NTU Singapore unveils Relief Package to help students cope with impact of COVID-19


· Financial support for needy students impacted by pandemic

· Establishment of OneNTU Fund and NTU Priorities Fund on top of other support schemes

· Extension of candidature and waiver of tuition fees for one semester for affected final-year postgraduate research students

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), today unveiled an NTU COVID-19 Relief Package comprising three new coordinated measures to assist students facing hardship due to the pandemic, and to support final-year undergraduates graduating during this difficult time.

This is the University’s first package of assistance to students impacted by the pandemic, and additional initiatives to enhance the employability of this year’s graduating undergraduates will be unveiled next week.

Financial aid for affected students

NTU is deploying its own university resources in combination with available sources of public funding and private philanthropic gifts, to provide immediate help for students affected by COVID-19.

NTU has established a new S$2 million OneNTU Fund to support students from Singapore (citizens and permanent residents) who need immediate assistance due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Eligible students may get an interest-free advance of up to S$1,500, which they will reimburse to the University within two years after graduation.

In addition, the University will establish the NTU Priorities Fund, which will be driven by private philanthropy. This Fund will address urgent needs identified by the University’s leadership and its first use will be to offer financial assistance to the neediest NTU students from Singapore and abroad, who are affected by COVID-19 and who have no other recourse for help. Recipients of support from the Fund will pledge to ‘pay it forward’ within two years after graduation and return the interest-free cash assistance to the University. By nurturing this “evergreen fund” as a university resource to benefit future generations of students, NTU aims to perpetuate the cycle of philanthropy so that future students who need assistance can continue to receive financial aid.

To kickstart the new Fund and to express their strong support for NTU students, President Subra Suresh and his wife, Mrs Mary Suresh, have made a personal gift of S$100,000 to seed and anchor the establishment of the NTU Priorities Fund. Prof Suresh is a firm believer in paying it forward, as a beneficiary of such a philanthropic scheme previously without which he says he could not have pursued his postgraduate education in the United States. This fund, supplemented with other private gifts and matching philanthropic resources, will be used to address the urgent financial needs of some of the NTU students at this time.

Professor Suresh said, “COVID-19 has already caused profound social and economic disruptions across the globe, and these effects have hit close to home too. We have students grappling with sudden loss of family income or find that they no longer have part-time jobs and are worried about their daily lives should the situation continue.

“We will use the new NTU Priorities Fund and other sources of philanthropic support to alleviate the financial burden of our students, so that those needing immediate help can continue to focus on their studies and their future.”

Priority for assistance will be given to those enrolled full-time at NTU and to those with the most pressing need.

Students applying for assistance can complete a single online application process for financial assistance which will be processed quickly. The type and amount of financial aid will depend on each applicant’s circumstances and needs, with philanthropic support extended to the neediest students.

Extension of candidature and waiver of one semester’s tuition fees for research students

To assist final-year PhD and Master’s students who face difficulties completing their research work within this semester due to the disruptions caused by the closure of their labs due to COVID-19, NTU will extend their candidature with a full waiver of tuition fees for up to one semester. They include PhD and Master’s students receiving their final year of NTU scholarship, and all other research students in their final year of candidature.

“We will continue to monitor and evaluate these dynamic circumstances and take appropriate measures as the situation evolves. In these unprecedented times, we hope that members of the NTU community will join us in rendering assistance to our students facing financial hardship and to our final-year students graduating during this period of uncertainty,” said Professor Suresh.