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Winners of the Singapore Education Awards 2009

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The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) last week recognised 18 outstanding individuals and organisations for their significant contribution to the high quality of education in Singapore.

Held at the Raffles Hotel Jubilee Hall, the 2009Singapore Education Awards presentation ceremony was officiated by Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Minister of State for Trade and Industry. Over 300 guests, comprising key members of the education industry, attended the event.

The key objectives of the awards are to recognise the exceptional contributions of members of the Singapore education industry in entrenching Singapore's position as a quality education hub and global schoolhouse, and to establish benchmarks for service excellence in the various areas of education services provision.

The awards also recognise individuals and organisations that have enhanced the lives of the international students living and studying in Singapore, particularly in advancing their assimilation into the local community. Now in its third year, the Singapore Education Awards 2009 drew 2,000 nominations, a record number which marks a 50% increase over 2008.

At the macro level, Singapore’s status as an education hub has grown considerably over the years. In 2008, Singapore saw the arrival of about 97,000 international students from 120 nationalities, an increase of close to 13% from 86,000 in 2007.

Addressing the guests at the awards ceremony, Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Minister-of-State for Trade and Industry, lauded the resilience of the Singapore education industry amid the current economic downturn, and urged the education industry partners to band together and strive towards higher quality standards.

"Even more important than quantitative growth, is qualitative growth. In terms of raising the quality of education in Singapore, the journey to excellence is an unending one. Towards this end, we all must work together. Our education providers must continue to invest in content development, pedagogy research and industry exchanges to enhance the total learning experience of the students. Our agencies: STB, SPRING Singapore and IE Singapore offer programmes in new capability development, staff training, facility upgrading and support for international collaboration and student exchange programs. Our Global Schoolhouse vision is a long-term undertaking. It requires our commitment and continual investments," said Mr Lee Yi Shyan.

Echoing Mr Lee Yi Shyan’s views, Mr John Gregory Conceicao, Director of Education Services, STB said, “A high quality global education, in a country known for its cultural affinity for students from the region, reputation for safety and cost-competitiveness, has enabled us to firmly establish ourselves as the choice destination for international students seeking a world-class education. As we move forward, it is imperative that we uphold the high standards that have defined Singapore Education, and together with our industry partners such as the Association of Private Schools & Colleges, continue to set new benchmarks and provide even more value-add to our international students.”

The winners of the Singapore Education Awards 2009 are:

1. Friend of International Students – Ms Boey Suit Yim
2. Best Educational Event Organised by a Public Educational Institution – National University of Singapore High School of Mathematics and Science
3. Best Enrichment Programme – Lorna Whiston EAL School (Interactive English for Young Learners)
4. Best Host for International Students Studying in Singapore - Schools – Singapore Management University
5. Best Host for International Students Studying in Singapore - Hostels – Prince George’s Park Residences, National University of Singapore
6. Best International Marketing Effort by a Private Educational Institution – SIM Global Education
7. Best International Marketing Effort by a Public Educational Institution – NUS Business School
8. Best Media Coverage for Singapore Education - Print – Ms Vandana Ramnani of Hindustan Times Horizons (The Global Schoolhouse)
9. Best Media Coverage for Singapore Education - Broadcast – Mr Hwang Joon Sung of EBS, Korea Educational Broadcasting System (Education on site!)
10. Best Singapore Education Specialist Agency (International) – RV! CENTRE International (Vietnam)
11. Best Singapore Education Specialist Agency (China) – Chengdu Huaying Consulting & Service Co. Ltd.
12. Best Singapore Education Specialist Agency (Indonesia) – Universal Services
13. Best Singapore Education Specialist Agency (Korea) – SingaRo Yuhak
14. Best Singapore Education Specialist Agency (Malaysia) – Studylink Sdn Bhd
15. Best Singapore Education Specialist Agency (Myanmar) – RV! CENTRE Yangon
16. Best Singapore Education Specialist Agency (Vietnam) – RV! CENTRE International (Vietnam)
17. Best Singapore Education Specialist Agency (Thailand) – Regency Travel & Education Co. Ltd.
18. Best Singapore Education Specialist Agency (India) – IMTP Consultancy

Ms Boey Suit Yim, winner of the Friend of International Students category stresses the importance of welcoming international students. “Greater awareness of the challenges faced by international students is needed. Language barriers and loneliness can affect studies and emotional well-being,” said the senior officer of International Relations & Industry Services at Temasek Polytechnic. “I am honoured to receive this award – a product of the students’ love and blessings – and do so on behalf of the Fellowship of Overseas College and University Students (FOCUS), RSVP Singapore, Temasek Polytechnic staff, alumni and students. Their efforts have also helped shape a more balanced environment, enabling the students to cope and assimilate better.”

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