Father inspires his two children after his own university experience
Safety manager urged two of them to enrol in university he attended to upgrade himself
When a safety manager in an aviation company was looking to upgrade himself, he decided to take on the challenge of getting a bachelor's degree.
Eight years after Mr Sunny Tan completed his part-time bachelor of environmental and occupational health and safety course, he encouraged two of his three children to enrol in the same university, the University of Newcastle, Australia, with PSB Academy (PSBA).
"Safety is not only just a career but a passion for me," said Mr Tan, 54, who is now a health, safety, security and environment and quality director.
"Not only does having a degree help you climb the corporate ladder, but workplace safety is a field that I was interested in learning more about."
Mr Tan went to lessons three to four times a week, balancing night and weekend classes with his work.
While studying, he was also able to network, meeting fellow safety professionals from various industries.
And because of his positive experience, Mr Tan joined the university's alumni and helped organise seminars and networking sessions for past and current students.
When his son Jeffrey was contemplating what to do after national service, Mr Tan encouraged the 24-year-old to pursue a degree at PSBA.
The younger Mr Tan, who has a diploma in mechanical engineering, decided to follow in his father's footsteps and enrolled in a mechanical engineering course at the University of Newcastle, Australia, with PSBA in September last year.
He has enjoyed the experience so far, especially with the lab lessons that he believes are relevant to the industry.
He hopes to be a design engineer in the future.
Things were a little different for Mr Tan's youngest child, Jenny, 21. Having completed a diploma in aerospace engineering, she intended to switch specialities and study human resources in university.
Feeling her personality is better suited for engineering, Mr Tan persuaded her to build on the knowledge she already had.
Convinced, Miss Tan joined her brother to take up the same course at the same university in September this year.
The two siblings are among 2,500 eligible students who have benefited from the school's Future Together initiative.
The initiative funds $3 million to provide financial relief and support to local students in lieu of the Covid-19 pandemic, in the form of tuition fee waivers, fee guarantees, study credits, rebates, and grants till the end of 2020.
Mr Tan said: "It was very heartening to learn about this initiative as I feel it is an excellent way for the university to support the students."