Investing In Your Success: SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme

Successful applicants Anson, Alvin, and Austin share how the scheme will help them get further ahead in life.

By Sean Yee        5 September 2023

Founded in 1994, the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme has since partnered with various accredited institutions to provide NSmen the opportunity to upgrade themselves and gain new competencies through advanced learning and certifications. 

As a subsidised study programme, the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme has two annual intakes, with its second enrolment concluding on 30 September 2023. With accredited Diploma, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree courses from reputable universities like Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), SHATEC and PSB Academy, there is a trove of learning opportunities you can apply for as long as you’re an NSman and a SAFRA Ordinary A, B or Life member. Visit safra.sg/bond-free-education-scheme for more information.

But don’t just hear it from us. Three of our most recent awardees sat with us to discuss how this scheme has impacted their lives, and the journeys that await them. 

Anson How, Diploma in Business Studies, PSB Academy

He found the courage to take the first step.

Anson chanced upon the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme on PSB Academy’s course site. Once a school dropout, he had always contemplated returning to school, only to relinquish the thought later on. This conundrum is totally understandable, as he isn’t just working a full-time job at a digital marketing agency. He is also a father who is navigating the challenges of both work and family life, but remained an optimist, hopeful that one day he would finally fulfil his academic ambitions. 

Little did he know, all it took was a huge leap of faith. 

“I knew there were opportunities out there, doors that would be opened if I were to complete my studies. It is this urge to expand beyond my bubble that motivates me to see this whole journey through, no matter how difficult it may be. Thankfully, SAFRA saw that during my interview,” he shares. 

And as he would agree, it’s all about the details, even the minutiae. “The course, while fully conducted online, comes with a comprehensive array of assessments and assignments. I have already worked out a structured, personalised schedule that will allow me to really focus on my studies, and it helps that I have a family that is willing to support and empower my endeavours,” he says. 

With this scholarship, Anson can finally venture beyond his current path, push the limits of his potential, and see his ambitions materialise into new and exciting opportunities. 

While it will be a challenge for Anson to manage his many mantles, he is already a step ahead. As a SAFRA member, he is presented with a variety of enrichment courses for his children as well as facility booking discounts for his leisure.

Hear what our previous SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme awardees have to say about their sponsorship.

Alvin Chow, Diploma in Network Defence and Forensic Countermeasures, PSB Academy

A motivated pupil who embraces lifelong learning.

This education scheme has shaped a whole new world for this intrepid learner. 

Intending to pursue a mid-career switch, Alvin knew he wanted a career that was more aligned with his passions. In fact, his long-term career aspirations hinged on him pursuing his interests. “It really is a committed undertaking for me. I have even taken a break from my previous professional role to fully dedicate myself to my studies, and to an extent, my new life,” he affirms. 

True to his nature, Alvin isn’t one to enter uncharted waters without a plan. With extensive career goals in mind, his drive and vision were the highlights of his interview. He elaborates, “We discussed my aspirations, ambitions as well as motivations, and how they can be guided to better align with the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme. It was actually more of a candid and meaningful exchange than an interview, and I remember leaving more confident and clearer about my goals.” 

Describing this opportunity as a “transformative phase” of his life, he is determined to continuously expand his knowledge, update his skills, and keep abreast of contemporary developments.

With that said, he is still a bargain hunter at heart, constantly on the lookout for the many F&B, hotel and travel deals by SAFRA! Especially with this opportunity at hand, he understands how pivotal it is to save so that he can further invest in his potential.

Find out what career paths our previous awardees are forging now.

Austin Tan, Master of Human Capital Management, Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)

Austin can work towards a better future without the financial strain.

An opportunity to learn is something we should never take for granted. 

Austin knows this all too well, finding it difficult to invest in himself when he has a family to be concerned about. Never did he expect a newsletter to drastically change his life. “It was from this random newsletter circulated by SUSS that I became aware of this bond-free education sponsorship. I took a chance, applied, and here we are today!” he surmised. To him, this sponsorship isn’t just a form of financial relief, but also an expression of confidence in his potential, competence, and attitude. 

“Really, it helps to know that there are people who believe in what I can achieve,” he says. 

And this is just the start of an exciting journey for Austin, who has already mapped out his career pathway in relation to this newfound opportunity. He plans to balance his academic commitments with his professional ones, using a holistic and progressive framework that will guide his studies. “It is so important that students like myself are aware of the main purpose of us being here in the first place. That should be what guides us during lessons.”

Excited to begin the school term with a bang, Austin is glad that he can indeed have it all. As a SAFRA member, he’ll still participate in SAFRA’s many organised family activities with his son, and unwind at the pool at SAFRA Mount Faber during his free time.

Read about how the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme made a difference to our previous awardees.

Find out how you too can benefit from the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme. Apply here.

Save more with SAFRA! Enjoy special deals and discounts on dining, shopping, entertainment, travel, fitness and more from over 1,500 merchant outlets islandwide. Sign up or renew your SAFRA membership for three years at the price of 1 year ($43.20 inclusive of GST)! Plus, get your spouse and children on board to enjoy the same privileges too – 1st dependent pays $5.40/year, and it’s free for the 2nd dependent onwards. Visit safra.sg/savemore for more details. 

Want more articles like this, and other lifestyle content right in your inbox? Download the new SAFRA mobile app and opt in for the eNSman Newsletter – you don’t need to be a SAFRA member to subscribe – and never miss another story!