Welcome Address By Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President, Singapore University Of Social Sciences, At The Opening Of Silver Industry Standards Exchange And Launch Of SS618 – Guidelines On User Interface Design For Older Adults On 23 March 2017, 9am, SUSS, Performing Arts Theatre
Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Chairman of Government Parliamentary Committee for Communications and Information, and MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC;
Mr Robert Chew, Chairman, Silver Industry Standards Committee;
Ms Choy Sauw Kook, Assistant Chief Executive, SPRING Singapore;
Distinguished speakers and guests;
Ladies and gentlemen;
Good morning and a very warm welcome to all.
- As most of you would have been aware, the University had undergone a name change last Friday as we move to being an autonomous university. We are now known as the Singapore University of Social Sciences, or SUSS, with a mandate from the Government to focus on applied education in the social sciences, and also as a university for lifelong learning – catering to both full-time students and adult learners.
- If you are holding on to any collateral that bears our previous name or logo of SIM University or UniSIM, keep them well as these may become collectors' items in time to come.
Showcasing the University's Focus
- Let me say a few words about our new being. A focus on the social sciences is part of the DNA of our University. We have a good number of programmes that are in the disciplines in traditional social science and also in areas which have a big impact on social and community progress and well-being. Come to think of it, many disciplines have some impact, so if we define the social sciences in a broad way, then much of what we have been doing identifies well with our new name, whether in social work, business, law, languages or IT and technology. And, we will continue to run programmes and produce graduates for the social good, and I hope all of you here will journey with us on the new, yet not-so-new, trajectory we are taking as SUSS.
- Ageing is one of the mega trends that is pertinent in many countries around the world. Singapore is among the most rapidly ageing country. In the last decade, the Singapore resident population has grown older with more elderly and fewer younger people. As at end June 2016, the proportion of residents aged 65 years and above has increased from 8.4% in 2006 to 12.4%. There are fewer working-age adults to support each resident aged 65 years and above.
- Sensing this early on, we pioneered the first Master degree in Gerontology in Singapore back in 2011. We have also been promoting active ageing in Singapore by opening up opportunities for lifelong learning through our provision of inclusive educational opportunities in a wide range of disciplines and by participating strongly in SkillsFuture. Learning promotes greater self-confidence and keeps one mentally alert. It also opens doors to new worlds of social networks and knowledge.
- Another trend juxtaposing population ageing is the increasing ubiquity of technology use, leading to the digitisation of products and services. This led a group of four SUSS faculty across different disciplines in Anthropology, Gerontology, Human Factors and Information Systems to embark on a research project to study and address the challenges senior citizens face in using technology. I am very glad that the SS618 Standard on User Interface Design for Older Adults, to be launched today, is built upon the findings from this research project. This aptly showcases the type of research that our University emphasises on, i.e., research that has relevance to the industry and the society.
Silver Industry Standards Exchange
- Besides launching the SS618 Standard, today's event also showcases a number of Singapore Standards that can be used by organisations in creating products and services that better serve the needs of an ageing population.
- I look forward to learning more from the sharing by all our distinguished speakers and will be actively looking out for opportunities to leverage these Standards in supporting our University's lifelong learning effort in delivering courses to adults and also senior learners through either the continuous education and training pathway or the National Silver Academy.
- On this note, I wish to express my appreciation to SPRING Singapore in co-organising this event with us.
- I wish all of you an enriching seminar ahead.
- Thank you.