

He said: "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.

"These grants will ease the students' financial burden, allowing them to focus on learning and excelling in their studies."

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