Building steam for STEM education: La Trobe University injects new blood to boost Singapore’s healthcare and life sciences sector

La Trobe University, Australia celebrates largest Singapore life science graduate cohort to date, and launches new Chemistry degree programme in partnership with PSB Academy.


SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 16 November 2018 - About 200 life sciences students celebrated their graduation from La Trobe University yesterday. This has been the Australian university's largest graduating class in Singapore, since the partnership with PSB Academy to offer bachelor's degrees in biomedical science, pharmaceutical science and molecular biology, was first announced in 2014.

Over 200 La Trobe University life science students from PSB Academy attended their commencement ceremony last evening--the University's largest graduating class in Singapore since their programmes were launched here in 2015.


More than 400 graduates in Singapore have since benefitted from the La Trobe -- PSB partnership. The 2016 pioneer graduating cohort at the institution ranked among the top 5 percent of all the university's enrolled students in a range of subjects from the university's Bachelor of Biomedical Science and Bachelor of Science (Pharmaceutical Science) programmes. Currently, about 700 students from Singapore are actively enrolled with La Trobe University's programmes at PSB Academy.


During this time, La Trobe University has also managed to significantly raise its academic rankings, to reach its highest overall position this decade in the 2019 Times Higher Education World Rankings. The University is now in the 201-250 band, up from the 301-400 band last year.


Re-energised by her recent academic success, Bachelor of Biomedical Science valedictorian Kelvin, who previously graduated with a diploma in biomedical sciences from Republic Polytechnic, hopes to be able to apply her newfound research skills to the test in a cancer research or screening facility. "I aspire to contribute to our healthcare, so I can play a part in improving people's quality of life, especially for cancer patients. The lab work, research and reporting skills which I have acquired through the degree will give me more confidence in tackling the pressure experienced in real lab environments. I hope to use my abilities to help patients screen and detect cancer early for example, the speed and accuracy required of tasks like this will push me to do better as a working professional," says Kelvin, who has been offered a medical technologist position at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.


Building on its momentum of growth and performance in Singapore, the University hopes to expand its presence with a new Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) programme offering at PSB Academy starting September 2019. The course will cover the study, research and analysis of drugs, and delve into computer-assisted drug design, molecular biology and drug development--to strengthen the nation's capabilities in research and development in drug discovery and development in the Health and Biomedical Sciences Domain,  where, according to EDB, S$4 billion in public sector research funding has been committed.


"After more than three years of partnership with PSB Academy, one of our largest partners globally, we've seen our graduates in Singapore grow from strength to strength, to make a positive contribution to healthcare in serving their communities through their research in clinics and work in hospitals. We hope that this additional education pathway created for life science students who are aspiring clinical and pharmaceutical researchers, will continue to contribute to the growing biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries in the region around Singapore," says La Trobe Pro Vice-Chancellor for Science, Health and Engineering, Professor Robert Pike.


"We've come a long way from just 3 years ago, when we celebrated a humble but outstanding class of 43 graduates. Today we mark a new milestone with La Trobe University and our over 1,000-strong student and alumni family with the launch of the new Chemistry programme. The emphasis on industry relevance and strong practical skills continues, as we work with the University to deliver programmes aligned with employer demands," says Dr. Martin Grunert, Head of School of Life and Physical Sciences, PSB Academy.


Information about La Trobe University's new Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) programme can be found here:

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PSB Academy




16 Nov 2018

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