Part 2 of our “Empowering our educators” series is focussed on College education in Singapore. Understanding options for the future is as important as what we study in our formative years.
A detailed view of the college system in Singapore was one of the objectives of our Singapore Professional Development tour. And a visit to Singapore Management University gave our team insights and in-depth information about college in Singapore.
Ms. Anitha Iyer, Principal, CMR National PU College, ITPL shares her thoughts on Singapore Management University.
A college visit is a fact-gathering mission. They are a crucial part of every high school student’s college choice process. These visits provide students with valuable information about each of the colleges that will be on their application lists. As a group of Educationists, our visit to SMU helped us to connect with their university representatives and that gave us an insight into their selection process.
We understood how SMU began its journey – Set up in 2000, Singapore Management University (SMU) is a private university. In 1997, the Singapore government appointed a businessman, named Ho Kwon Ping, to assist in the creation and development of the university. In 1999, the Wharton Research Centre collaborated with the university through the Wharton-SMU agreement. As a result, SMU formed four schools, three centers, and a library in the year of the agreement.
The campus of Singapore Management University features the School of Information system, School of Economics, School of Accountancy, School of Business, and School of Social Sciences. These buildings are connected to a walkway and are open to the general public as well. Not just this, the public conveyance is easily accessible from the campus. The entire curriculum speaks of integration with the industry, innovation, and internalization. A campus tour was organized for us and we had an undergraduate student who showed us the different buildings. It gave us an opportunity to interact with the student who mentioned that he loved being a student at SMU.
The library at the campus is spread across an area of 2,600 square meters. Also, it features more than 1,000 books and research papers. Besides, the technologically-advanced library can hold up to 500 students at a time.
We were informed that SMU graduates were the highest-paid as per the data collected by them. Each student is expected to undergo 80 hours of community service. Students are expected to register with the center for social responsibility. There are several summer exchange programs for the students enrolled at SMU. There is SMU-X which is an experiential internship allowing collaboration between the faculty, companies and the students. There is also SMU-Xo which targets internships in companies abroad giving students an edge as they get to explore different cultures and learn about opportunities in other places.
CBSE, ISC, PUC students are expected to score above 90% in their boards when they apply to SMU. The essay is a very important component in the application process. SMU is also looking into the SAT, IELTS and TOEFL scores for international students. Career aspiration, personal experience, preparation, and participating in the interview without parroting others would help students to secure their admission in this prestigious institute. There is a lot of emphasis on class participation. 10 -20% of the scores are noted for it. We were also informed about various scholarships that were available for students who need financial assistance.
Most students at SMU undergo 2-5 internships during their course of study. An aptitude test is done to help gauge the career options and there is a coach who handles their career path. Each coach handles anywhere between 50 – 80 students and mentors them. Students are asked to present a case study and then go for an interview.
The faculty development arm was equally emphasized. It is personalized, collaborative, interactive and experiential. Learning outcomes are measured by the methods of assessment. There are instructional strategies and the curriculum also makes the students think about the world apart from just their community.
At the end of the program, we have come back learning that our students can apply to SMU and get wider exposure by being a part of their vibrant community.
In conclusion, the trip to Singapore gave each and every member of our leadership team something to think about. A new perspective, something that could be adopted in our education system and a fresh look at getting our students prepared for the global platform. It also endorsed the fact that we were on the right track and with a little more insights and varying experiences, we could make learning fun and everlasting for our students and educators alike.