Chairman's Message

"In challenging our stakeholders to 'dare to be more' and to embrace change with agility and vigour, we are also called as an organisation to challenge our status quo and blaze new trails in education and training that will keep us relevant and our learners future ready."

Ms Euleen GohChairmanSIM Governing Council

In the writing of my first statement for the SIM Annual Report as the new Chairman of its Governing Council, I can’t help sharing the excitement and pride to be part of the SIM story. Education plays a significant role in touching and uplifting lives and for the past 54 years, SIM has done a great job impacting many lives through its mission to help Singaporeans maximise their potential for a bright and meaningful future.

In 2018, we commissioned a survey to track how our graduates are doing five years after graduation. The results are very encouraging. Despite the initial bias they experienced as graduates from a private educational institution, our alumni have gone on to prove their worth, making positive contributions in their respective spheres of influence and achieving significant progress in many aspects of their careers.

This is the kind of social impact that continues to fuel our passion and make our work meaningful and worthwhile. It gives us greater confidence to take on a bigger role as a leader in providing private higher education, training and development and lifelong learning.

FY2018 Financial Performance
The higher education and training sector itself is undergoing an exciting transformation driven by exponential technologies that are changing both the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of learning. Against this backdrop, there is also increasing competition for the shrinking local cohort sizes, and a necessary shift of focus from the pursuit of qualifications to acquisition of new and deep industry skills.

These forces have impacted us, as reflected in the continued down trend of our student enrolment and participation rate in both certificated and executive programmes. As a result, SIM’s revenue for FY2018 registered just a 0.3% increase over 2017 to $237.5m. Our surplus before income tax for 2018 saw a dip to $19.4m, 27% lower than the previous year even as costs were kept to a modest increase of 3.8% at $218m with careful stewardship of resources.

Although financial measurements alone do not adequately reflect the true impact of what we do, they will affect how much resources we can re-invest to reach and benefit more learners in the future. We do good when our learners get a fair return on their investment as they learn skills and gain confidence and meaning for their lives. As a self-funding private institution, the good of our social impact can only be sustained if we maintain a fair rate of return that can be ploughed back to further improve the quality of our programmes, infrastructure and support services for the benefit of learners. This principle of doing well to do good and balancing responsible stewardship with stringent commercial discipline will continue to guide us even as we seek new relevance and growth going forward.

New Pathways, New Channels for Lifelong Learning
As with many other industries, technology will continue to change our industry exponentially. In challenging our stakeholders to 'dare to be more' and to embrace change with agility and vigour, we are also called as an organisation to challenge our status quo and blaze new trails in education and training that will keep us relevant and our learners future ready. Our agility and speed to market must continue to be our hallmark as we bring new and creative programmes to meet current and emerging industry needs.

New pathways will be identified to reach new learners with new areas of needs, as well as to plug unserved or underserved spaces in education and training. We will tap on technology to explore new channels of delivery for more flexible and effective learning, and to introduce new tools such as personal learning apps to help us customise and curate every learner’s learning and development journey on a lifelong basis. We will continue to actively engage with companies to better understand their challenges and develop programmes that respond to real needs and are applicable to the workplace.

One such initiative is the piloting of our Spot-On (Self-Paced, On-Time, On-Need) Learning programme with Singapore Pools to provide data analytics training through a customised, integrated work-learn approach supported by an online learning platform that allows learners to continue learning, participate in community-based learning and track their skills achievement. We are also collaborating with SATS on a new SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme to equip their employees with relevant skills for the air transport sector.

In the area of fintech, we are working with OneConnect Financial Technology, a Ping An Group’s subsidiary, to train expertise to meet demands in this fast-growing field. In another initiative to help small businesses scale up and grow, we have partnered Silicon Valley think tank, Singularity University, to help small and medium-sized enterprises explore and exploit fast-accelerating technologies for business transformation.

Investments to pioneer new growth paths in the region have culminated in the launch of the Singapore (Cambodia) International Academy. This paves the way to serve the needs of developing and emerging countries for education and human capital development.

