Singapore, October 5, 2021 — Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) will be presenting a 72-year-old graduand with the inaugural Provost 3H Fund – Habit Award at this year’s convocation ceremony, which opens today. Mr Teo Jwee Chiang will receive his award on Thursday, for exemplifying a self-directed lifelong learner with strong ethics and values. He is also the oldest bachelor degree graduand among the 2021 cohort.
Mdm Halimah Yacob, President of Singapore and the University’s Patron, presided at the opening ceremony. The Guest of Honour was Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, and Second Minister for Law.
SUSS Convocation 2021 will see approximately 2,600 graduands, a 7% increase from 2020, celebrating the pinnacle of their university life. They include the pioneer batch of three new programmes, namely, the Master of Management, Bachelor of Laws and Enterprise Leadership for Transformation.
The in-person ceremonies will be held from 5-12 October, 2021, over 24 sessions and streamed online. This is almost five times the usual number of ceremonies, to adhere to COVID-19 Safe Management Measures. Some 77% of the 2,620 Class of 2021 students will receive their graduation scrolls in person.
2,375 will receive Bachelor’s degrees, and 218 students will be awarded post graduate degrees. Another 13 participants of the Executive Management Programme (EMP) and 14 inaugural participants of the Enterprise Leadership for Transformation Programme (ELT) in collaboration with Enterprise Singapore will also be receiving their certificates1.
Among the graduands of Class of 2021 include students from the Alibaba Cloud-SUSS Entrepreneurship Programme and Venture Builder Programme, which spur numerous start-ups to help individuals and businesses during this Covid-19 period. Together with the EMP and ELT programmes, it is aligned with SUSS’s learning philosophy of creating multiple pathways, as well as encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship. This is SUSS’s second in-person convocation event conducted amid the Covid-19 pandemic, after a postponed ceremony was held for the Class of 2020 from April 29 – May 6, 2021.
Recognising graduating students with strong “Habit” attributes
The inaugural Provost 3H Fund – Habit Award recognises SUSS’s oldest graduate from an undergraduate programme for exhibiting strong “Habit” attributes2, with a plaque and $3,000 in cash.
Awardee Mr Teo Jwee Chiang shared: “I feel flattered to receive the Provost 3H Fund – Habit Award. I intend to use the money to contribute back to society. I will set up a free TCM medical centre and a Chinese tuition website to help the less privileged and make a difference to the community.”
Mr Teo, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese Language and Literature, will receive his degree at Session 10 of the Convocation ceremony on Thursday, October 7, 2021.
This is not Mr Teo’s only degree. He completed his graduate diploma in management at the Singapore Institute of Engineering Technologists, and proceeded to obtain the Masters of Science in Engineering Management from The International University (USA) in 1996.
After his retirement, Mr Teo wrote prolifically and has since published more than 600 articles in local newspapers, Buddhist publications and websites. During his studies at SUSS, Mr Teo was appointed class monitor and he took the opportunity to create a bi-annual newsletter titled “日新跃艺 ” (SUSS Literature), a platform for his classmates to publish their works, while building the awareness and creation of Chinese literature and related research.
Mr Teo is currently working on two books – “平凡的一生:张维昌回忆录” (An Ordinary Life: Memoir of Teo Jwee Chiang), on his life and experiences; and ”维昌随笔” (Essays by Jwee Chiang), on his views about family, country, environment and various societal issues. He hopes to complete the books by this year.
Mr Teo is married with two children, and has four grandchildren.
The Provost 3H Fund – Habit Award was established to honour SUSS’s Founding Provost, Professor Tsui Kai Chong, for his pioneering spirit and innovative leadership during his 16-year tenure as Provost. It is aimed at inspiring students to embrace innovation in their educational pursuits while reinforcing the spirit of resilience, foundational for a lifelong passion for learning. In keeping with Prof Tsui’s advocacy of non-academic excellence, the fund highlights excellence in non-academic endeavours, in areas such as service-learning, entrepreneurship, and lifelong education. Upon his retirement as Provost on September 30, 2021, Prof Tsui was conferred SUSS’s first emeritus professorship in recognition of his achievements.
