SUTD's pioneer batch graduates, and gets $500 each to come back and keep learning

The event was held at the SUTD's Changi campus along Somapah Road.
The event was held at the SUTD's Changi campus along Somapah Road. PHOTO: DANIEL NEO FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE- Two in three of the pioneer batch at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) have either secured jobs or will be pursuing graduate studies.

The university, which partners the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States and China's Zhejiang University, reached a milestone on Saturday with its first 308 students graduating.

Ten of them received masters' degrees, while 298 were awarded bachelor qualifications.

The top three sectors that its graduates have clinched jobs in are the engineering, banking and finance, and defence industries. Among them, one in four had return offers from their internship host companies such as Barclays and Keppel FELS.

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, who was the guest of honour at the event, said it was a "historic occasion" for SUTD, Singapore's fourth public university, with its first cohort of graduates.

In a speech, he gave them three main life lessons - to dream big, dare to overcome challenges and define themselves not solely by achievements but by their character and what is "on the inside".

The event was held at the SUTD's Changi campus along Somapah Road.

At the ceremony, SUTD president Thomas Magnanti also announced that the institution will be giving all its graduates $500 in an electronic account as part of an effort to encourage them to continue learning after school.

This will match the Government's credit of $500 given to Singaporeans aged 25 and above under the SkillsFuture initiative to take up continuing education and training courses.

SUTD graduates can use the credits to enrol in the university's courses, in topics such as cyber security, design innovation, sustainability and advanced manufacturing.

Said Professor Magnanti: "We hope that through this initiative, we can not only support your continuing professional development, but also firmly retain you as a member of the SUTD family."

SUTD, which took in its first batch of students in 2012, offers a curriculum with design infused 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.