New scholarship funds Stem studies for Malay undergrads

Malay Singaporean students planning to study at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) - and those currently there - can now apply for a special scholarship to fund their studies in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) fields.

Two scholarships of $15,000 each will be awarded every year to needy and deserving Malay-Muslim undergraduates in the SUTD.

Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, awarded the scholarship - the first of its kind - to its first two recipients in the SUTD library yesterday.

Mr Adam Ilyas and Mr Adam Haziq Mohd Arshad are both 21-year-old first-year undergraduates at SUTD.

Dr Yaacob said the scholarship was a welcome initiative, but that an interest for Stem fields had to be cultivated from young.

"I would encourage all families with young children, take your kids to the Science Centre, introduce to them the whole range of computational thinking, the ideas rolling out," he said. "These are the kinds of things we need to introduce to our kids at a young age, move away from the apps and the iPads, go into tinkering, let them work with robots, with sensors, so on and so forth.

"The whole idea is to introduce the idea of the maker mind into the community at a young age. If we can do that, I think we will basically enthuse the next generation of Malay-Muslim students to consider a career in the Stem fields."

The scholarship is funded by $500,000 jointly donated by the Association of Muslim Professionals and Lembaga Biasiswa Kenangan Maulud (a bursary institution that issues scholarships). The donation will receive a matching grant from the Singapore Government.

A spokesman for SUTD said Muslim students make up about 2 per cent of its student population of more than a thousand students.

Correction note: In an earlier version of the story, we spelled Mr Adam Ilyas' name incorrectly. We are sorry for the error.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 23, 2016, with the headline 'New scholarship funds Stem studies for Malay undergrads'. Print Edition | Subscribe