Pioneer graduands from three programmes
This year’s convocation also marks the graduation of SUSS’s pioneer batch from three programmes, namely, Master of Management (seven graduands), Bachelor of Laws (19 graduands), and Enterprise Leadership for Transformation (14 participants).
These programmes were launched in response to market demand for skilled workers in the fields of management, digitalisation, criminal and family law, and transformation leadership for local small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The University also introduced many courses with minors, such as Psychology with Communication, Psychology with Film Studies, and Business with Contemporary China Studies, which are developed in collaboration with industry, equipping our students with a holistic and interdisciplinary learning experience. In 2022, the University will continue to offer new SUSS Core courses3 that focus on emerging local and global issues such as sustainability, inequality, and vulnerability. These will complement existing courses on ethical and critical reasoning, the meaning of work, technology and globalisation, as well as cities and crises; allowing our students to think beyond their professional discipline and better understand the world and its emerging issues.
SUSS President Prof Cheong Hee Kiat in his address to graduands stressed the importance to “stay agile, never stop learning and do good”. He said: “You have come through challenges, particularly in the last one and a half years, when you had to complete school in the midst of a global pandemic. It was not easy. Besides the demands of your studies, your lives were disrupted, and there were added stress and uncertainties. You persevered, overcame them, and grew stronger as a student and as a person. Well done! My call to you is to be similarly adaptive, or what some describe as agile, when you face your future.
“Lifelong learning and collaboration are keys in carving out a successful career path. Learning about life makes you a better person, wiser, more able to deal with people and life’s circumstances. Real-world issues are often connected and it is essential for you to have multiple perspectives, be open-minded and interact readily with peers from other disciplines. You caught some of these in SUSS, and you will find them useful throughout your life.
“I hope your success will be much more of how you will be a conscientious citizen, someone who will give to others and uplift those in need, and who will make a positive contribution to our community.”
CONVOCATION 2021 BY NUMBERS
The convocation is the fifth since SUSS was accorded an Autonomous University status, and the 16th since the University was established.
● 2,593 graduates in total
● 2,375 Bachelor’s Degree graduates
● 13 Executive Management Programme Certificate recipients
● 14 Enterprise Leadership for Transformation Certificate recipients
● 212 Master Degree graduates
● 6 Doctorate Degree graduates
| School / Programme ||Total |
| School of Law|| 36|
| School of Humanities & Behavioural Sciences|| 432|
| SR Nathan School of Human Development|| 788|
| School of Business|| 880|
| School of Science & Technology|| 456|
| Beijing Normal University|| 1|
SUSS’s holistic effort to support our students and alumni
Most graduates found that SUSS’s Career Services had a positive impact on them and that SUSS had prepared them for the job market. Apart from this, SUSS has implemented various measures to support our students and alumni during COVID-19. Information on SUSS other support measures for students, fresh graduates and alumni can be found in the Annex.
1 The EMP and ELT programmes are conducted by Centre for Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE), which also manages SUSS’s Continuing Education and Training (CET). It promotes continuing and professional education by identifying industry needs and working with the Schools to package or develop courses to meet these needs. Its work is aligned to the SkillsFuture agenda of building a culture of lifelong learning and SUSS’s support for transformation in enterprises and industries.
2 SUSS develops 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 of the needs of the society, and ‘Habit’ for passion towards lifelong learning. 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.
3 The SUSS Core courses provide a common experience in the humanities and applied social sciences to all SUSS undergraduate students to achieve the broader goals of cross-disciplinary knowledge and competencies, and emphasises the importance and role of human skills in a technologised world. It offers a dedicated cluster of courses focused on emerging and complex local and global issues, teaching students to think critically, reflexively, empathetically, and creatively to provide well-reasoned personal responses as well as responses as trained professionals in their respective areas.
