In 2008, a survey at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine of the National University of Singapore showed that 20%, of some 250 students, come from families with monthly household incomes of less than $3,000. Each year, the University and School are able to provide financial assistance to approximately 50 of these students through various scholarships and bursaries, which have been generously funded by kind supporters of the school. The list of the available scholarships can be found here.
At that point in time, In order for the School to adequately address the needs of all their students with financial need, they estimate approximately $3.5 million is required each year. The School aims to establish an endowment of $70 million for this purpose, and based on the projected spending rule of 5% per annum, will yield an annual expendable income of $3.5 million. To achieve the $70 million target, the School needs to raise $35 million, assuming that Singapore Government’s dollar-for-dollar matching grant continues.
Sukanto Tanoto, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, known as the founder and chairman of RGE, decided to provide a gift of $5 million to the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (NUS) to establish a medical student financial assistance fund in order to support excellent medical students who lack the financial ability to do so.
Sukanto Tanoto and his wife, Tinah Bingei Tanoto, had to leave high school before graduation in order to support their families. Having the first hand experience to not have the privilege to pursue their studies, they want to give back to the education sector and help young people achieve their dreams through financial assistance. They believe that talents should not go wasted and with the right character and attitude, this financial assistance can change the lives of many of their beneficiaries.
Why Medical Students?
Young Sukanto Tanoto once aspired to be a doctor. However, he did not have the financial ability to pursue this dream. He started helping in the family business at a very young age and at the age of 17 years old, a heavy responsibility of the family business was already resting on his shoulders. As he was unable to realize this dream, he now wants to help others achieve their dreams. Besides medical scholarships, Sukanto Tanoto and his wife founded the Tanoto Foundation which aims to reduce poverty and advance human achievement through scholarships, teacher training, building schools and the provision of healthcare.
About the Tanoto Scholarship Fund
The Tanoto Scholarship Fund was established through an endowed gift of by the Tanoto Foundation and its founder, Sukanto Tanoto, to provide deserving medical students with academic merit and excellent character the financial assistance and support to pursue their education in the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.
The scholarship will support up to 16 eligible full–time NUS undergraduate medical students in the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine throughout the entire duration of their studies. Students are required to be academically ranked in the top 50% of the cohort to be eligible for this scholarship.