SUSS unveils initiatives to recognise non-academic excellence

The Singapore University of Social Sciences was developing enhanced transcripts for its full-time students, as well as e-portfolios.

SINGAPORE - Graduates from the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) did not just collect their degree certificates on Wednesday (Oct 10).

A batch of 168 full-time students also received physical and digital records of their other achievements at the institution that showcased their non-academic skills, such as creative thinking and decision-making, and are aim at boosting their chances of finding work.

The Straits Times reported last month how the SUSS was developing enhanced transcripts for its full-time students - listing students' acquisition of 18 generic skills, such as communication and managing relationships - and e-portfolios, which are kept by the students to reflect on education and involvement in co-curricular activities, overseas programmes, community service projects and work attachments.

President Halimah Yacob was present at the ceremony at the university campus in Clementi on Wednesday as the batch became the first to receive the supplements.

SUSS president Cheong Hee Kiat said: "The trio of an academic transcript, an enhanced transcript and an e-portfolio will be a powerful job-prospecting armoury for each student, and one for employers to better size up their prospective employees."

Accountancy student Nitish Kumar Singh, 26, said he had been diligently updating his e-portfolio throughout his four years at the SUSS and has secured a job at auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers after a six-month attachment with the company.

"I do believe that maintaining our e-portfolio generates a good record of our knowledge, experiences and skills. This is certainly useful for us to showcase to prospective employers who may want to evaluate an individual's attributes or personality that are beyond grades," he said.

The university has also announced that, for certain courses, it will also consider prior work experience when taking in new students, and exempt them from certain modules subject to its admissions interviews, to shorten their study periods.

Prof Cheong said this aims to "further support working adults" who have to balance personal and work commitments while studying.

Senior Minister of State for Education and Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat said at the graduation ceremony: "For Singapore to grow and develop further, we must have a culture which supports continual pursuit of knowledge, innovation and improvements so that we remain globally competitive and socially cohesive in a fast-changing economy."

A total of 2,268 students will be conferred their degrees from Wednesday to Friday. Of these, 2,132 students will receive bachelor's degrees and 136 will be conferred higher degrees.

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