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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
Personalised career guidance and support for students to boost employability
SUSS’s Career Development Office (CDO) provides career guidance and 1-on-1 mentoring for our full-time undergraduates, throughout their four years of undergraduate studies, and such guidance will continue to be offered to graduates post-graduation.
SUSS students conduct Peer Mentoring Workshops for the student community to enhance their digital literacy skillsets. Some of the topics covered include image and video editing, Python programming and Machine Learning. The student mentors design the teaching plan while learning basic class facilitation skills.
SUSS’ career mentors work closely with students to facilitate their work attachments and gain industry-relevant experience during their programmes. Students are encouraged to take on work attachments that involve projects that are interdisciplinary in nature. This way, they look beyond their major disciplines and explore work across different disciplines. For example, a student majoring in human resource management could undertake a Work Attachment role in marketing, instead of one in Human Resources. CDO also pairs our students with companies overseas through our virtual internship programme so that they can be familiar with remote working across different countries and cultures despite the travel restrictions and border closure. It allows students to accumulate real-life work experience and broaden their global perspective.
As part of SUSS’s efforts to help our students with their job search and career development, our career mentors regularly share job opportunities from their network with our graduating cohort. CDO has also been working with partners to explore emplacements of graduates through the SGUnited Traineeships Programme. Within SUSS alone, about 140 SGUnited Traineeships have been created in support of our Class of 2020 and 2021 graduands.
For more info: https://www.suss.edu.sg/about-suss/college-of-lifelong-experiential-learning/cel/career-development-office
Venture Builder Programmes to groom aspiring entrepreneurs
In addition to our 9-month SUSS Venture Builder programme launched in June 2020, SUSS has partnered with Enterprise Singapore (ESG) to launch a new compressed 3-month entrepreneurship traineeship programme for graduates and students who are aspiring entrepreneurs to fast- track, identify and validate business ideas.
Launched in August 2020, this initiative supported by ESG has helped 38 participants build a stronger foundation in entrepreneurship, and develop innovative products or solutions that are relevant to market needs.
Over 40 participants have completed these programmes and launched successful start-ups.
For more information, please visit: https://www.suss.edu.sg/experience-at-suss/entrepreneurship/venture-builder-traineeship-programme.
Building on our graduates’ degrees through Resilience Scheme
SUSS graduates from our Class of 2020 and 2021 full-time undergraduate programmes can access a catalogue of continuing education and training (CET) courses to deepen their relevant industry skills to help with their job search. Full-time graduates can enjoy four free courses (up to 20 Credit Units) at SUSS, taken within three years after graduation. The University helps by recommending suitable CET courses to graduates to build on their degrees.
For more info: https://www.suss.edu.sg/courses/schemes/resilience
Alumni Continuing Education Plus (ACE+) Scheme
Eligible SUSS graduates can enjoy two free modular courses (up to 10 Credit Units) at the University taken within two years after graduation. This scheme encourages our new graduates to continue on the learning path they have taken, in a mode that they are familiar with. This scheme is open to all graduates who completed their undergraduate degree programmes from the July 2014 semester onwards, and all graduates who completed their graduate degree programmes (i.e., Graduate Diploma, Master and PhD) from the July 2019 semester onwards.
For more info: https://www.suss.edu.sg/courses/schemes/alumni-continuing-education-plus--scheme
Course Fee Concession
All alumni of our degree programmes (Bachelor, Master & Doctoral programmes) can receive 20% or 30% of fee concession when they return to take our programmes or take CET courses. This is in line with SUSS’s purpose of inspiring lifelong learning and to encourage our alumni to continue upskilling themselves.
For more info: https://www.suss.edu.sg/graduate-studies/admissions/tuition-fees#Course-Fee-Concession; https://www.suss.edu.sg/courses/admissions/tuition-fees