Press Release - Honouring the Class of 2021

News details
  • Publish date:28 Jul 2021

ITE Graduation 2021

Fifteen Top Graduates also received distinguished awards for outstanding accomplishments


In Academic Year 2020/2021, a total of 14,137 students graduated from ITE. Of these, 771 have already received Certificates of Merit (COM) for being among the top five per cent of the graduating cohort, at College-based graduation ceremonies held in February and May 2021.  


On 28 July 2021, in the presence of Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Second Minister for Education, ITE recognised 224 COM holders who were awarded Course Medals for topping their respective courses, 10 Tay Eng Soon

Scholarship Award recipients and 15 Top Graduates from the Class of 2021. The Top Graduates received the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal, Tay Eng Soon Gold Medal, The Ngee Ann Kongsi Gold Medal, Singapore National Employers Federation Gold Medal, e2i Gold Medal and IES Engineering Award (More details on these Awards are at Annex A). 


Right Move to Improve


Among the 15 Top Graduates is Damien Tan. As the only one in his extended family in the Normal stream, Damien felt out of place and doubted his capabilities then. Yet things turned around after he enrolled in ITE. 


While taking the Nitec in Aerospace Avionics course, Damien contributed to the transformation of his College’s fencing interest group into a full-fledged co-curricular activity (CCA). He channelled the values of perseverance and resilience learnt from fencing into his academic and personal pursuits. After completing his Nitec course, Damien decided to take up Higher Nitec in Sport Management as he set his sights on furthering his interest in sport management. This bold switch proved to be a right move. Picking up relevant knowledge, skills and the right attitude in sports coaching, sports administration and sports event management, Damien enjoyed the process of learning and aced his studies. He eventually emerged as the top student of his cohort in his course.


With deep passion in fencing, he even worked with his lecturer to secure an internship at the Academy of SG Fencing Club where he was sponsored to acquire national coaching certifications. Damien Tan is an outstanding youth who demonstrated strong resolve and excellence in his academics, sport and CCAs, deserving of the Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal. He dreams of setting up his own fencing academy in future. 


Designed for Nature


Beneath Nur Leila Bte Laqman Hakem’s soft demeanour is a nature enthusiast who does not mind working under the hot sun or getting her hands dirty. When Leila was attending kindergarten, she had already volunteered to take care of her grandmother’s plants in their home garden. She still marvels at how plants have different traits and the various ways they adapt to the changing seasons. Leila is also intrigued by how landscape design can co-exist with nature. After her ‘O’ Levels, Leila chose to enrol in ITE as she felt that the Higher Nitec in Landscape Management & Design course could marry her interests in plants and design well.


Leila performed well academically and led a fulfilling school life in ITE. She shone in her leadership roles as President of the Horticultural Club and in gardening projects with industry partners. A notable project was done in collaboration with NParks where her design of a vertical log border flowerbed contributed to an increase in the number and species of butterflies in the garden after implementation. Leila also served the community as an active member of her College’s Student Ambassadors Club. A recipient of The Ngee Ann Kongsi Gold Medal, Leila dreams of being a Landscape Architect who can design functional nature playgrounds for children with disabilities.


Technical Skills Pay Off


Mr Stanley Ong Weiqin established PSA Engineering Pte Ltd, an electrical services company, in 2018. As its Director, Stanley’s work responsibilities span across multiple business functions while entrusting technical work to his staff. Holding a Bachelor of Environments from the University of Melbourne, Stanley himself did not possess the relevant technical expertise. Prompted by a friend in the same line of work to keep up with technological innovations, Stanley enrolled in the Higher Nitec in Technology - Electrical Engineering course, under ITE’s Continuing Education and Training programme in Oct 2019.


He adapted quickly to this new field of study and realised that degree holders can also benefit from picking up technical skills at ITE. Through applied learning, Stanley gained practical insights and skills in areas such as electrical design and installation, intelligent building systems, and codes of practice. These enabled him to adopt a more hands-on approach in project management and streamline work processes for greater efficiency. Based on his outstanding course performance, Stanley was awarded the e2i Gold Medal. His reskilling efforts encourage adult learners to stay abreast of industry developments through lifelong learning. 


