SUTD to expand exchange programmes

Mr Aravind and Ms Chian, both first-year students at SUTD, will be going to France and the US respectively under the university's exchange programmes. SUTD plans to increase the number of places in overseas programmes by 40 per cent from May this year.
Mr Aravind and Ms Chian, both first-year students at SUTD, will be going to France and the US respectively under the university's exchange programmes. SUTD plans to increase the number of places in overseas programmes by 40 per cent from May this year. ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

It may be one of the newer universities here, but the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) has already joined hands with prestigious US institutions such as Stanford and University of California, Berkeley.

By next year, more than 70 per cent of SUTD students would have the chance to go to such institutions on exchange and summer programmes.

SUTD said at a press conference yesterday that it is raising the number of places in global programmes by 40 per cent from May this year, with new deals with nine universities and organisations.

With these tie-ups, more than 300 SUTD students will get to go abroad every year, up from about 200 currently.

The institutions include KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, National Taiwan University and South Korea's Pohang University of Science and Technology.

Students will also have summer stints at places such as Stanford University in the United States and the European Innovation Academy (EIA) in France or Italy.

Some of these programmes will focus on engineering design and entrepreneurship, in line with the SUTD curriculum. Students will also be mentored by faculty and industry leaders in research work.

SUTD currently has exchange programmes with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Zhejiang University.

Professor Yeo Kiat Seng, SUTD's Associate Provost for International Relations and Graduate Studies, said he wants students "to open their eyes and minds" to see new possibilities. He added that with globalisation, "students may one day have to work overseas".

Some of these programmes will be sponsored by SUTD while others will be co-funded by the university and students.

First-year student Aravind Satkunasingam Kandiah, 23, who hopes to specialise in information systems technology and design, will be going to Nice in France in July for a three-week entrepreneurship summer course.

One of the perks of the programme by EIA is the chance to be mentored by industry leaders from big names such as Ferrari and Microsoft, he said, adding: "I want to learn how people on the other side of the world think."

Ms Nicole Chian, 20, also in her first year, will join the Stanford Summer International Honours Programme from July to August.

"As an engineer, I want to visit Silicon Valley to be immersed in the environment of innovative tech firms," said Ms Chian. "Also, Stanford is a top institution which has groomed many leaders. I want to go there to make connections."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 24, 2016, with the headline 'SUTD to expand exchange programmes'. Print Edition | Subscribe