Organisational Changes to Support New Directions
To ensure we are well-positioned to respond to the changing market and support every learner with a seamless lifelong learning journey, we need to streamline and operate as a single, integrated and synergised unit. With this in mind, we have appointed a new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to helm the SIM Group. We look forward to welcoming Mr Seah Chin Siong on board in May 2019. Mr Seah brings with him a rich store of experience in technology, business development, strategy formulation and change management from his past stints at Accenture, IDA International and Singapore Pools where he is currently the CEO. His passion for education and conviction in SIM’s social mission will provide the impetus to steer SIM ahead with a renewed relevance and focus.

Together, we will also work towards consolidating the organisation, upskilling our people and directing our resources to new areas of focus. Concerted efforts will be made to further build SIM as a lean and responsive organisation with an efficient and effective operating platform, ready to take on the new challenges ahead.

Listening and Engaging to Co-Create a Future of Learning
SIM has much to be proud of and its future holds tremendous promise for all groups of stakeholders. That future belongs to those who dare to dream it and create it. The continued partnership with all our stakeholder groups is an essential ingredient in our bright future. I invite every one of our stakeholders – our academic and industry partners, our faculty and associates, members, students, alumni and staff – to continue giving us feedback and to actively engage with us in co-creating new opportunities for learning that will benefit one and all.

SIM has done well in the past decades to help fulfil aspirations, thanks to the strong support of our partners and various stakeholder groups. It has been able to hold its place as the institution of choice for private education and training, thanks, too, to the good work of management and staff under the leadership of past Council Chairman, Mr Tan Soo Jin. I am especially appreciative of the assistance and support from Mr Tan for the smooth handover of the chairmanship and, on behalf of the Governing Council, I extend our very best wishes to him as he continues his impactful life.

As we forge ahead together to take on the future with renewed passion, focus and energy, I look forward to your continued support. Change we must, but together we will dare to be more.

management Report

Dr Lee Kwok CheongChief Executive OfficerSingapore Institute of Management Holdings Pte Ltd
Mr Ronald Tan Hee HuanExecutive DirectorSingapore Institute of Management

SIM Global Education

Meeting Future Market Needs with New Programmes
The private higher education sector is facing some strong headwinds in terms of greater competition for a shrinking education cohort size that results from flat demographic growth of past decades, as well as disruptions to both content and delivery modes brought about by rapidly accelerating technologies.

These have affected participation rates of our degree and other certificated programmes over the last few years and FY2018 is no exception. Despite that, the total enrolment of SIM Global Education (SIM GE) registered just a 5% dip over 2017 to reach a stable state of about 18,000 across a suite of over 80 diploma and degree programmes. This is because SIM GE continues to hold its place as the most preferred choice for private higher education due to the strong reputation of its partner universities, the rigour and high standard of programmes offered as well as the quality of its campus life and support for a holistic education.

Even as we continue to calibrate our existing suite of programmes to ensure they remain relevant in imparting practical skills that meet industry needs, new programmes were identified to cater to new and emerging industry needs. Among the new programmes launched in 2018 were a Master’s degree in cyber security and management with the University of Warwick and a Bachelor’s degree in big data with the University of Wollongong. We also have two new partner universities, La Trobe University from Australia and Grenoble Ecole de Management, a leading international business school in France, offering degree programmes in the areas of event management, tourism and hospitality, and international business.

Empowering Students to Achieve Academic Excellence
Academically, our students continued to do well across all the programmes. Specifically, the University of London (UOL) graduates broke their own record yet again with 227 First Class Honours. With this achievement, SIM continues to be the UOL teaching centre with the highest number of First Class Honours graduates worldwide. For the University at Buffalo programmes, a commendable 70% of graduates achieved Latin Honours.

Supporting Students to Grow Beyond the Classroom
As part of our holistic programme to develop students as all-rounded individuals and enhance their employability, we had an active line-up of extracurricular activities for students to develop leadership and soft skills as well as cross-cultural skills. About 60% of students across all levels participated in these activities.

A new Arts Development Framework was implemented for all arts and culture clubs to provide systematic guidance on the development of artistic and leadership skills among students. To encourage students’ outreach and involvement in the community, the SIM Outdoor Adventure Club successfully introduced rock climbing and bouldering to the Bedok community to encourage an active lifestyle among residents of all ages.

