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Speech By Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, MOU Signing - SIM Uni, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Uni And WDA

Speech By Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President Of SIM University At The Memorandum Of Understanding Signing Ceremony Between SIM University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University And Singapore Workforce Development Agency, On 5 February 2010 At The Singapore Airshow 2010


Professor John Johnson, President of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University;
Mr. Chan Heng Kee, Chief Executive of Singapore Workforce Development Agency;
Ladies and gentlemen;

  1. Two years ago, we launched the Aerospace Systems Engineering degree by partnering Cranfield University, ST Aerospace and Singapore Polytechnic and last year, we teamed up with MAJ Aviation to offer the first Flight Discovery course in a local undergraduate degree. Today, we witness yet another innovative way that SIM University (UniSIM) is engaging the aerospace industry. I am very glad that all of you have taken time off your busy schedule to celebrate this milestone occasion with us.

  1. Singapore is currently the No.1 centre in Asia for aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), serving the aerospace industry not only within the Southeast Asia region but also the Pacific Rim and East Asia. With the setting up of the Seletar Aerospace Park (SAP), and the projected 100% growth in the commercial airplane fleet worldwide the projected annual growth for the industry is expected to be 10% from 2015 and beyond. These developments will lead to an increase in demand of skilled personnel, and an Economic Development Board’s 2008 report, projected a need for 10,000 trained workers to serve the SAP alone.

  1. UniSIM endeavors to be a part of this exciting growth by proactively equipping and upgrading manpower to meet the workforce needs. With this in mind, UniSIM is collaborating with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University from the US and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) to launch two industry-relevant degrees, namely the Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance (BSAM) and Bachelor of Science in Aviation Business Administration (BSABA).

  1. These two degrees are very different in nature to cater to different needs of the industry. The BSAM will complement our existing Aerospace Systems program by focusing on the technical-based knowledge for the aviation MRO sector, while the BSABA will focus on the softer skills of aviation business management. As with all our other degree programmes, these programmes will be for working adults who are already in the industry and who can best benefit from the upgrading opportunities UniSIM offers. The BSAM will be launched in July 2010 while the BSABA will be launched in January 2011.

  1. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding will put in place a framework for the 3 parties to collaborate in fulfilling the need of training well-qualified manpower for the Singapore aerospace industry that we have collectively identified. This partnership will offer an excellent platform for the three parties to draw on their individual strengths, synergize their resources and at the same time ensure that these two programmes develop the relevant manpower capability for the Singapore aerospace industry. This partnership epitomizes the philosophy of UniSIM to continually engage industry to provide industry-relevant education that produces industry-ready working professionals.

  1. We have in Embry-Riddle, as our academic partner, a world-recognised player in aviation and aerospace education with an enviable record of achievement in every main aspect of aviation and aerospace, including producing six NASA astronauts. Besides ensuring that the two new programmes meet the highest academic and professional standards, Embry-Riddle will also work collaboratively with UniSIM on developing other relevant professional aviation programmes. The two universities have agreed to facilitate the award of dual undergraduate degrees for those students who meet the graduation requirements of both universities. This will be a first for UniSIM.

  1. We are also glad that WDA, who is our other collaborator, recognizes the relevance of the two programmes in enhancing the employability and competitiveness in the aerospace industry workforce. WDA will be instrumental in positioning the programmes to meet the needs of upgrading the skills and capability of the existing workforce in the aerospace industry.

  1. We hope that this collaboration will bring much benefit by not only producing graduates who will boost the quality of the workforce but also enhance the competitiveness of the Singapore aerospace industry as a whole.

  1. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and WDA for their willingness to partner UniSIM in this exciting education initiative for the aerospace industry. Many thanks to my colleagues who have worked tirelessly to bring this collaboration about.

  1. I wish the collaboration and the new programmes every success.

  1. Thank you.

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