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Welcome Remarks By Professor Cheong Hee Kiat At SUSS 14th Anniversary Lunch On 25 April 2019

Welcome Remarks By Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President, Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), At SUSS 14th Anniversary Lunch, 25 April, The Performing Arts Theatre, SUSS


Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic & Social Policies;
Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education;
Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Education;
Mr Stephen Lee, SUSS Chancellor;
Members, SUSS Board of Trustees and IAL Council;
Colleagues from MOE; SSG, IAL, SUSS; and
Friends from AWWA;


  1. Good afternoon and a warm welcome to all of you.

    It is our privilege to have Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Tharman join us on this special occasion to celebrate SUSS’s 14th anniversary, and the official inauguration of the Institute for Adult Learning (IAL) as an autonomous institute within the SUSS family. Thank you. My sincere appreciation also to Minister Ong, SMS Chee and many of our colleagues from MOE and SkillsFuture Singapore who are here today.

SUSS: 14 years and still counting

  1. Today marks another milestone for SUSS. We have been in university education, in fact, in lifelong learning, ever since we started 14 years ago. We have come quite some way in providing our unique brand of education that is industry relevant, and with a strong social focus. Our students come for degrees – undergraduate and graduate – for continuing education, for casual learning out of interest, at all adult ages, along different pathways, learning what they really want, at individual pace, anywhere, anytime.
  1. It is an enriching environment that we have here in SUSS – plenty of diversity, more inclusive than what one may find in many other universities, people coming in with hopes for qualification upgrading, better careers thereafter, for learning and improving, and where, often, learners are also teachers and vice versa – it is fulfilling, satisfying for all of us at SUSS, and it keeps us ticking and engaged in our enterprise here.
  1. Our vision of becoming the university for lifelong learning continues to be inspired by our conviction that Singaporeans need to continually learn, and apply our learning, in order to stay economically competitive, mentally agile and socially connected.

Welcoming IAL into SUSS

  1. And today, we will mark another significant milestone in our journey – having the Institute for Adult Learning integrated into our family as an autonomous institute.
  1. In the years ahead, SUSS and IAL, will combine our expertise in formal, informal and work-based learning to influence how learning is done not just at SUSS but in Singapore’s adult learning space. These are exciting times, and my team and I look forward to making a mark in the adult learning and CET space, alongside with colleagues from IAL.

Continuing the culture and the work

  1. All that we have achieved these 14 years could not have been realised without the dedicated sustained effort of the SUSS staff, advice and encouragement from our Board, and the confidence and contribution from a strong core of supporters and stakeholders. Over the years, we have built a culture and a shared vision that undergird what we do – being student-centric and set on purpose, teamwork, trust and integrity, innovation, never-say-die attitude. We should all be proud not just of what we have achieved, but how we achieved it.

SUSS and AWWA: serving together

  1. Indeed, we are grateful for what we have, and one of the ways we show that gratitude is our support for, AWWA, whose representatives are here with us today. It is also in keeping with our identity in the social sciences that we practise what we teach. As far back as 1970, AWWA has been serving the community through its wide spectrum of social services, and today it continues to evolve, innovate and fill gaps in the community, venturing into new areas where there is need – and, it is our privilege to serve with them. For the last few years, we have taken a collection among staff and board members each year for AWWA’s charitable purposes. I am happy that we did so again this year and will be presenting the gift to AWWA in a while.
  1. In February this year, SUSS worked with AWWA to deploy its online training for its large group of volunteers, using our online platform. The scalability, reach and productivity gains can be tremendous. Our students do a lot of community service, too, through their service learning stints, but AWWA is the special partner for SUSS. We hope we can further deepen our relationship in the years to come.

Birthday wishes

  1. On this anniversary, let me express three wishes in connection with what I said just now:
    (1) that we will enlarge our usefulness and prowess in adult learning and equipping socially-minded graduates,
    (2) that we will work terrifically with IAL to benefit adult education, and
    (3) we will continue building on our culture, our team spirit, our purposeful effort and student-centredness, and our active core of support, even as we change and adjust to challenges we will face, to build a strong and vibrant SUSS.
  1. Finally, I’d like to thank the teams from SUSS and IAL who worked together to organise this event.
  1. Once again, our sincere gratitude to DPM Tharman, Minister Ong, and all our colleagues from MOE and SSG for being with us here on this significant occasion.
  1. Thank you.

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