Well-rounded education at Curtin

The curriculum, lecturers, and academic system are just some of the things that make Curtin University Singapore stand out, according to Charles Wang, a senior lecturer.

Curtin University Singapore is an offshore-campus of the largest Western Australian university and has been delivering its programs in Singapore since 1986. Over 17,000 Curtin alumni work and live in Singapore.

Curtin graduates are highly sought after by employers, said Dr Wang, 45.

Dr Wang, who teaches in the fields of corporate governance, managerial economics, and quantitative methods in statistics and mathematical modelling, joined Curtin University Singapore in July 2014.

Prior to teaching at Curtin, Dr Wang lectured at the National University of Singapore for nine years. He was also a postdoctoral fellow at Florida State University in the United States for two years where he taught courses and conducted research in business networks, entrepreneurship and collaborative partnerships.

A semester abroad

During their study at Curtin University Singapore, students also have the option to transfer to the Perth campus to study part of or finish their degree.

As the curriculum, programme structure and content taught here in the Singapore campus are identical to those conducted by Curtin University in Perth, there are no additional requirements for transferring, explained Dr Wang.

Many local students seize this opportunity to study in Perth for one or two semesters to experience studying aboard while staying in the flagship site of the university, which is the most multicultural in Western Australia.

Experienced lecturers

The lecturers at Curtin strive to make sure that students are not only equipped with academic training but also excellent relevant industrial skills, especially problem-solving and analytical abilities.

For example, Dr Wang teaches a course called “Qualitative Techniques for Business”. Students learn to apply mathematical and statistical methods to analyse real business and finance data, such as evaluating different portfolio compositions of financial assets based on time series data.

In another course, “Corporate Governance”, students’ employability is developed. Dr Wang teaches them good written and verbal communication skills through case studies, presentations and projects, as well as participation in discussions and debates.

Projects not only help them to master various theories in their fields but also give students opportunities to apply ideas that are relevant to the industry, and to challenge any existing industrial practices, said Dr Wang.

Additionally, Curtin’s lecturers are very accessible even outside of class times if students have any queries. All full-time lecturers have their own offices on campus, so that students can approach them for consultation.

Fruitful student life

Curtin Singapore adopts a trimester system, which has three academic sessions in one year as opposed to more common two semesters. This way, students can have greater flexibility in planning their course work.

“This is particularly advantageous to students who plan on graduating early,” noted Dr Wang.

Besides just receiving an education, Curtin encourages students to have good work-life balance. Students can establish and maintain various interest clubs and events are often organised by the school, which provide students opportunities to network outside classrooms, and also to be involved with the industries and local communities.

For example, Curtin organises an annual community outreach event called the Curtin Singapore Charity Run. Students, staff and alumni participate to raise funds for various organisations, and is supported by the Whampoa Community Club. In 2014, the event was attended by Mr Heng Chee How, Senior Minister of State (Prime Minister’s Office).