DPM Heng challenges SUTD students to use design to improve Singapore
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat yesterday challenged students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) to make "Singapore a better nation by design".
SUTD students, he said, are well placed to help Singapore deal with challenges such as climate change, growing the economy and building an inclusive society.
Speaking at the university's 10th anniversary gala dinner yesterday at the Shangri-La Hotel, he pointed to its unique offering of training students in systems thinking and problem-solving, as well as integrating the sciences and the humanities.
He said: "Your motto is to make A Better World by Design. So I would like to challenge you to make Singapore a better nation by design. Many significant changes are coming our way. How do we turn these changes into opportunities?"
Mr Heng, who is also Finance Minister, recounted how SUTD was established as Singapore's fourth public university a decade ago - at a time when there was greater demand for university graduates and the economy was advancing.
Education has been a major social leveller for Singaporeans, and the country has made "rapid progress" in this area over a short span of a few decades, Mr Heng said.
He also noted that Singapore achieved top spot in the World Bank Human Capital Index by maximising the value of its spending.
"As we invested more in education and expanded the university sector, we added diversity to our offerings - to provide more pathways for our students, to better cater to their strengths and passions."
SUTD's curriculum infuses design into all courses, with specialisations in four areas: architecture and sustainable design, engineering product development, engineering systems and design, and information systems technology and design.
Mr Heng said this ability to blend technological advancement and design has made SUTD graduates highly sought after by employers.
He also held up SUTD's approach of working together with its industry partners to create opportunities for its students. The minister said SUTD now has more than 800 industry partnerships, which he noted is more than double its pioneer batch.
Mr Heng also encouraged them to take part in the Government's latest citizen engagement exercise, Singapore Together, to improve the quality of life here.