The full profiles of 15 Top Graduates can be found in Annex B.




Annex A


Details on Top ITE Graduate Awards


The Institute of Technical Education (ITE) recognises graduates who have performed well in their courses with various awards. 


Top ITE Graduate Awards


Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) Gold Medal [3 awardees]


Donated in 1999 by the then Senior Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, from the sale of his memoirs, the Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) Gold Medal is awarded to the top ITE graduate of each ITE College, who has excelled in his or her course of study and co-curricular activities, and has made contributions to the community or in enriching College life. He/she will receive the LKY Gold Medal and $600 cash.


Tay Eng Soon (TES) Gold Medal [3 awardees]


The Tay Eng Soon (TES) Gold Medal was introduced in 1994, following the establishment of the TES Scholarship Fund to promote technical and polytechnic education. The Fund was established in 1993 through donations from companies, individuals and staff of ITE and the polytechnics, in memory of the late Dr Tay Eng Soon, former Chairman of ITE, and Minister in-charge of polytechnic and technical education (1988 – 1993).  


An outstanding ITE graduate from each ITE College, who has achieved excellent course performance, participated actively in co-curricular activities and contributed to the well-being and development of his or her college, will receive the TES Gold Medal and $600 cash funded by the TES Scholarship Fund.


The Ngee Ann Kongsi (TNAK) Gold Medal [3 awardees]


The Ngee Ann Kongsi Gold Medal is awarded to an outstanding ITE graduate from each ITE College, for his or her excellent course performance, active participation in co-curricular activities and contributions to his or her College. 


The gold medals, first presented in 2018, are funded by The Ngee Ann Kongsi, a non-profit Teochew philanthropic foundation actively involved in educational, cultural and charitable activities in Singapore. Over the years, the Kongsi has made significant contributions towards the enrichment of Singapore society and its education scene. The recipient of the award will receive the TNAK Gold Medal and $600 cash.


Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) Gold Medal [3 awardee] 


The SNEF Gold Medal is awarded to the top performing graduate of the WorkStudy Diploma Programme who has excelled in his or her course of study and has made contributions to workplace training, company projects and activities. The recipient will receive the SNEF Gold Medal and $600 cash.


e2i Gold Medal [2 awardees]


The e2i Gold Medal was introduced in 2016 to promote lifelong learning among adult learners to increase their employability, and to motivate and give recognition to ITE Continuing Education & Training (CET) graduates for their upgrading efforts and achievements. The top ITE CET graduate will receive the e2i Gold Medal and $600 cash, donated by the Employment and Employability Institute.


IES Engineering Award [1 awardee]


Introduced in 2013, the IES Engineering Award is awarded to a top graduate for outstanding performance in an Engineering course and contributions in Engineering-related projects and activities. The IES Engineering Award is sponsored by the Institution of Engineers, Singapore. The top Engineering graduate will receive a Plaque and $600 cash.


Other Awards


The ITE Course Medals are awarded to the top Certificate of Merit graduate in each course. Recipients will receive the Gold, Silver or Bronze Course Medal and a cash quantum of $300, $200 and $100 respectively. Course Medals awards are donated by relevant trade/professional associations and companies. 


The Tay Eng Soon Scholarship (TESS) Award is presented to outstanding ITE graduates who have performed well academically and attained good co-curricular activity records. The TESS is open to ITE graduates pursuing a full-time Diploma course in ITE or the polytechnics. Selection for this award is based on merit. 


It is funded by the TESS Fund which was established in 1993 from donations received from companies, individuals and staff of ITE, Singapore Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Nanyang Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic, in memory of the late Dr Tay Eng Soon, former Chairman of ITE and Minister-in-Charge of polytechnic and technical education from 1981 to 1993.