Singapore

SUSS to offer more courses, social elements integrated in all

The Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) will expand its programme offerings in social sciences and weave elements of community and social impact into all its courses.

Singapore's sixth autonomous university will introduce a compulsory module on social sciences for its 13,000 part-time students in the next two years.

Speaking to the media at the university's first convocation ceremony yesterday, SUSS president Cheong Hee Kiat said that even students in programmes such as business and design will need to think about the social impact of what they are studying.

For instance, they could be asked to design a mobile phone for the poor or the elderly, or consider the impact of trends in the finance industry like the bitcoin currency and fintech, or financial technology, on segments of the population.

Addressing nearly 500 graduands from the schools of graduate studies and human development and social services, Prof Cheong said: "In the future, while technology, big data, smart urbanisation (and) digital transformations make digital inroads into our work and lives, it is the social aspects, how these will impact individuals and (the) community, that will demand attention."

They are part of the first batch of 2,137-strong class of 2017 to be conferred SUSS degrees yesterday and today.

SUSS, previously known as SIM University, became an autonomous university in July.

It provides an applied education approach that targets fresh school-leavers and working adults with a focus on social sciences.

Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, who was the guest of honour at yesterday's ceremony, encouraged graduands to contribute to Singapore in both personal and professional capacities.

 

"The social sector really represents an opportunity for us to participate as citizens, to be able to look beyond self, to give of ourselves to others and, perhaps, that's the way change is going to happen," he said.

While the Government and organisations can work towards making volunteerism more accessible for people, "ultimately the last mile is walked by individuals, all of us", he added.

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