Singapore, September 15, 2021 – Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) Provost Professor Tsui Kai Chong will retire on September 30, 2021. The University will welcome Professor Robbie Goh Boon Hua, current National University of Singapore (NUS) Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), as the incoming Provost on October 1, 2021.
Professor Tsui Kai Chong – An academic ahead of his time
Professor Tsui is the founding Provost of SIM University (UniSIM), and subsequently the founding Provost of SUSS, following UniSIM’s restructuring into SUSS as Singapore’s sixth Autonomous University in 2017.
He has played an instrumental role in the restructuring of UniSIM into SUSS, which has since established itself as one of the pioneers of the applied learning pathway in Singapore’s higher education landscape, focusing on the social sciences and upgrading for adult learners. In line with SUSS’s mission and vision, Professor Tsui oversaw efforts to develop more innovative and industry-relevant programmes, as well as deepen ties with various industry sectors. Today, SUSS has about 15,000 students enrolled in its 80 undergraduate and graduate programmes, supported by over 250 faculty and 2,000 associate faculty members. These programmes include those in social work and early childhood education.
Under Professor Tsui’s stewardship, SUSS developed its core philosophy of Head (professionally competent and job-ready, with applied skills), Heart (socially conscious with a desire to make positive changes in society) and Habit (self-directed and lifelong learner with strong ethics and values) to provide students with a holistic educational experience. In line with this core philosophy, SUSS has developed entrepreneurship, overseas exposure, service learning and work attachment programmes, which now form an essential part of the full-time undergraduate experience. In particular, Professor Tsui has enhanced SUSS’s partnerships with companies in ASEAN and China, providing more opportunities for students to gain valuable work experience and overseas exposure. Professor Tsui also led key changes to the undergraduate experience, including the introduction of SUSS core courses in the humanities and applied social sciences, which enables students to pick up interdisciplinary knowledge and skills.
Professor Tsui has also played a key role in helping to safeguard student and staff well-being. For instance, SUSS stepped up counselling and financial support for students who require more support, including through the establishment of the SUSS Student Care Fund. Professor Tsui also helped ensure that teaching and learning in SUSS could continue safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. SUSS’s ability to pivot quickly to home-based learning is testament to its distinctive flexible learning structure, which is a result of Professor Tsui’s longstanding efforts in supporting investments in IT facilities and online learning sources.
An educator at heart with a passion for adventure, Professor Tsui has also personally engaged students and faculty. He walked the talk of an experiential learning believer by participating in four ‘Gobi Desert Challenge’, organised by the University that challenges staff, students and alumni to endure approximately 120-km each trek through the Gobi desert together with others from all over the world.
In recognition of his contributions, Professor Tsui was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 2020.
SUSS Pro-Chancellor, Mr Richard Eu, who was previously Chairman of SUSS, expressed his appreciation to Professor Tsui for his years of service at SUSS. He said, “Kai Chong was instrumental in growing and developing SUSS to what it is today. He was a trailblazer in the education sector and brought about many changes and new ideas from his past experiences and network. These initiatives played an important role in shaping SUSS’s education approach.”
Professor Tsui said, “It has been a fulfilling and purposeful journey with SUSS. With diligence and agility, I believe the University will continue to thrive and stay focused on its social mission. A big thank you to the SUSS family for the confidence, cooperation and friendship they have given me throughout the years.”
Professor Robbie Goh Boon Hua – Bringing fresh ideas to SUSS
Professor Goh is the current Dean of the FASS and a Professor of Literature in the department of English Language and Literature, NUS. He obtained his B.A. Honours (1st Class, direct honours, 1988) and M.A. (1989) from NUS, and his Ph.D from the University of Chicago (1993).
Professor Goh has also served in a number of leadership roles in NUS, including as Vice-Dean of FASS (2010-2015), Head of the Department of English Language and Literature (2004-2010), Deputy Director of the Asia Research Institute (2008-2010), and Deputy Director of the Centre for the Arts (1996-1999). He is a passionate educator who has won multiple teaching awards and has been recognised for his scholarship and service to academia and society.
Some of his achievements at NUS include planning and implementing the FASStrack Asia Summer School, which has become a premier international education event that also serves the entire NUS community. He also implemented the FASS “Industry Tracks” programme, which enhances student employability by complementing their majors with important hard and soft skills as well as internships and mentorships. In addition, Professor Goh helped to develop and establish the new NUS College of Humanities and Sciences.
Professor Goh has also served on the Board of the Metropolitan YMCA (including as Second Vice-President), and as co-chair of the NUS Resilience and Growth Innovation Challenge to fund student social innovations during the COVID-19 period. Outside of academia, he has been active in church work and volunteerism, having done volunteer work with schools and orphanages in India.
Said Professor Goh: “I am excited about joining SUSS, a young university with a deep commitment to serving society, which resonates strongly with my own background and values. SUSS is also doing important work in continuing education, experiential learning, adult learning, and work-study pedagogy, all of which are crucial in upskilling individuals in a fast-evolving workplace. I believe that its strengths in these areas, and in its educational partnerships with the private and public sectors, have much to offer society. I look forward to learning from SUSS, and also hope to bring experience and new ideas to help it fulfil its mission.”
SUSS Chairman, Mrs Mildred Tan said, “We express our deep appreciation to Kai Chong’s unwavering service and contributions to the university during his appointment as Provost of SUSS and wish him all the best. We warmly welcome Robbie Goh as the next Provost, and look forward to Robbie’s contributions to shape the next generation of SUSS community to create a meaningful impact on society.”
SUSS President, Professor Cheong Hee Kiat said, “We are delighted to welcome Robbie into the SUSS family. The University will gain from his background and passion as an educator as we chart our way forward to live our vision as the leading university for social good, to inspire lifelong learning, and transform society through applied social sciences. We also thank Kai Chong for his tireless efforts and extraordinary contributions to the University’s academic programmes and policies.”
– END –
For media queries and interviews, please contact:
Valerie Ng (Ms)
Senior PR Manager, Communications & Marketing
Singapore University of Social Sciences
Tian Zhiyuan (Mr)
Manager, Communications & Marketing
Singapore University of Social Sciences
About the Singapore University of Social Sciences
Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) is a university with a rich heritage in inspiring lifelong education, and transforming society through social sciences. We develop work-ready graduates and work-adaptive alumni to their fullest potential through our 3H’s education philosophy – ‘Head’ for professional competency with applied knowledge, ‘Heart’ for social awareness to meet the needs of the society, and ‘Habit’ for passion towards lifelong learning.
We offer over 80 undergraduate and graduate programmes, available in full- and part-time study modes, which are flexible, modular and inter-disciplinary, catering to both fresh school leavers and adult learners. SUSS also offers a broad range of continuing education and training modular courses for the professional skills upgrading of Singapore’s workforce.
Our programmes and courses are made available through our five schools:
- S R Nathan School of Human Development
- School of Business
- School of Humanities and Behavioural Sciences
- School of Law
- School of Science and Technology
To date, over 38,000 graduates have experienced our unique brand of education, and each year, about 15,000 students are pursuing their full- and part-time studies with us.
The Institute for Adult Learning (IAL)
, as part of SUSS, leads in the field of research on adult learning to build capabilities of the training and adult education sector in Singapore and beyond.
For more information on SUSS, please visit www.suss.edu.sg