The Singapore Institute of Management's Open University Centre (SIM-OUC) continued to keep up with its graduation numbers for the eighth year running. This year, more than 740 students will graduate over two sessions at the SIM Headquarters.
With the new SIM University having just been launched, SIM-OUC students who graduate from 2006 onwards will be allowed to choose between an SIM University or Open University of the United Kingdom (OUUK) degree.
The seeds of SIM University (UniSIM) were planted back in 1992 when SIM was selected by the Ministry of Education to run the Open University Degree Programme (OUDP) in collaboration with OUUK. SIM OUDP’s first intake of 900 students had only three degree programmes to choose from in 1994. The first graduation ceremony was held in 1998, with 334 graduates at a ceremony graced by Dr Tony Tan, Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore.
In 2002, the SIM OUDP attained accreditation status from OUUK, and was re-named SIM-OUC as an autonomous entity of SIM. In 2005, SIM was granted approval by the Ministry of Education to form UniSIM, Singapore's fourth university dedicated to creating upgrading opportunities for working professionals and adult learners. UniSIM has since taken over from SIM-OUC more than 6,500 students studying in over 40 programmes at postgraduate, undergraduate, diploma and certificate levels.
Career Advancements for SIM-OUC Graduates
Since its inception, SIM OUC's flexible mode of learning has made it possible for close to 5,000 working adults to upgrade their knowledge and skills, while juggling work, family and social responsibilities at the same time. Many have advanced in their careers and fulfilled their dreams of becoming graduates. The careers of Mr Tan Ming Joo and Mr Zainudin Bin Osman were given a boost even while they were still pursuing studies at SIM-OUC. This year, they graduated with First Class Honours from the Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Information Technology & Computing programme.
Interest in computers during his polytechnic days spurred Tan Ming Joo, 42, to pursue an SIM-OUC degree programme more than five years ago. The regional solutions manager at APJ SSA Global Technologies said: "This programme has definitely boosted my career. I have gained a better understanding of Information Technology and acquired much relevant knowledge. Furthermore, I am now able to help friends and relatives with their PC problems." Said Ming Joo: "Because my job requires frequent travel, I've often had to miss lectures. But this reality has also taught me discipline, and SIM-OUC's flexible learning has been a strong enabling factor in my efforts at self-study."
Zainudin Bin Osman, 32, started off as a technician at Singapore Telecom International Pte Ltd in 1995, after completing national service. He pursued a part-time diploma programme at a local polytechnic, and subsequently enrolled in SIM-OUC's BSc (Honours) Information Technology & Computing programme to upgrade his skills. "The SIM-OUC programme has been a big help to my career. Most of the subjects covered are relevant to my work. I am convinced that the success I enjoyed in my studies was the result of the flexible mode of learning that SIM-OUC offers, which helped me manage and balance study and work demands," said Zainudin. Zainudin has since been promoted to senior associate engineer, even while he was in the midst of studies at SIM-OUC.
The SIM-OUC Graduation Ceremony will be held over two sessions on 15 July. Guest of Honour for Session 1 is Mr Chew Heng Ching, Deputy Speaker and Member of Parliament for East Coast GRC; with Mr Hsieh Fu Hua, Chairman of SIM Governing Council and CEO of Singapore Exchange Ltd, as the SIM Presiding Officer.
For Session 2, Dr Amy Khor, Mayor of South West District and Member of Parliament for Hong Kah GRC, will be the Guest of Honour with Mr Gerard Ee, Member of SIM Governing Council and President of National Council of Social Service, as the SIM Presiding Officer.
Professor Linda Jones, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Curriculum and Awards of The Open University, will be the OUUK Presiding Officer for both sessions.