Despite being an aviation specialist for years, Dr Saravanan G Sathiyaseelan has a strong passion for education. He began teaching in various polytechnics in Singapore as his first foray into the education industry.
To further delve into the topics of leadership and educational policy, Dr Saravanan decided to pursue the Doctor in Education (EdD) programme at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NIE NTU, Singapore).
Dr Saravanan was drawn to the EdD programme as it allowed him to explore the topics close to his heart, while gaining new and unique perspectives as well as the autonomy for discourse to broaden his knowledge.
As the EdD programme requires a research-on-practice dissertation, Dr Saravanan had the opportunity to conduct a qualitative study on the profiles and roles of administrators in the higher education sector, as well as the link to their leadership abilities.
While postgraduate students are expected to be independent and self-directed learners, Dr Saravanan felt that in NIE, the students are always in good hands as they are well-guided by the academic staff.
“At NIE, I felt motivated to learn from everyone (faculty and peers). Resources are plentiful to stimulate thinking and there is an excellent framework to guide students in their journey,” he said.
However, Dr Saravanan’s pursuit of graduate education was not without its challenges. As a part-time student, he had to juggle family commitments and a full-time career, while keeping his academic goal in sight. At times when he felt overwhelmed, he relied on exercise and meditation to manage his stress. With his family’s support, he was able to stay on course to complete the programme.
“I was focussed on my outcome and my research objectives which allowed me to complete all projects and assignments on a timely basis. I was very pro-active in taking charge of my learning journey.”
Dr Saravanan found his experience in NIE “meaningful, enriching and fulfilling” as it had positively impacted his mindset, satisfied his craving for knowledge and infused a culture of lifelong learning in him. When asked if he would recommend the EdD programme, Dr Saravanan was affirmative.
He said, “This programme offers you the academic rigour that challenges your learning abilities and provides ample opportunities to develop and grow in both personal and professional capacities.”
“NIE is a part of NTU and with NTU growing from strength to strength, the value and reputation of our qualification grows as well.”
Acknowledging that learning is a lifelong journey, Dr Saravanan also expressed the need to keep abreast and adapt accordingly in this constantly evolving world.
“Lifelong learning and continuing education are both a blessing and an opportunity, which is what everyone deserves and needs to embrace,” he encouraged.
“In that regard, he felt that NIE is “exemplary in its pursuit of excellence and intellectual standards”.
“As much as NIE is reputable for nurturing teachers and future leaders in education, he views NIE as an institute that supported his mission of lifelong learning.
The National Institute of Education (NIE), Singapore is an autonomous institute under the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). It has been consistently ranked amongst the top 20 education institutions in the world and top three in Asia by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking. For more information on the range of graduate programmes offered by NIE, visit www.nie.edu.sg/ge.
Applications for NIE NTU’s Doctor in Education Programme January 2023 intake opens from April 1. To apply, visit www.nie.edu.sg/jan2023.