Celebrating UniSIM's 10th Anniversary

Sharing a Moment of Pride
2015 marked the 10th anniversary of UniSIM. To celebrate, the University held a luncheon graced by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and then Minister for Finance, and attended by more than 500 guests. A commemorative book tracing the 10-year development of the University was published.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of the UniSIM LEAP Award, which honours pioneers who had contributed significantly to the establishment and development of UniSIM. Mr Gerard Ee, then Chancellor and Chairman of UniSIM, presented the awards to four recipients: Mr John Yip, former Executive Director of SIM who oversaw the Open University Development Programme (OUDP) which led to the setting up of UniSIM; Mr Seah Chiong Tian, who had run the OUDP and then served as Registrar and Vice President (Administration) at UniSIM; Dr Aline Wong, then Academic Advisor at UniSIM; and Professor Cham Tao Soon, former Chancellor and Chairman of UniSIM’s Board of Trustees.

Envisioning the Future of Learning
Also as part of our 10th anniversary celebrations, UniSIM organised and hosted four international conferences on evolving trends for the next generation of learners and educators. They were:
  • 14th Tamil Internet Conference – areas of focus included computer-aided language teaching and mobile technology
  • 19th International Symposium of the International Consortium for Social Development – Transforming Society: Trends and Models in Community Leadership and Social Development
  • 10th eLearning Forum Asia – Innovations in Education: Responding Intelligently to Diverse Learning Needs and
  • 9th International Conference on Researching Work & Learning – Work and Learning in the Era of Globalisation: Challenges for the 21st Century
Paving Diverse Pathways to Lifelong Learning

Full-time Programmes
Meeting the Needs of Learners and Industry

The full-time Human Resource Management (with minor) programme was launched, Singapore's first full degree progamme in human resource management. This, together with the Accountancy, Finance (with minor) and Marketing (with minor) programmes which commenced in 2014, were the full-time programmes launched to meet the need for qualified talents in critical sectors.

Reflecting their relevance and popularity, these four programmes were eight times oversubscribed in 2015. Following a stringent selection process, 284 students were enrolled across the programmes, bringing the total full-time enrolment to 490.

Testament to our adherence to the highest standards, the Accountancy programme received accreditation by the Singapore Accountancy Commission for the Singapore Qualification Programme.

Learning Beyond the Classroom
We leveraged our well-established industry linkages to secure more work attachments which are compulsory for UniSIM students. Seventy-two companies including multinationals, small and medium enterprises, and government-linked institutions joined our list of organisations who support our commitment to real-world learning through work attachments.

A group of UniSIM students also embarked on overseas study missions to China, Hong Kong, Japan and Myanmar. They gained a first-hand understanding of regional businesses through visiting prominent companies and interacting with senior business leaders.

Our students also did well in representing UniSIM at regional events and competitions. At the Cross-Border Service-Learning Summer Institute, two UniSIM students and their respective teams won the Best Presentation Awards. Another student was one of three debaters selected to represent Singapore at the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights.

Learning Through Serving
Beyond inspiring self-actualisation, we are committed to instilling social consciousness in our students through service-learning. The UniSIM Spirit Award was given for the first time to honour seven students who embody UniSIM's philosophy of ‘The Three H's’ – ‘Head’, ‘Heart’ and ‘Habit’, exhibiting sound professional and personal competencies, the compassion to help others and a passion for learning.

We partnered organisations such as the National Youth Council, BinjaiTree and the Government Investment Corporation of Singapore to provide more service-learning opportunities for students.

Besides making service-learning an important component of our curriculum, various service-learning activities, such as a service-learning fair and the Corporate Social Responsibility Youth Series, were organised for our students.

Joseph Yap

UniSIM full-time student,
Bachelor of Science in Marketing programme

Part-time Programmes
Grooming Future-ready Talents

Three new Master degree programmes in the areas of Applied Linguistics, Non-profit Leadership and Management, and Business Administration were added to groom learners for the jobs of tomorrow.

As a fitting tribute to our 10th anniversary, UniSIM’s Convocation 2015 was graced by Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister for Manpower and Ms Low Yen Ling, Parliamentary Secretary for Education, and Trade and Industry, and Mayor of South West District. The Convocation was presided by the University’s newly-appointed Chancellor, Dr Aline Wong, who is also the first female chancellor in Singapore’s higher education history.

