Singapore, May 15, 2020 – The Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) has rolled out several measures for our graduating cohort and alumni to boost their competencies and employability, in preparation for a weaker hiring climate due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over 2500 students are expected to graduate from the University this year, of which over 300 are full-time undergraduates.
Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President of SUSS, said, “SUSS recognises the challenges and concerns of our fresh graduates entering the softening labour market, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We want our graduating cohort and also alumni to know that they are not alone in this difficult time. We hope they will leverage on these initiatives and take this opportunity to further hone and develop their skills, so that they’re better prepared for the job market and its eventual recovery. More initiatives are being planned and will be introduced periodically to assist and upskill SUSS students, graduating cohort and alumni in the coming months.”
Below are some of the University’s initiatives:
Venture Builder Programme
The Venture Builder Programme is an initiative by SUSS to provide a structured six-to 12-month hands-on training and various support to equip our graduates with entrepreneurial mindset and skills to start their own businesses. Launching in June, 30 students will be eligible for this comprehensive scheme.
In terms of training, SUSS will also conduct A-Z “business studios” ranging from profiling to ideation, legal, finance, leadership, and talent recruitment, amongst others. These workshops aim to equip graduates with in-depth skills to build their start-ups. SUSS Incubation Specialists and Entrepreneur-in-Residence will act as co-founder for each team to advice, provide mentorship and methodology as well as testing support. SUSS faculty and domain experts will also mentor the teams and connect the students with their local and regional partner networks.
Intensive Gig Economy Workshop Series
SUSS will also be conducting six days of intensive hands-on business workshop series in June and July to train graduates to start and run a gig economy business. Participants will be taught topics including how to set up an online business that sells a service or product, how to be dropshippers and digital marketeers. SUSS will provide some marketing funding to kickstart their business.
The six-day workshop series will focus on three topics:
• Freelancer (two days)
• E-commerce (two days)
• Growth Hacking (two days)
“The Venture Builder Programme and Gig Economy workshop series that we are conducting are a shot in the arm for young entrepreneurs. It is open to SUSS alumni who graduated in 2019 and 2020 graduating cohort,” said Professor Cheong.
SUSS graduates from our Class of 2020 full-time undergraduate programmes can also access a set of selected courses to deepen their skills and knowledge, including soft skills. Full-time graduates can enjoy four free courses (up to 20 Credit Units) at SUSS, taken within three years after graduation. Upon successful completion of the course, a certificate will be issued together with the relevant credit units. These earned credit units can be stacked towards other higher-level qualifications such as Master or Doctoral 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-continuingeducation-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.
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
Personalised Career Guidance
SUSS’s Career Development Office (CDO) provides career guidance and 1-on-1 mentoring for our full-time undergraduates, and training them on skillsets that are highly relevant and functional in post-graduation working life.
On top of that, our SUSS current students will conduct Peer Mentoring Workshops for other students to enhance their digital literacy skillsets. Some of the topics covered in these workshops includes image and video editing, and programming such as Python and Machine Learning.
“From our conversations with our industry partners and potential employers, we realise that they are looking for graduates who are conversant with both the hard and soft skills. Hard skills such as data analytics and what one does with data, are important. Equally essential are soft skills such as creativity, communication, and leadership. The University already embed these skills in all our modules. On top of that, with our smaller size of cohort, our CDO specialists are able to provide quality time to further boost our students with these hard and soft skills,” said Professor Cheong.
For more info: https://www.suss.edu.sg/about-suss/college-of-lifelong-experiential-learning/cel/career-development-office
Student Care Fund
SUSS has also set up a Student Care Fund to help our current full-time and part-time students during this challenging period. SUSS students facing sudden or immediate financial hardship, arising from unexpected family and life situations can apply for contingency financial grant from SUSS. With up to S$1,000 per disbursement, it may be given as outright cash and/or an amount to offset against the tuition fee. There is no bond attached and recipient is not required to repay the grant.
“It is heartening to see our staff and alumni coming together to contribute to our Student Care Fund to do our bit for our students,” said Professor Cheong.
SGUnited Traineeships Programme
SUSS is working closely with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Workforce Singapore (WSG) to provide our fresh graduates with traineeship opportunities in the University. This 12-month traineeship programme will enable our graduates to learn from experienced mentors and develop industry-relevant skills.
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About the Singapore University of Social Sciences
SUSS is a university with a rich heritage in providing lifelong, learner-centric and industry-relevant education. Our mission is to champion lifelong education to develop future thinkers and leaders 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.
We offer more than 70 undergraduate and graduate programmes, available in full- and part-time study modes which are flexible, modular and multi-faceted in learning experience to cater to both fresh school leavers and adult learners. We also launched a broad range of continuing education and training modular courses for the professional skills and knowledge upgrading of our 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 30,000 graduates have chosen SUSS as their university of choice. Each year, about 15,000 students are pursuing their full- and part-time studies with us.
From 1 April 2019, the Institute for Adult Learning (IAL) became an autonomous institute of SUSS. Both entities enable a synergistic collaboration as IAL brings to SUSS its expertise and experience in adult learning and Continuing Education and Training (CET), while SUSS provides an ecosystem of resources and experts rooted in academic rigour.
For more information on SUSS, please visit www.suss.edu.sg.