SUTD to receive up to $75 million from MOE, and opens an adult education academy

(From left), Mr Lee Tzu Yang, chairman of SUTD, Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills), and Professor Chong Tow Chong, acting president and provost of SUTD, at the launch of SUTD Academy.
(From left), Mr Lee Tzu Yang, chairman of SUTD, Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills), and Professor Chong Tow Chong, acting president and provost of SUTD, at the launch of SUTD Academy.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - Singapore's fourth autonomous university will get a funding boost of up to $75 million from the Ministry of Education (MOE).

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) also launched adult learning initiative SUTD Academy on Wednesday (Jan 10). In the pipeline is a micro-master's programme, a certification which is the first of its kind here, according to SUTD's acting president and provost Professor Chong Tow Chong.

Speaking at the academy's launch, Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung said: "In support of SUTD's efforts, MOE will be setting aside up to $75 million to bolster the university's growth plans in education and research, on top of the current funding."

The funds are to help the university carry out plans such as developing deeper expertise in several of Singapore's key growth sectors.

In December last year, SUTD announced a focus on four key areas - healthcare, cities, artificial intelligence and data science, and aviation.

The academy, started in support of the SkillsFuture Series launched in October last year, will offer 20 new courses in cyber security, data analytics, engineering, urban solutions and tech-enabled services such as software design.

The courses range from a day to 23 days, and cost between $570 and $3,600. Three courses have already been launched, while the rest will mainly begin this year.

Under SUTD Academy's micro-master's programme, attendees who take enough courses in a certain field can combine the credit units to obtain the certification.

Professor Chong explained that the certification may serve to incentivise attendees who lose interest halfway to complete the entire course.

Some fields which may kickstart the micro-master's programme include machine learning, cybersecurity, and urban science and planning, he said.

If the attendee later gains a deep interest in the field and chooses to pursue a master's degree under SUTD, the credit units from the micro-master's programme can also be counted towards the degree, explained Professor Chong.

The academy plans to have 60 courses within five years. The courses will be taught by SUTD faculty and adjunct fellows, and will partner industry players to develop customised programmes.

SUTD alumni will get a $500 voucher to attend courses at the academy, and enjoy a free two-year membership which gives them further discounts.

Professor Chong Tow Chong, acting president and provost of SUTD, said: "The SUTD Academy's launch is timely as Singapore is encouraging continuous learning. It is important for professionals, managers and executives to continually upskill themselves to keep pace with the rapidly changing requirements of the workplace."

At the launch at the SUTD campus in Upper Changi, he signed memorandums of understanding with 13 strategic partners, such as Keppel Offshore and Marine, Deloitte Singapore and Temasek Polytechnic.