Singapore universities take steps to meet industry demand and prepare students for future economy

Singapore universities take steps to meet industry demand and prepare students for future economy

As Singapore proceeds on its smart nation journey and deals
with technological disruption, equipping students with the required skills will play a critical role.

Two universities in the city-state announced new
steps this week to meet industry demand and prepare their students for jobs of the future. This week, the National University of Singapore (NUS) announced
that it will increase its intake of students in computing-related courses from
732 to 900, while the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) is making
subjects such as Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
an integral part of the undergraduate programme for all their students.

Five new minor programmes
and two new Master programmes at SUTD

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) is
introducing five new Minor programmes and two new Master programmes. SUTD is
also enhancing its current human-centric HASS subjects to inculcate high
ethical standards in the design and building of new technologies for the advancement
of society.

The new programmes are expected to equip students with
multi-disciplinary skills for solving complex issues facing the digital world,
with application to people while addressing societal imperatives.

Students graduating from STUD from 2018 onwards will
actively incorporate one of the following three subjects – Artificial
Intelligence (AI), Data Analytics (DA), Machine Learning (ML)
– into their
undergraduate programmes.

The five new Minor programmes are focused on the areas of: 1)
Design Innovation, Ventures and
Entrepreneurship (DIVE); 2) Minor in Engineering Systems (ES); 3) Minor in
Artificial Intelligence (AI); 4) Minor in Digital Humanities (DH); and 5) Minor
in Design, Technology and Society (DTS).

The multi-disciplinary Minors will give students greater
flexibility to pursue their broader interests, equip them with critical skills
and knowledge in key strategic growth areas and provide them a competitive advantage
in the workplace

The DIVE, DTS and DH minors will be open to SUTD
undergraduates from the 2018 cohort intakes onwards. To benefit current SUTD
students, juniors starting Term 5 this year can opt to take up the ES and AI

The two new Master degree programmes are Master of Science in Urban Science, Policy
and Planning (USPP) and the SUTD-Chang
Gung University (CGU) Dual Masters Programme in Nano-Electronic Engineering and
Design (NEED).

Both programmes will be taught by highly qualified faculty
from the universities, research centres and experienced industry
professionals/leaders, giving students strong theoretical foundations along
with exposure to real-world industry-relevant experiences.

The USPP is a 12-month intensive full-time programme jointly
led by SUTD’s urban solutions research institute, the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for
Innovative Cities and the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) cluster.
The programme aims to equip students, analysts and practitioners with skills in
data analytics, policy and planning, and to enable them to develop novel
solutions to urban challenges such as sustainable mobility, inclusive urban
growth and new modes of governance for the 21st century. SUTD aims to have 20 students
for its first intake.

The SUTD-CGU Dual Masters NEED Programme aims to provide
science and engineering graduates with a high-quality education in the area of
nano-electronics and Integrated Circuit (IC) design through unique, multi-
disciplinary learning experience that encompasses the full value chain of the
semiconductor industry.

Students will start the 18-month NEED programme by doing
nine months of coursework at CGU in Taiwan, a top private university with
strengths in semiconductor packaging, assembly, reliability, failure analysis
and IC design. This will be followed by another nine months of intensive
research at SUTD, after which students will graduate with two Master degrees.

SUTD and CGU are targeting 15 students enrolled in each
university for its first intake. Applications are now open for the graduate programmes
and successful applicants will begin the programme in September this year.

SUTD’s Acting President and Provost, Professor Chong Tow
Chong said, “As part of SUTD’s growth plans, we are launching a suite of new
programmes and enhancements to our current Sustainable mobility refers to a
car‐lite society, accessible transportation for all, prevention of traffic
jams, etc. education and research offerings to better prepare our graduates for
the Fourth Industrial Revolution. For them to be conversant in the digital
economy, we are making subjects such as Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence
and Machine Learning an integral part of the undergraduate programme for the
entire cohort. Thus, our students will be “Industry as well as Future Ready” to
take on the challenges of the new economy.”

NUS boosting intake
in computing-related courses from 732 to 900

Credit: NUS

Meanwhile, NUS announced that it will be offering almost 900
places in computing-related courses for incoming students this coming Academic
Year (AY), up from 732 places previously. This step is being taken to meet the
industry demand for IT Professionals and to cater to increasing interest in
computer courses.

The increased intake will apply to six courses: Business
Analytics; Computer Engineering; Computer Science; Data Science and Analytics;
Information Security; and Information Systems.

Currently, about 2,300 NUS undergraduates are enrolled
across the six courses, with 245 students from other faculties taking them as a
Second Major or Minor subject.

The press release states that NUS has constantly kept
up-to-date with changing industry demands. In AY 2017/18, the Bachelor of
Computing in Information Systems programme offered new specialisations in
Financial Technology and Digital Innovation. In AY 2018/19, the Bachelor of
Science in Business Analytics programme will offer two new specialisations —
Financial Analytics and Marketing Analytics.

NUS Computing Dean Professor Mohan Kankanhalli said, “When
you talk about Smart Nation, or going digital or cashless, when you talk about
the underlying infrastructure, it is all computing-based. Therefore, a lot of
industries are seeing a demand for computing professionals, including in
sectors traditionally not considered to be computing-oriented. Fields like law
are also getting transformed by computing…it’s across the board.”