On the sports front, our students were active in their participation in inter-varsity and regional events such as the World University Championship Sports and ASEAN University Games. They also did well in other business competitions, acing the local editions of the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute Research Challenge as well as the Tata Crucible Campus Quiz.

Enhancing Graduates' Employability and Education Outcomes
The investments we made in holistic development have yielded positive outcomes and enhanced the employability of graduates. In the annual 2017/2018 Graduate Employment Survey, overall full and part-time employment rate within six months of graduation increased to almost 84%, despite the inherent market bias against graduates who took the unconventional private education route. In another survey to track the progress of our graduates five years after they have graduated, it was found that our alumni have made remarkable strides in their career once they have been given the opportunity. Besides earning commendable salaries, 97% were employed with more than half working in large companies; one in four held a managerial position while 61% were in an executive or senior executive position. Job mobility was also good with three in five having at least one promotion in the last five years.

SIM Membership and Professional Development

Upgrading PMEs through Continuing Education and Training
At year end, SIM membership including student members stood at over 35,000 individual and corporate members with overall retention rate kept steady at 88%. Our wide range of socio-professional activities continued to be actively participated by members.

While in-house training and development programmes undertaken by SIM Professional Development (SIM PD) for corporations registered a 30% growth in number of participants, overall participation rate for public programmes registered a decline of about 10%. In 2018, over 10,000 executives were trained through some 540 executive and in-company training programmes conducted by SIM PD.

SIM PD continued to be the knowledge partner to Social Service Institute, the human capital development arm of the National Council of Social Service, to curate contents and organise the Global Leader Conference series for the non-profit sector in 2017/2018. This series aims to help professionals in the sector upskill their leadership and management skills. Inbound learning tours were also organised for overseas institutions and corporations to learn management, leadership and governance best practices from Singapore.

Singapore (Cambodia) International Academy

Pioneering Expansion into Emerging Markets
Our foray into the regional market finally took off the ground with the completion of the Singapore (Cambodia) International Academy (SCIA) campus and the launch of its programmes in August. A total of 155 students were enrolled in programmes across all levels from pre-school to high school. SCIA adopts SIM’s holistic philosophy in education by including in its curricula non-examinable subjects that develop leadership and entrepreneurship. The SCIA initiative is pioneering in that it will pave the way for us to explore helping other developing and emerging markets to meet their needs for education and human capital development.

Platform E

Supporting the Start-Up Culture in Singapore
Platform E (PE), the entrepreneurship learning hub that started in 2016 under the SIM Applied Entrepreneurship Centre, saw the graduation of 21 participants from its first cohort of the IntensE entrepreneurship programme. 16 participants were enrolled as the second cohort. From these 37 entrepreneurs, 14 have initiated start-ups. Those which sought funding had successfully done so, with total investments estimated at $2m. One of the start-ups has also successfully exited upon acquisition by an Asian digital multinational corporation (MNC).

In 2018, we founded and chaired the FEED 9 Billion (F9B) initiative, a coalition of private and educational institutions which aims to seek solutions to feed 9 billion people by 2050. To kick-start the F9B initiative, a Food Entrepreneurship, Exploration and Design (FEED) camp was organised for food entrepreneurs and innovators in food technology to identify challenges and brainstorm solutions. The programme was attended by MNCs and young start-ups with two participants planning to launch in 2019. The FEED programme is currently the only early-stage ideation programme that develops start-ups in food innovation in Singapore.

With PE’s unique and proprietary entrepreneurship education programme, established academia team, mentorship capability and entrepreneurship ecosystem, we are set to play an important role in encouraging entrepreneurship and supporting the start-up culture in Singapore. We will continue to seek collaboration with government and non-government agencies while providing a unique and independent perspective from the private sector.

Challenges and Opportunities Ahead

To remain relevant in a future that will be extensively and exponentially disrupted by technologies, we need to master technology to creatively and effectively equip the workforce with skills needed by industry. Combining the power of technology with learner-centric curricula and programming to meet the needs of digital learners will be an imperative. Our differentiation must be to help learners understand themselves and their needs better, and to coordinate complex offerings into a modularised and flexible package that enables on-demand and just-in-time learning on a lifelong basis while at the same time allowing for learning and certifications to stack up to recognisable qualifications.

