SMU's rebranded IT school will have greater focus on computing and coding

SMU president Lily Kong (right) and School of Computing and Information Systems dean Pang Hwee Hwa unveiling the school's new name, on Jan 15, 2021. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE- The renamed School of Computing and Information Systems (SCIS) at Singapore Management University (SMU) will now have a greater focus on computer science, intensive programming and technology development.

Formerly known as the School Of Information Systems, SCIS will also almost double its annual enrolment of undergraduates from 276 to 520 this year.

This comes as SCIS launches more programmes that tap on team-based learning, which the school believes is essential for jobs in today's information technology (IT) industry.

SMU's education is known for its interactive, collaborative and project-based approach to learning.

The new name was announced on Friday (Jan 15) at SCIS and reflects the expanded aspirations and role of the school beyond information systems to include computing, said SMU.

During the unveiling ceremony, SMU's president, Professor Lily Kong, said: "The school has been refreshing and augmenting our undergraduate and postgraduate education programmes to go beyond information systems, particularly in the science of computing, hard-core programming and technology development."

Professor Pang Hwee Hwa, dean of SCIS, said the rebranded school will focus on digital transformation, which focuses on preparing students to be valuable to businesses and organisations looking to use technology to stay competitive.

Digital transformation is one of three areas of focus identified by SMU to prepare its students to be multi-disciplinary in the workforce. The other two areas of focus are on sustainable living and growth in Asia.

The school will continue to launch programmes to give its students more skills depth in computing and width in business and social science disciplines.

In August this year, the school will launch a second major in digital business which covers computing skills and the application of technologies to various business functions, and a digital transformation track for postgraduates interested in pursuing the Master of IT in Business programme.

Ms Pearlyn Thiam Zi Hui, a student in her second year at SCIS, said: "I am pretty excited because it is a whole new direction for the school. The addition of computing will give us leverage in Singapore, especially since society is focusing a lot more on technology."

The 21-year-old added that the new emphasis on computing will likely attract more prospective students to enrol in the future, given the demand for those who can code.

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