Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs help develop strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills in students. It also challenges students to assess, interpret and apply relevant information for identifying and implementing innovative solutions.
PSB Academy, a private education institution in Singapore, offers STEM education to equip students with such skills. As a trusted education provider, PSB Academy is committed to providing accessible quality education to nurture and shape individuals and enable them to achieve their personal and professional goals.
‘The Future Academy’
PSB Academy’s beginnings date back to 1964. A small Productivity Unit was set up in Singapore which later developed as the National Productivity Centre under the purview of the Economic Development Board. In 1972, the National Productivity Board (NPB) was established, at a time when productivity was key to Singapore’s growth. NPB’s mandate was enhanced in 1986 to implement a total approach to productivity and in 1987, it moved into a new purpose-built NPB Building. With the expansion of responsibilities and enhanced facilities, the Management Services Supervisory Development Division was formalized to become a full-fledged institution known as the Institute for Productivity Training (IPT) in 1988.
In 1996, the NPB and Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research (SISIR) merged to form the Singapore Productivity and Standards Board (PSB). The IPT changed its name to the PSB Institute of Productivity Training (PSB-IPT), which went on to play a critical role in building a world-class workforce in Singapore. In 2001, PSB was corporatized, and IPT-PSB was renamed to PSB Academy. The Academy was then privatized in 2006. Till date, PSB Academy has produced over 200,000 learners.
PSB Academy is presently known as “The Future Academy”—with an approach to education focusing on performance in the New Economy. The Academy was conferred with the National Business Award in Education by the Singapore Business Review for the third time in 2021. It has also been honored with the title of “Best Educational Institute – Singapore” by APAC Insider in 2019. Currently, it hosts over 12,000 students of diverse nationalities.
Constructive Academic Programs
PSB Academy offers over 80 courses including diploma, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate programs across 16 disciplines.
PSB Academy’s STEM degrees are offered by renowned overseas universities. These include Australia’s La Trobe University, Edith Cowan University, and The University of Newcastle, Australia, as well as the UK’s Coventry University and Edinburgh Napier University. Students are able to delve into the fundamentals of five specific disciplines— Life Sciences, Sports Science, Engineering, Cybersecurity, and IT & Computer Science.
PSB Academy’s STEM courses cater to a variety of academic levels. For students who are interested in engineering, PSB Academy offers a Foundation Certificate until postgraduate level. However, those who are keen to pursue life sciences and sports science can get started with a foundation diploma and certificate respectively.
Guided by Experienced Leaders
At the heart of PSB Academy’s STEM Education, Dr. Charles Ong (Head of School of Life and Physical Sciences) and Dr. Balamurugan Karuppiah (Head of School of Engineering and Technology) ensure that the Academy strives and continues providing quality education and delivering excellence.
Dr. Charles spent twenty years as an educator at Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Life Sciences and Chemical Technology. Later, he took on the role of deputy director, overseeing all academic matters including staff and student development. Being at the helm of PSB Academy’s School of Life and Physical Sciences, Dr. Charles provides academic leadership to his team to ensure that students receive high-quality learning experiences. He strongly believes in the holistic development of the students and the importance of industry engagement during their academic journey.
Dr. Balamurugan has approximately 27 years of experience in the academic world, out of which 17 years were spent in Singapore teaching and managing in private education institutes and researching as a postdoctoral fellow at National University of Singapore. Leading the School of Engineering and Technology, he ensures quality teaching, up-to-date curriculum and programs, and a holistic learning experience for the students.
Incorporating STEM Education
Remarking on the importance of STEM, Dr. Charles quotes, “STEM subjects are disciplines that can bring about huge impact and lasting improvement to humankind.” Similarly, Dr. Balamurugan Karuppiah agrees that there are plenty of career options for graduates of STEM courses. He adds, “These can range from newer technology fields such as cybersecurity and data science to more traditional fields of manufacturing and banking and finance.”
PSB Academy works closely with its overseas university partners to ensure that it provides industry-relevant knowledge and skills. Dedicated to prioritizing STEM education, PSB Academy established a STEM Campus in 2018 so as to provide a dedicated, practical space for students to learn and study. The campus is equipped with various learning facilities.
These include facilities for theory-based learning (classrooms and lecture theatre) and labs for hands-on learning (engineering labs, computer labs, sports science lab with 3D sports motion analysis, chemistry, and life science labs).
Engaging Student Experience
PSB Academy has a Student Affairs and Industry Engagement department that focuses on programs aimed at the holistic development of its students. It promotes a vibrant culture and bonding among students through leadership development via Student Clubs and other student activities. The Academy also provides learning support and pastoral care to students through mental health resources and personal counseling.
Through a dedicated Career Services and Engagement team, PSB Academy prepares its students for the working world through various career development opportunities. These include a suite of career workshops, recruitment, and networking events as well as industry engagement opportunities.
Vibrant Campus Life
PSB Academy offers a series of activities and events planned by its student leaders throughout the year. It constitutes 13 student clubs/chapters as well as community interest groups which allow students to expand their community of friends while building their leadership skills.
Additionally, students can also receive several student support services. These include buddy programs, career mentoring, and hostel accommodations to ensure that their needs are well attended to during their academic journey with PSB Academy.
Adapting to Changes
When Singapore went into a circuit breaker last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PSB Academy ensured a smooth transition to online learning. Students were able to continue their studies via an online learning management system and access pre-recorded lessons at their convenience. It also allowed them to put forth their queries related to the lectures through email. PSB Academy also provided support for the academic staff to enable them to deliver online lessons.
Prepared for the Future
PSB Academy continues to adapt its learning deliveries based on Singapore’s safety guidelines. The Academy has allowed students back on campus for face-to-face learning, while adhering to safe management measures such as frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces, daily disinfection of premises and safe distancing on campus. These measures are in place to ensure learning can still continue while keeping students and staff safe.
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