SIM will continue to identify new areas of needs in industry and align our offerings to the SkillsFuture initiative to ensure our workforce remains employable and competitive. Although there is still strong demand for our academic courses from both local and international students, the challenge will be to blend our academic pathways and industry-led competency training to serve individual learners and help companies more strategically build talent and a sustainable culture of enterprise learning.

In this respect we are stepping up collaborations with organisations such as the Ping An Academy to train expertise in the fast-growing area of fintech; with Singapore Pools to offer customised data analytics training to their staff using our LifeLearn Platform to encourage continuous learning and application of skills at both individual and enterprise levels; and with SATS to offer an Earn and Learn specialist diploma in aviation management for their polytechnic recruits. We are also partnering Silicon Valley think tank, Singularity University, to combine their expertise in exponential technologies and our local talent in leadership and management training to help small and medium-sized enterprises exploit disruptive technologies for growth; with the Ferrari Academy to bring their best-in-class sales training to local companies; and with Pure and Good Management to provide leadership and innovation competency training specially catered to the fast-growing global halal industry.

We will also continue to extend our reach beyond Singapore, whether it is in the area of education or skills training, while at the same time stepping up our investment to boost internal capabilities as we position ourselves to take on a bigger role in advocating management excellence through lifelong learning and industry partnerships.

2018 Key Statistics


35,063 Individual Members

376 Corporate Members

18,209Students Enrolled

SIM Global Education
18,000 students | Over 80 programmes offered

SIM International Academy
54 students

Singapore (Cambodia) International Academy
155 students

10,000Professionals Trained

540 executive and customised in-company training programmes organised

158,000SIM Global Education Alumni

From over 40 countries

Group1 Institute1
Income 237,461 236,760 88,587 89,712
% growth / reduction 0.3% -1.3%
Expenditure 218,016 209,946 76,627 78,935
Excess of income over expenditure 19,445 26,814 11,960 10,777
Capital expenditure 12,338 8,336 3,674 3,561
Reserve Level3 1.1 years 1.1 years 2.1 years 2.0 years

1Group comprises Singapore Institute of Management, Singapore Institute of Management Holdings Pte Ltd, Singapore Institute of Management Pte Ltd, Singapore Institute of Management International Pte Ltd (formerly known as SIM International Pte Ltd), SIM Xtension Pte Ltd, Singapore (Cambodia) International Academy Co. Ltd and SIM AEC Pte Ltd. Institute refers to Singapore Institute of Management.

2For the year ended on 31 December.

3Computed based on the formula: bank balances / total annual expenditure including capital expenditure. SIM Group will target to maintain a reserve level of one year taking into consideration its future income streams and future operating and capital expenditure.

2018 At A Glance


Launch of SIM Global Education Overseas Alumni Chapter in Shanghai


SIM Global Education partnered SGTech to provide internship and employment opportunities for students


Official opening of the University of London-SIM Global Education Regional Centre at SIM


Ms Euleen Goh elected SIM Governing Council's first female Chairman


Official opening of SIM's first Representative Office in Jakarta, Indonesia
SIM Global Education partnered Singapore FinTech Association to provide internships and talent development programmes for students
SIM awarded 32 scholarships and sponsorships worth $587,000


Commencement of classes for inaugural cohort of students at Singapore (Cambodia) International Academy


The 4th edition of Singapore Management Festival attracted over 400 participants


Dr Lee Kwok Cheong, Chief Executive Officer, SIM Holdings, conferred honorary doctorate by the University of Stirling
Platform E partnered Temasek Polytechnic, Innovate 360 and FocusTech Ventures on FEED 9 Billion initiative


Record number of 227 SIM-University of London First Class Honours graduates
SIM Professional Development signed MOU with Pure and Good Management Pte Ltd to develop training roadmap for the halal industry
SIM Global Education signed MOU with OneConnect Financial Technology (part of the Ping An conglomerate) to provide students with one-year fintech course, internships and employment opportunities