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Opening Remarks by Prof Tan Tai Yong at SUSS-Bay Area Network Success Academy Launch at Shenzhen

Ms Charine Yong, Consul (Political), Consulate-General, Republic of Singapore in Guangzhou
Ms Huang Xiaoying, Founder and Chairman of Shenzhen Bay Area Network Consulting Co. Ltd. 
Representatives of Qianhai Authority, Shenzhen Talent Work Bureau, Commerce Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Shenzhen University
Industry Partners, Ladies and Gentlemen

Welcome to the inaugural launch of the SUSS – Bay Area Network Success Academy in Shenzhen, China. And just yesterday, we opened our Academy in Beijing. These events certainly mark a momentous new chapter for SUSS and our partners, brimming with potential and opportunities born from the synergy of collaboration, innovation and education. I extend my most heartfelt gratitude to Bay Area Network, our steadfast partner and friend in Shenzhen, and to the dedicated SUSS Student Success Centre whose efforts have transformed this vision into reality today.

Elevating Learning & Training for Students & Industry

China and Singapore have cultivated a strong and interconnected relationship, built upon a mutual commitment to shaping a prosperous future for our citizens and economies. This bond extends to the realm of education as well, where we have fostered substantial collaborations. These partnerships continue to facilitate vital exchanges of educational initiatives, offering our students opportunities for experiential learning and our businesses access to academic insights and corporate training. The launch of the SUSS Success Academy in Beijing and Shenzhen not only reinforces the strong ties between our two nations, but also fits nicely into this mutual emphasis on talent development and training.

Centred primarily on student success through hands-on experience, the Academy will expand and elevate student cross-learning and entrepreneurial journeys.  It will leverage SUSS’ well-established overseas internships, Impact Startup Challenge, Venture Builder Programme, among other platforms. These programmes will not only benefit SUSS students. We will also invite students from other institutes of higher learning in Singapore to co-learn and co-innovate with our own students, and importantly, those from our host country China as well. 

  • To achieve this, first of all, we have and will continue to foster collaborations with notable partners in China to establish overseas work attachment programmes that advance the professional preparedness of our students while addressing dynamic talent needs of native corporates. To date, we have emplaced about 80 students on such overseas work attachments in China including Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Nanjing, just to name a few. In Shenzhen, we have also organised an experiential teambuilding programme for close to 1000 students to expose them to the rapid technological advancements and developments in this smart city. This encompassed learning trips to companies such as Tencent, Galaxy Holdings and CloudPark Technology. The programme also served as a teambuilding platform for our students to network and build peer support communities, including with local students from Shenzhen University.
  • Our signature entrepreneurship programme, SUSS Impact Startup Challenge, has also been a mainstay programme extended to students in both countries since 2018. This credit-bearing course have brought together students from Singapore and China in a week-long hackathon-like programme where students learn collaboratively on the Lean Startup methodology and tools, as well as test and calibrate their ideas and network with investors. Now, we are planning to kick off the next Impact Startup Challenge with Shenzhen University, themed ‘Technology for Social Good’, in 2024. SUSS will also renew our partnership with Shenzhen University with a new MOU to deepen our commitment to collaborate and create social impact together. 

Beyond these programmes which focus on students’ experiential learning, the Academy will also leverage SUSS’s expertise in adult and workplace learning.  It will also create professional training and development solutions for industry partners, organisations and institutions. 

  • The Academy will be as a strategic overseas centre to catalyse strong networks and sustainable partnerships for SUSS to work with local industries and institutions to co-design programmes and co-deliver outcomes that address real-world demands.
  • We will kickstart this by availing our executive and graduate programmes, such as Graduate Certificates to Graduate Diplomas to Masters programmes, directly to local industry partners. We will also partner with local institutions to customise training programmes to boost their capability and allow them to grow.
  • Additionally, the Academy will scan, identify and leverage its partnership network to realise meaningful and insightful overseas study trips and exchanges for students in our graduate programmes.

From Impacting Singapore to the Region 

The SUSS brand is characterised by its emphasis on learning for life, experiential engagement with the ASEAN China India (ACI) region, and social good. In the coming days, we will successively open more branches of the SUSS Academy in the region, so that we can extend our impact to more communities, student groups and industry players.  We are most honoured by the trust and support extended by our governments, partners and students in carrying out our mission. With this invaluable trust and support, we hope to build an ecosystem for social good that transcends borders.

I wish to express my deepest gratitude to Ms Charine Yong and everyone for joining us today to witness our new milestone achieved. Our deepest appreciation, once again, to our cherished partners and friends in Shenzhen and China, whose unwavering support has been instrumental in bringing this vision to fruition.

Thank you.

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