Singapore Management University

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[dropcap font=”0″]S[/dropcap]ingapore Management University was established in 2000 as a National University. The type of university is public and autonomous as the institution is able to govern itself. It has (349) academic staff; (7541) undergraduates; and (1257) postgraduates. The City Campus is in the urban area of Singapore.
The Singapore Management University is located at the heart of the city. It is home to some 8,800 undergraduate and postgraduate students. The University comprises six Schools offering undergraduate, graduate, and PhD programmes in Business Management, Accountancy, Economics, Information Systems Management, Law and the Social Sciences.
The University has nearly 30 research institutes and centers of excellence. It customized corporate training and lifelong learning for individuals are available through the university’s professional and executive development programmes. SMU is built on the model of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, USA. Their collaboration is augmented by the Wharton-SMU Research Center, giving Wharton a physical presence in Asia.
SMU firmly believes in the importance of values such as Commitment, Integrity, Responsibility, Collegiality, Leadership, and Excellence. SMU distinguishes itself from other universities in the region by giving students a holistic undergraduate education that comprises an out-of-classroom and values-based programme. The plan aims to define, prepare, and inspire SMU students to be their best for others and themselves.
The former Raffles College is the site of SMU’s first campus.
The idea of setting up a third university in Singapore was first mooted by the Singapore government in 1997.
Ho Kwon Ping, a Singaporean business entrepreneur, was appointed to chair the SMU task force. It determined that the new institution would follow the American university system featuring a more flexible broad-based education. Following a review of undergraduate business schools to serve as a model for SMU, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania emerged as the best candidate. The Wharton-SMU agreement was signed in February 1999 followed in June by the Wharton-SMU Research Center collaboration.
The Singapore Management University follows a course credit system similar to that used in most American universities. Each individual course within the University is assigned a certain credit weightage (the value or importance of something) and students are usually required to take a specified number of units to fulfill requirements for graduation. Courses are typically conducted as small group seminars of fewer than 50 students so as to allow for a high degree of interactive discourse between students and lecturers.
Double Degree
Undergraduates who are offered a double degree programme have 15 combinations to choose from. They can combine any of two disciplines: Accountancy, Business Management, Economics, Law, Information Systems Management or Social Sciences. Graduates will receive two degree certificates upon successful completion of the double degree programme.
International rankings
Singapore Management University was ranked 116th in QS Top Universities 2013 Faculty Areas in Social Sciences and Management with a score of 67.
School of Accountancy
The School of Accountancy was launched in 2001 with the Bachelor of Accountancy (BAcc) undergraduate degree as its sole offering. Since that time, the SoA has received strong endorsement from the industry and the accounting profession in general. The School followed then up on this initial success in 2005, launching the Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) programme for professionals intending to join the accounting profession but did not possess an undergraduate accounting qualification.
Lee Kong Chian School of Business
The Lee Kong Chian School of Business (LKCSB) is the largest School within the University. The LKCSB holds the status of being SMU’s founding School with it having opened its doors to its pioneer batch of Bachelor of Business Management (BBM) students in August 2000. The School was named after Lee Kong Chian in appreciation for the sizeable donation provided by The Lee Foundation to establish the School.
School of Economics
The School of Economics (SoE) was established in July 2002 as part of the then School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS). Following a restructuring exercise, the University’s economics faculty was separated from the social sciences to form a school of its own. This restructuring was largely accepted as a sound decision in view of the fact that SoE’s curriculum had been modeled on that of the Wharton School instead of following the traditional social science-type economics curriculum found at most other institutions.
School of Information Systems
The School of Information Systems (SIS) was formed with the aid of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Pittsburg USA, when SMU and CMU forged a four-year strategic partnership intended to use the expertise of the CMU faculty in the School’s initial establishment. Through this partnership, CMU aided SIS in establishing and developing the BSc Information Systems Management undergraduate programme.
SMU School of Law
The School of Law (SoL) stands out as the University’s smallest school with a highly selective total annual intake of around 125 students. Establishment of the School of Law was announced in August 2007 following the encouragement of the Singapore Government, which had, during a major review, discovered a shortage of qualified legal personnel in Singapore. Previously, the School existed as the Department of Law at the university’s Business School.
SMU School of Social Sciences
The School of Social Sciences (SoSS) was established in July 2002 as part of the then, School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS). Through a restructuring exercise in 2007, the School of Economics and School of Social Sciences were separated to form independent Schools within the University. The School’s primary offering is the Bachelor of Social Science, a broad-based multidisciplinary social sciences undergraduate programme. Within this programme, three main majors are offered, namely Political Science, Psychology and Sociology. In addition, the school offers a PhD in Psychology.
Executive Development
In addition to its traditional academic programmes, the University also runs executive education and development programmes for leaders at four stages of their career: (1) emerging leaders, (2) general managers, (3) senior executives and (4) corporate directors. These courses include Executive Skills for Board Members in Challenging Times.
Professional Studies
The Centre for Professional Studies (CPS) was established in 2012 to advance the competence and career aspirations of working professionals in targeted industries and disciplines. CPS provides structured certification programmes which aim to enhance the industries’ manpower capabilities. Programmes offered by CPS include SMU-Sing Health Graduate Diploma in Healthcare Management and Leadership, SMU Productivity and Leadership Development, Analytical Professional (Modeling) and HR Graduate Certification.
International Trading Institute
The institute is a unique collaboration between SMU and industry and provides a series of short professional education programs in shipping and international trade.
SMU School of Law
On 20 January 2014, the School of Law held the ground-breaking ceremony for its own building, which is to be built at the open space between Armenian Street and Canning Rise. The building is expected to be completed by 2017. A key feature integrated into the new building is the Kwa Geok Choo Law Libray, named in memory of the late Madam Kwa Geok Choo, wife of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. The 2,600 square meters Law Library will take on a distinct architectural form that is reminiscent of a pearl. It will seat more than 500 people, and will be fully equipped with modern technology and wired for legal research in the 21st century.
Graduate employment
In the Joint Graduate Employment Survey of 2014, graduates of SMU’s undergraduate university programmes achieved higher employment rates and higher incomes than their peers from two other autonomous universities. A total of 1,214 participants of the 1,577 SMU alumni who graduated in 2014 took part in the survey. It revealed that 91.6 per cent of SMU’s graduates from the 2014 cohort were employed within six months after completing their final examinations; with more than half the total number surveyed being offered jobs from before graduation. The average gross monthly salary of SMU graduates in full-time employment was Singapore $3,592, the highest since SMU graduated its pioneer cohort in 2004. The top 20% of wage earners commanded a mean gross monthly salary of Singapore $5,441.
It goes without saying that higher level thinking skills are extremely important but the problem is that many schools across the globe do not allocate sufficient time to develop these skills. One reason for this is that it can be challenging for teachers to promote the development of higher thinking skills in the classroom. This is the reason so many traditional classrooms continue the rote learning of facts and figures. But in an age when most facts are just a ‘Google’ away, it makes simply filling students heads with facts all the more pointless. What students need to be able to do is create, analyze, evaluate and apply.
The 21st Century is becoming an increasingly difficult world to prepare for and too many schools are ill prepared to equip their students for these challenges. But fortunately today’s students are already busy developing the essential skills to thrive in this environment and they are doing this away from their outdated, industrial era classrooms.

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