Beyond A levels

NUS Business School's leaner, meaner curriculum

The NUS Business School will be introducing three degree specialisations - business analytics, business economics, and innovation and entrepreneurship, and the new core curriculum will better leverage technology, such as multimedia resources, to allo
The NUS Business School will be introducing three degree specialisations - business analytics, business economics, and innovation and entrepreneurship, and the new core curriculum will better leverage technology, such as multimedia resources, to allow more effective use of class time.PHOTO: NUS BUSINESS SCHOOL

New specialisations, compulsory overseas stints to prepare students for future economy

Freshmen at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School this year will get first-hand experience in exercising flexibility, a core value of entrepreneurship.

The business school promises undergraduates taking the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) a more flexible programme without sacrificing rigour, when they start the upcoming academic year in August.

The new core curriculum will better leverage technology, such as multimedia resources, to allow more effective use of class time.

It is part of a spate of changes that will allow students more options in their degree specialisation and second major or minor combinations.

Three new degree specialisations - business analytics, business economics, and innovation and entrepreneurship - will also be introduced, bringing the total to seven.

DIGITAL UPDATE

Our future success depends on our ability to harness the digital revolution and completely reimagine the banking experience.

MR JAMES LOO, executive director of talent acquisition at DBS Bank. NUS' revamped BBA programme, he notes, responds to new industry needs in the digital economy and "changing consumer expectations".

Would-be disruptors can take the latter specialisation, said Professor Bernard Yeung, dean of the school.

Specialising in innovation and entrepreneurship will prepare students for a disruptive economy through "understanding the landscape in which disruptive changes are always there".

Quipped Prof Yeung: "It is better to disrupt than to be disrupted."

He explained that the specialisation programme prepares students for the future economy through ways such as formulating business plans that account for disruptive changes.

Overseas exposure will also become a compulsory graduation requirement for the BBA - students will need to go either for an overseas internship, study trip, exchange programme or a stint at an NUS overseas college.

Currently, about 90 per cent of BBA undergraduates go for an overseas stint of any length during their studies.

Financial aid is available to those who are unable to afford it.

Associate Professor Chng Chee Kiong, vice-dean (undergraduate studies) of the school, told The Straits Times that the increased flexibility was achieved through streamlining the core curriculum.

For instance, since 2010 it has featured an Asian Business Environments module, which will now be dropped. It was conceived to help students contextualise the business concepts they learnt to Asia.

Prof Chng said: "We have since found out that most colleagues have increasingly introduced Asian examples and case studies into their modules."

Mr James Loo, executive director of talent acquisition at DBS Bank, said the revamped programme responds to new industry needs in the digital economy and "changing consumer expectations".

"In such an environment, our future success depends on our ability to harness the digital revolution and completely reimagine the banking experience," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2017, with the headline 'NUS Business School's leaner, meaner curriculum'. Print Edition | Subscribe