SUTD to get up to $75 million from MOE to bolster growth plans

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S'pore's fourth university to get significant funds to bolster growth

Singapore's fourth autonomous university is getting a funding boost of up to $75 million from the Ministry of Education (MOE) to bolster its efforts in areas key to its growth.

The Singapore University of Technology and Design yesterday also launched SUTD Academy - its adult learning initiative.

In the pipeline is a unique "micro-master" programme, which lets adult learners combine bite-sized courses for a certificate, which is the first of its kind here.

Speaking at the academy's launch, Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung said: "In support of SUTD's efforts, MOE will be setting aside up to $75 million to bolster the university's growth plans in education and research, on top of the current funding."

While both MOE and SUTD declined to reveal the current amount the university is receiving from the ministry, SUTD's acting president and provost Chong Tow Chong called the sum "significantly large for SUTD".

It will be used to help the university carry out plans such as developing deeper expertise in several of Singapore's key growth sectors, for instance by working closely with industry players to plan courses and to carry out research.

SUTD last month announced that it will focus on four key areas - healthcare, cities, artificial intelligence and data science, and aviation.

"Students will also enjoy increased opportunities for international experiences through overseas internships and exchanges," said Professor Chong.

Meanwhile, the academy, started in support of the SkillsFuture Series last October, will offer 20 courses in cyber security, data analytics, engineering, urban solutions and tech-enabled services such as software design.


The courses, which will be taught by SUTD faculty and adjunct fellows, range from a day to 23 days and cost between $570 and $3,600.

Three courses have already been launched, while the rest will mainly begin this year. The academy plans to have 60 courses within five years.

SUTD alumni will get a $500 voucher to attend courses at the academy and enjoy a free two-year membership which gives them further discounts.

At the launch at the SUTD campus in Upper Changi, Professor Chong signed memorandums of understanding with 13 strategic partners, including Deloitte Singapore, Temasek Polytechnic and Keppel Offshore and Marine to develop programmes for SUTD Academy.

Those companies will also send employees to help update their skills and stay relevant in the evolving job market.

Under SUTD Academy's micro-master programme, attendees can combine the credit units to obtain the certification.

Professor Chong explained that the certification may serve to encourage participants who lose interest halfway to see the course all the way through.

He added: "The SUTD Academy's launch is timely as Singapore is encouraging continuous learning.

"It is important for professionals, managers and executives to continually upskill themselves to keep pace with the rapidly changing requirements of the workplace."