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Nanyang Technological University launches first-ever sports degree in Singapore

NTU has launched a new Bachelor of Science in Sport Science and Management degree programme. The first of its kind in Singapore, the four-year, direct honours programme aims to produce professionals with relevant knowledge and pertinent skills for engagement in the sports industry.

The new degree is aimed at facilitating the growth of the sports and leisure industry in Singapore and the region. Signs of growth in the Asia Pacific sports market are evident. According to a global study by an independent management consulting firm, the total value of the market is expected to reach $17 billion by end of 2009.

National awareness and interest in sports is at an all-time high. Singapore organised the world's first-ever Grand Prix night race last year. It was also one of the 11 ports for the 2009 Volvo Ocean Race, touted to be the F1 for sailing. Singapore will be hosting the Asian Youth Games in 2009 and the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010. Our local athletes have also given outstanding performances at the recent Olympics and Paralympics Games in Beijing.

Professor Er Meng Hwa, NTU's Senior Associate Provost, says, "The strong push to become a sporting nation signals a serious and concerted effort from the government to create a vibrant sports industry in Singapore. We're pleased to launch this degree to nurture professionals in Sport Science and Management at a time when there is unparalleled national interest in sports."

NTU has a tradition in promoting sports. National fencers Tay Yu Ling from the College of Science and Eddie Sng from Nanyang Business School (Accountancy), are third-year undergraduates at NTU. In 1983, NTU was the South-East Asian Games Village. In 2006, NTU signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Singapore Sports School and Republic Polytechnic to provide pathways for sports practitioners and talented athletes to pursue a university degree in Singapore while still competing internationally. Come 2010, the university will be the Youth Olympic Village of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games.

Professor Michael Chia, Head of Physical Education and Sports Science at the National Institute of Education is currently overseeing the programme. He shares, "The curriculum has several unique features. Firstly, students will undergo a core curriculum in sport and exercise science, followed by a specialization in either sport science or sport management. Secondly, as with all other NTU undergraduates, they will have research opportunities and industry experience through an internship programme. To broaden their experience, students can even opt to read electives on science, arts, humanities and social sciences, technology and society, business and management. Students will be taught by well-qualified and talented faculty. Graduates of the Sport Science and Management programme will be well-prepared for careers in the sports, leisure and wellness industry in Singapore and beyond."

Industry response, including from the Singapore Sports Council (SSC), has been very positive, underscoring its unanimous support of the new programme. With more initiatives and events scheduled in the near horizon, the sports scene in Singapore is going through a rapid expansion across all sports sectors. As part of its future planning, the SSC has been looking at how upcoming sports development projects will drive demand for sports professionals.

Mr Oon Jin Teik, Chief Executive Officer of SSC says, "We need a steady supply of manpower with the right skill sets and competencies to address the needs of the sports industry. We have identified sport science and sport management as critical areas where we need to expand our capabilities in human capital. Thus, NTU's launch of the sport degree with specialisation in these fields is well-aligned with the advancement in Singapore sports."

Professor Chia anticipates strong student enrolment. He adds, "This being the only sports degree programme in Singapore, admission is likely to be competitive. We expect the first cohort to fill up fast."


Contact: Hisham Hambari
Nanyang Technological University

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