Coronavirus: SUTD to start its academic year in September instead of May

The start of the academic year for the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) will be pushed to Sept 14 instead of May 18, from this year.

Students in the 2020 cohort will still take the required eight terms of undergraduate coursework, and will graduate in May 2024 instead of September 2023.

The university will offer these incoming students the opportunity to take up a Special Summer Programme before September at no additional cost.

It comprises e-learning classes, bridging programmes and research activities.

The university said yesterday that the change in the academic calendar was made in the light of "the uncertainty of the restrictions to on-campus activities and lessons" because of the evolving Covid-19 situation.

It added that the change will be permanent, which means that subsequent cohorts will also begin their academic year in September.

With the change, the SUTD calendar is now aligned with those of the other autonomous universities.

The university noted that it would now also be able to better cater to the operationally ready date schedules of polytechnic graduates.

Students from the 2019 academic year and earlier will continue with their schedule to minimise disruptions to their studies.

SUTD president Chong Tow Chong said: "We regularly review our undergraduate programme and structure to optimise our students' learning experiences. This initiative of shifting the academic calendar has been in the works for over a year.

"We had hoped to have a few years to make the transition, but the Covid-19 situation made it necessary for us to bring our plans forward.

"There are many advantages to the new academic calendar - it will cater for more and longer breaks, with opportunities for SUTD students to take up more or longer internships and participate in multiple overseas experiences, immersion programmes, and much more."

SUTD will extend its admissions exercise this year and reopen the applications portal from May 4 to 17.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 18, 2020, with the headline Coronavirus: SUTD to start its academic year in September instead of May. Subscribe