Professor Cheong Hee Kiat
President (2005 to 2022)
Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)
Professor Cheong served as the Founding President of SUSS from 2005 to 2022. Since 2023, he was conferred the title of President Emeritus in recognition of his vast contributions to the university and Singapore's education sector.
Professor Cheong's passion for lifelong learning and social impact has led him to champion higher education for all, making learning accessible to individuals from all walks of life is almost synonymous with the growth story of SUSS.
Under his pivotal leadership, SUSS grew from strength to strength, benefitting adult learners most significantly and advancing the local education system while fulfilling its social mission as a university to serve Singaporeans.
Through the tenure of his Presidency, the university's intake grew from 1,500 students to over 17,000 students today, and its rich offering of applied programmes garnered industry-wide recognition.
Work-ready and Work-adaptive
As a firm believer in “Learner for Life”, Professor Cheong rallied students and the SUSS community to pursue continuing learning so as to stay relevant and adaptive to the changing world. This is done through the ‘Head, Heart and Habit’ education philosophy, birthed by Professor Cheong.
With Professor Cheong’s foresight, he has built a strong and well-rounded university. Indeed, it augers well for the future direction and growth of SUSS.
Contribution and Service
Professor Cheong joined academia at Nanyang Technological University in 1986, and held various academic and administrative appointments including Deputy President and Dean of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He has served on the boards of several tertiary education institutions, the Public Utilities Board (PUB), the Building & Construction Authority (BCA), and public committees including the Committee on University Education Pathways beyond 2015 (CUEP) and Applied Study in Polytechnics and ITE Review (ASPIRE), which led to an enlargement of university cohort participation rate and the establishment of the SkillsFuture movement, respectively.
He has also been active in university accreditation and academic audits in Singapore and internationally. He is currently a member of the Singapore Engineering Accreditation Board, the Council for Third Age and chairman of the Singapore Bible College. He was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2020.
Professor Cheong graduated from the University of Adelaide and the Imperial College, London. He is a registered Professional Engineer (Civil) and Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Singapore, the Academy of Engineering, Singapore and the Society of Project Managers.
“It has been a privilege for me to serve alongside my colleagues, the wider SUSS community and our partners to bring accessible, good quality applied learning to our students. It is especially gratifying that through SUSS, many are given the opportunity to uplift their careers and lives for themselves and for their families. The University has grown in scale, relevance and standing – all these accomplished through the hard work and dedication of the entire SUSS community, faculty, colleagues, benefactors and other partners. I am blessed by the support extended to me by the SUSS Board of Trustees and my colleagues. The role of higher education is shifting, and the university must change and innovate along with the disruptions that emerge – I am confident that SUSS is ready for the future.”
- Professor Cheong Hee Kiat