Ivan Lim wants to be a programming and mathematics teacher, Toh Jun Ting wants to develop his startup, and Muhammad Firdaus wants to improve his skills in graphic design. The trio were among the 10 successful applicants of the SAFRA Education Scheme in 2017. First established in 1994, the Scheme aims to provide opportunities for SAFRA members to upgrade themselves through education. Over the years, SAFRA has partnered with reputable institutions, such as SIM-Global Education and PSB Academy, to offer bond-free scholarships to members.
The eligibility requirements of the scheme make it highly accessible. Applicants need to fulfil the top criteria of having completed fulltime national service and holding a valid SAFRA Ordinary A/B or Life membership. Since its inception, the scheme has benefitted a total of 284 SAFRA members.
The financial awards help recipients pursue various programmes, covering up to 80 percent of course fees, to ultimately boost their career prospects. For some individuals, having this financial support means the ability to pursue a course one is truly passionate about, with fewer worries, and to unleash one’s full potential. Ivan, 28, has long felt the calling to teach mathematics. A former programming trainer, he is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics at the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS).
“I’ve always had this passion for teaching,” he said, adding that the scholarship allowed him to concentrate on his studies and maintain his grades without a financial burden.
Jun Ting and Muhammad Firdaus, both 23, share Ivan’s sentiment. They say that the bond-free scholarships allow them to focus on their studies – in electrical engineering and infocomm technology respectively – instead of worrying about course fees or having to juggle work with studies to finance the pursuit. Jun Ting previously studied financial informatics at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, but is now studying electrical engineering at SUSS, as he is focused on growing his startup business that specialises in laser engraving and cutting.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Firdaus, who works as a graphic designer, is studying infocomm technology at SUSS in order to broaden his skills. Application for the Mar/Apr 2018 intake will close on 31 Mar 2018. For more info on the courses available and how to apply, please visit www.safra.sg/education.