SINGAPORE - The Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) will, in the years ahead, grow its programme offerings in social sciences, and weave elements of community and social impact into all its courses.
"In the future, while technology, big data, smart urbanisation (and) digital transformations make digital inroads into our work and lives, it is the social aspects, how these will impact individuals and (the) community, that will demand attention," said SUSS president Cheong Hee Kiat on Wednesday (Oct 11).
He was addressing nearly 500 graduands from the schools of graduate studies and human development and social services at the university's first convocation session.
SUSS, previously known as SIM University, officially became an autonomous university in July, and the class of 2017 - more than 2,100 of them - is the first batch to be conferred SUSS degrees.
They will receive their degree scrolls across four sessions on Wednesday and Thursday.
Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, who was the guest of honour at the first ceremony, encouraged graduands to contribute to Singapore's society in both personal and professional capacities.
"The social sector really represents an opportunity for us to participate as citizens, to be able to look beyond self, to give of ourselves to others, and perhaps that's the way change is going to happen," he said.
While the Government and organisations can work towards making volunteerism more accessible for people, "ultimately the last mile is walked by individuals, all of us", he added.
"Many of us talk about issues but we don't actually necessarily do something about it," he said, noting that the SUSS name represents the importance of the social sector.
SUSS, Singapore's sixth autonomous university, has more than 14,000 students. It provides an applied education approach that targets fresh school leavers and working adults with a focus on social sciences.
This year, it has pioneer graduates from 11 courses such as applied linguistics, urban transportation and music education.