SIM University (UniSIM), Singapore's fourth university, has launched its first student admission exercise on 12 July 2005 with a comprehensive range of over 40 programmes that create multiple learning paths for students with diverse education qualifications and work experience. It is the first fully private university to be approved by the Ministry of Education to award its own degrees.
UniSIM will fulfil the niche role of a teaching-focused university that maintains strong links with industry, offers flexible and relevant programmes, and focuses on research that is relevant to industry and teaching. As Singapore's first and only university targeted primarily at working adults and adult learners, UniSIM creates a unique flexible learning environment that enables learners to upgrade at their own time, place and pace without compromising work, family and social responsibilities. Its curriculum and pedagogy are designed to suit adult learners who are already highly skilled, but are motivated to acquire greater breadth and depth of knowledge to improve competence, enhance career potential or simply realize the dream of getting a degree.
Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, Founding President of SIM University, said: "SIM University is a timely and long-awaited development. Our economy needs the continuous improvement and knowledge upgrading of its workforce to continue thriving. Working professionals aspire to gain more skills and knowledge, and obtain a formal tertiary qualification. Senior executives treasure continued learning and shared experiences with others within a conducive learning environment. Even homemakers and retirees, who missed out on higher education, value the chance to study for a degree in a discipline of their choice. UniSIM was formed for these people."
Four new schools have been started - Arts and Social Sciences, Business, Human Development and Social Services, and Science and Technology - to offer a spread of programmes at the postgraduate, undergraduate, graduate diploma, diploma and certificate levels.
In line with its core mission of providing upgrading opportunities for professionals and adult learners, UniSIM has adopted a flexible admission but stringent graduation philosophy. Students seeking admission into its undergraduate programmes are required to have at least two GCE 'A' level passes or a polytechnic diploma, minimum two years' work experience and be at least 21 years old. The University’s range of graduate diploma, diploma and certificate programmes are available to those who seek specialized knowledge of a particular business function or specific discipline. Bridging courses are available to help those who need assistance to enter the various programmes.
Tuition fees are kept affordable and have remained at the same rate since the launch of the SIM Open University Degree Programme in 1994. For the entire course of study, UniSIM's undergraduate degree programmes generally cost about S$21,650 for a basic degree and S$28,800 for an honours degree.
Its programmes will be delivered by a core team of full-time academics and a large pool of associate lecturers who are industry practitioners or academics with active consultancy portfolios. As a University for working professionals, UniSIM has plans to forge stronger university-industry collaborations to better serve the needs and interests of its stakeholders.
Said Professor Cham Tao Soon, Chairman of UniSIM's Board of Trustees: "A primary tenet of UniSIM's teaching strategy centres on its ability to keep pace with the changing needs of Singapore business, industry and society. UniSIM's appeal lies in the high standards of its programmes, the diversity of its industry relevant courses, and the flexibility of its learning environment. All UniSIM students are assured of limitless growth and development as they strive for personal and career excellence.”"
UniSIM, which is built upon the programmes and enrolment established by the former SIM Open University Centre, took more than 12 years of meticulous planning and involved key educators such as Professor Cham Tao Soon and Dr Aline Wong. SIM University's Board of Trustees, chaired by Prof Cham, includes Dr Aline Wong, Chairman of the Housing and Development Board; Professor Chong Chi Tat, University Professor, Department of Mathematics, National University of Singapore; Mr Lim Chee Hwee, Director of Higher Education Division, Ministry of Education, and Mr Ong Ye Kung, Chief Executive of Singapore Workforce Development Agency.
As a first step towards realizing its vision of being the university of choice for quality learning programmes for working adults, SIM University has unveiled a modest but targeted admission campaign to reach its audience.
The campaign tagline, U Unlimited, is coined to reflect the unlimited potential and opportunities the university opens up for its graduates as well as the University's wide array of degree programmes. UniSIM’s campaign is designed to appeal to a mature audience, and plays with the University logo's three wave-like strokes to create stylized illustrated icons accompanied by thought provoking headlines to inspire individuals to pursue their personal aspirations.
SIM University's first Open House will be held on 20 August 2005. Members of the public can call
+65 6248 9777 or visit www.unisim.edu.sg to find out more.