NTU employees donate more than 20,000 days of leave worth over $10 million to help students

Each employee donated an average of 11 days' leave. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - Nanyang Technological University (NTU) faculty and staff have rallied together to donate more than $10 million of their unused annual leave to support the university's students.

In total, some 20,145 days of leave were contributed by 1,821 NTU employees, said the university on Monday (Nov 23).

Each employee donated an average of 11 days' leave, with some contributing as many as 15 days. NTU employees receive between 21 and 42 days every year, depending on their employment scheme and length of service.

Senior vice-president of administration Tan Aik Na said: "Some of our students' parents have lost their jobs or have had their income reduced. So, it is doubly important during the pandemic for us... to help these students."

The donations were on a voluntary basis, with participating employees redeeming their unused leave for donation to a fund of their choice.

They could donate to the university's bursaries, general endowment or education and student life fund.

They could also chip in to 18 other school or centre advancement funds that support student projects and club activities such as seminars and research initiatives.

Associate Professor Ivy Kwan was one of the employees who donated 15 days of leave.

She chose to support her alma mater, Nanyang Business School (NBS), where she also serves as assistant dean for career services.

"I teach at NBS and this is my little way of investing in the future of my students. I would definitely do it again in the future," she said.

Mr Tan Suan Hai, a senior laboratory executive from the School of Computer Science and Engineering, also contributed 15 days of his personal leave to his school's advancement fund.

"I have always believed in the value of education, and the importance of students' success. As I am unable to go on vacation this year, I felt I could turn this into something good," said Mr Tan.

Dr Babu Narayanswamy, who is director at the Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute, gave 14 days of his leave to the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Advancement Fund.

The materials scientist said: "While the Government has been doing all it can, I believe this is the time for those of us who can, to pitch in and help in whatever way possible."

Another round of this donation exercise will be held in October 2021.

This initiative follows two others launched by the university - the NTU Priorities Fund and the OneNTU Fund - both of which were part of its Covid-19 Relief Package to help students facing financial difficulties.

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