Among the 2,248 to receive their degree scrolls were pioneer batches of graduates from the Bachelor of Communication with Business, Bachelor of Communication with Psychology, Bachelor of Early Childhood and Chinese Language Education, Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance, and Bachelor of Science in Human Factors in Safety with Military Studies programmes.
Low Yen Ling addressing graduands at UniSIM Convocation

Vanessa Kong

UniSIM part-time student,
Bachelor of Communication programme

Flash mob by graduates and faculty from the UniSIM logistics programme
Increasing Engagement for Broader Perspectives

We continued to engage with stakeholders in wide-ranging sectors to enrich our offerings and ensure relevance in our programmes. These multi-sector engagements and related collaborations included:

These multi-sector collaborations and their related events included:

  • The 3rd Singapore Chinese Film Festival
    The UniSIM Centre for Chinese Studies (UCCS) and Singapore Film Society jointly organised the third edition of this annual festival. The Festival screened about 40 classic and contemporary Chinese films to an audience of over 4,500.
  • Speaking Singapore Forum: Language, Culture and Identity
    Organised by the School of Arts and Social Sciences, the forum offered a glimpse into the unique and ever-changing language landscape in Singapore.
  • UniSIM Cultural China Public Lecture
    Renowned Professor Lung Yingtai, former Minister of Culture of Taiwan, spoke on the topic of From Village to Metropolis: My Cultural Experience to a full house of 1,600 attendees.
  • MOU with Beijing Normal University
    The UCCS has partnered the Beijing Normal University to offer its Master of Education (Early Childhood Education) in Mandarin.
  • MOU with Hong Kong Logistics Association
    The School of Business and Hong Kong Logistics Association will organise joint training programmes and activities for students, faculty and practitioners.
  • MOU with Nanyang Confucian Association
    The Nanyang Confucian Association will provide scholarships to deserving students in UniSIM’s Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Language and Literature programme.
  • MOU to launch new minor in Paramedicine and Emergency Response
    The School of Science and Technology (SST) partnered the Singapore Armed Forces, Singapore Civil Defence Force, Nanyang Polytechnic, Institute of Technical Education and Justice Institute of British Columbia to launch a new minor in Paramedicine and Emergency Response in the Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biomedical Engineering programme. This programme will be the first of its kind in Singapore.
  • MOU with the Institute for Adult Learning
    The partnership aims to spearhead research programmes in learning analytics and pedagogical practices, as well as strengthen the capabilities of educators and researchers.
  • MOU with the Hong Kong Baptist University
    Both universities will explore cooperation in areas including exchange programmes for faculty and students, as well as the offering of courses through e-learning.

Supporting Singaporeans to Learn for Life

In support of the national SkillsFuture movement, the Centre for Continuing & Professional Education (CCPE) was set up in 2015. Its role is to help UniSIM empower society through lifelong education by responding to diverse continuing learning needs and aspirations. An important focus of CCPE is to work with government agencies and industry to integrate education with training and career progression.

Testament to its relevance, all of UniSIM's programmes and modular courses come under the $500 SkillsFuture Credit scheme available to all Singaporeans aged 25 and above. Out of these, 186 courses are eligible for further subsidies by the Ministry of Education. These courses cater to identified future growth sectors such as aerospace, biomedical science, early childhood, and sustainable urban solutions.

Under the Ministry of Health's SG50 lifelong learning initiative, UniSIM is the only university to offer degree-level courses to encourage learning among seniors. Close to 200 places were taken up by seniors for 76 courses in different disciplines.

Other continuing education and training initiatives throughout the year included SST's partnership with Jurong Health and the Health Sciences Authority to offer a course on clinical trials for medical practitioners and dentists. CCPE also collaborated with Project Dignity, a social enterprise, to upgrade the standard of the food and beverage industry by making available university-level courses to trainees.

Supporting Real-World Research

Throughout the year, the Centre for Applied Research supported our industry partners in driving various research projects with real-world impact. These included the quarterly Business Times-UniSIM Business Climate Survey, now in its ninth year, as well as the LTA Public Transport Customer Satisfaction Survey, which reached its seventh year.

Integrating Technology and Learning

To facilitate learning for on-the-go, multi-tasking students, we ramped up our online courses. We now offer 50% of total courses online through a blended mode, supported by more than 450 interactive study guides (iStudyGuides) and 87 eTextbooks to enhance students’ learning.

The iBookstore was launched to allow students, associates and faculty to access the iStudyGuides, as well as purchase printed copies to be delivered directly to their homes.

There were several enhancements to the UniSIM BackPack mobile application, which was launched in 2014 allowing students quick access to iStudyGuides, recorded lectures, past-year examination papers and learning resources. Also included are the Cumulative Grade Point Average calculator and attendance marking system.

Establishing Lifelong Bonds Among Peers

A host of alumni activities was organised throughout the year to keep in touch with our alumni and help them network and build relationships. These included a career fair-cum-industry networking event for fresh graduates and a sharing session by a LinkedIn senior team on the importance of creating an impactful online presence.

The first presentation of the Volunteer Service Awards was held to recognise alumni volunteers who had contributed to the UniSIM community for the past seven years.