La Trobe University (LTU), ranked Australia's joint best university for research in Biological Sciences by Excellence in Research for Australia in 2015, celebrated its second class of graduates from PSB Academy, Singapore, yesterday. These graduates have topped the cohorts in Singapore and La Trobe's home campus in Melbourne, Victoria, and continue to rank among the top 5 per cent of students in a range of subjects from LTU's Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences and Bachelor of Science (Pharmaceutical Science) programmes.
These specialised courses in the sciences are aimed at developing a strong pipeline of talent who can contribute to Asia's growing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) clusters.
In Singapore, the government is poised to boost productivity within the healthcare sector through one of their Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs). Already home to the regional headquarters of more than 30 top biomedical sciences companies, students in these programmes can also tap on Singapore's importance as a strategic hub, to explore careers across the region.
Of the 130 students that will graduate from Singapore this year, some are part-time students who managed to excel in their studies while juggling commitments at work. Among them, Mayorikho, 25, from the Bachelor of Science (Pharmaceutical Science) cohort, hopes to be able to further his career with more research and laboratory work at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, after working there for three years in several positions. He says, "I was interested in challenging myself by taking up a degree while working, and can say now that the experiences I have gained these two years, have been really enriching in terms of my personal development and potential for growth in my career as a lab technician."
Students like Fatin Insyirah Bte Fadil, who completed the Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences course, are hoping to use their newly-minted degrees as a pathway to study medicine. The ambitious 22-year-old's passion for the sciences grew from secondary school, and she has never looked back since--especially after graduating from Singapore Polytechnic with a Diploma in Biomedical Science.
"While I am ready to give my all to the healthcare and science industry, I aspire to be a medical physician, and the knowledge and practical skills I've learnt directly from the laboratory during my time with La Trobe University at PSB Academy, has given me a good foundation to pursue that dream," said Fatin.
"As Asia's Future Academy, we are proud that our students have again performed well under the tutelage of the fine educators from La Trobe University and PSB Academy, and are excited about their prospects in the STEM sectors and their capacity to contribute to the ongoing betterment of mankind," said Dr Martin Grunert, Head, School of Life and Physical Sciences, PSB Academy.
"We remain committed to partnering with LTU to strengthen our offerings, while providing our students best-in-class laboratories and facilities that have prepared them for Asia's thriving life and health sciences sector," he added.
Professor John Dewar, Vice Chancellor and President, La Trobe University, said, "La Trobe University turned 50 this year, and we are proud to celebrate this milestone, as well as commemorate our distinctive ethos that blends social engagement with the pursuit of academic excellence with a new class of graduates in Singapore."
"After 50 years of producing excellent student outcomes, with the contribution that all our students, local and international, have made through their studies, La Trobe's excellence is now recognised around the world. We now rank among the world's top 400 universities, according to all three of the world's major academic rankings. With our solid partnership with PSB Academy, we can continue to provide the industry-ready education for fresh school leavers and working professionals, that will fuel the growing life sciences sector in Asia and beyond," he said.