News: S$5m gift to support medical students from financially disadvantaged families


By Kimberley Wang, Manager, Media and Publications, Communications and Outreach

Medical students from financially disadvantaged families who are training to be future doctors at LKCMedicine will receive additional financial assistance following a S$5 million gift from global venture capital firm GGV Capital.

From left: Mr Teo Ming Kian, Chairman of Vertex Holdings; Mr Joel Kellman, Co-Founder of GGV Capital; Mr Jixun Foo, Global Managing Partner at GGV Capital; Ms Lien Siaou-Sze, NTU Vice President for University Advancement; Mr Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman, LKCMedicine Governing Board; and Professor Joseph Sung, LKCMedicine Dean 

Together with matching by the Singapore government, the designated endowed fund will establish a long-term programme to defray a portion of the tuition fees and related out-of-pocket expenses of needy medical students at LKCMedicine. The fund will go towards the establishment of study awards and supplementary awards. 

Named the GGV Capital Award, the wide-reaching gift will provide additional support every year for up to 150 students from Years 1 to 5 who are currently not covered by full scholarships or bursaries. The study awards, alongside applicable MOE and LKCMedicine bursaries, will subsidise up to 90 per cent of the students’ tuition fee.

The annual supplementary awards will help up to 120 students defray out-of-pocket expenses, such as the purchase of reference materials, learning aids and scrubs, that they incur in their clinical years (Years 3 to 5).  

Chairman of the LKCMedicine Governing Board Mr Lim Chuan Poh said, “We are delighted that GGV Capital, in making this gift, will make medical education at LKCMedicine more affordable to those students from financially disadvantaged families. Low-income families are facing challenges with rising inflationary pressures and this gift is timely in helping close to 20 per cent of our medical students defray part of their tuition fees as well as out of pocket expenses.”

LKCMedicine Dean and NTU Senior Vice-President (Health & Life Sciences) Professor Joseph Sung added, “Since our inception, LKCMedicine has benefited from the support of many generous donors. GGV Capital’s gift will certainly go a long way towards supporting needy students and represents a major step in our continuing push for our students to pursue a quality medical education and training despite their backgrounds and circumstances.”

The S$5 million gift to LKCMedicine was formalised at a signing ceremony on 23 September between Ms Lien Siaou-Sze, NTU Vice-President (University Advancement) and Mr Jixun Foo, Global Managing Partner of GGV Capital. It was witnessed by Prof Sung and Mr Joel Kellman, the co-founder of GGV Capital. Guest-of-Honour at the event Mr Teo Ming Kian, Chairman of Vertex Holdings, and Mr Lim were observers of the signing. 

GGV Capital has received strong local support since its founding and has invested in more than 500 companies across the United States, Southeast Asia, China, India, Europe, Latin America, and Israel, where over 85 of which are valued at over US$1 billion. To show their appreciation to the people of Singapore, the global venture capital firm is paying it forward with this gift to benefit financially disadvantaged medical students.

Mr Foo, a Singapore-native global investor said, “Doctors and health workers are essential to the well-being of society. With GGV’s Singapore roots and continuous support from the government, we are fortunate and honoured to empower the country’s future doctors through this programme. Along with GGV’s growth, our charitable giving has also expanded over the past few years, including recent COVID-19 reliefs effort in China, India, and Indonesia, and donations to groups fighting anti-Asian hate in the US. As we continue to benefit from the country’s commitment to an innovative economy, we look forward to building a brighter future with partners like LKCMedicine and its students.”

On the significance of the gift, Ms Lien said, “NTU is very grateful for this momentous gift from GGV Capital. The firm’s generous donation to support less privileged medical students reflects its deep commitment and dedication towards higher education at NTU. The gift will help inspire future generations of doctors to pursue academic excellence, serve humanity with integrity, humility, and compassion, and significantly contribute to advancements in Singapore healthcare and beyond.” 

This gift by GGV Capital marks one of its biggest philanthropic gifts since its establishment in 2000 in Singapore and Silicon Valley. It also marks the first time that a venture capital firm is making a major gift to LKCMedicine. 

LKCMedicine students Colin Goh and Phoon Yan Xin (holding the LKCMedicine bears) presented gifts to the GGV Capital guests on behalf of the School