New SUTD Academy offers SkillsFuture courses in cyber-security, data analytics

Posted by SGCS Admin, 12-01-2018

More SkillsFuture courses in areas such as cyber-security, data analytics and urban solutions are in the offing, with the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) making its foray into continuing education and training.

Launching the SUTD Academy on Wednesday (Jan 10) with 20 new courses, the university said it aims to develop up to a further 40 courses in the next five years.

Three of the 20 new courses have started — one of them as early as last year. The rest are mostly expected to kick off this year.

The 20 courses span cyber-security, data analytics, urban solutions, engineering, and technology-enabled services — such as software design and design innovation.

Course fees range from S$570 for a programme on innovation in retail, to S$3,600 for a course on the foundation of data science.

Class sizes are capped at 20 to 25 students per instructor to maintain quality, said the SUTD.

The frequency of the courses is not fixed, but some programmes will run monthly or quarterly.

The SUTD Academy will team up with organisations to develop some of the programmes. On Wednesday, it inked Memoranda of Understanding with 13 partners spanning the public and private sectors, the education industry, as well as professional bodies.

For example, it is joining hands with professional-services firm Deloitte Singapore to develop courses in data analytics.

Speaking at the launch of the academy at the SUTD campus in Upper Changi, Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung said the new programmes are in step with his ministry’s plan to widen continuing education and training offerings at higher-learning institutes, including polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education.

As of end-November last year, Mr Ong said, institutes of higher learning rolled out about 450 modular courses under the SkillsFuture Series of programmes launched last October, clocking more than 25,000 training hours in raising the skills of the local workforce.

“Through the SUTD Academy, more Singaporeans can benefit from the SUTD — be they individuals looking to upgrade themselves or corporations seeking to upskill or reskill their workers,” he added.

Noting the SUTD’s wide-ranging efforts in education and research in areas like aviation and the future of cities, Mr Ong announced that the Education Ministry will — on top of its current funding — set aside up to S$75 million to bolster the university’s growth plans on this front.

Besides tapping on the university’s faculty and staff members, the SUTD Academy will engage industry leaders as adjunct fellows to develop courses and train workers, and advise the academy.

Some new courses could also lead to a micro-master’s certification or a full-fledged master’s degree from the SUTD if students amass the credits needed.

The university also plans to offer online modules in fields such as machine learning, cyber-security, and urban science and urban planning leading to a micro-master’s, said Professor Chong Tow Chong, the SUTD’s acting president and provost.

For example, a full-time master’s degree could comprise 10 modules, of which five are fundamental ones.

“But instead of offering a full-time degree, you’ll have these five fundamental courses — we can modularise and digitise it, and offer it online… The student will take, let’s say, up to three or four modules. If they’ve done it, they acquire a micro-master’s (certification),” Prof Chong explained, noting that the SUTD is the first institution here to offer such an arrangement.

To encourage lifelong learning, all SUTD graduates will receive a S$500 voucher that can be used for programmes at the SUTD Academy, along with a free two-year academy membership that offers discounts on courses.