Singapore Management University
|Chancellor||Mr J. Y. Pillay|
|President||Professor Arnoud De Meyer|
|Provost||Professor Lily Kong|
Bras Basah, Singapore |
1°17′48″N 103°50′59″E / 1.29667°N 103.84972°ECoordinates: 1°17′48″N 103°50′59″E / 1.29667°N 103.84972°E
|Campus||Urban; City campus|
|Colours||SMU blue and SMU gold|
The Singapore Management University (Abbreviation: SMU) is an autonomous university in Singapore. The university provides an American-style education modelled after the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
SMU was established on 12 January 2000 and is located in the downtown area of Singapore. It has a city campus with a total enrollment of about 10,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students and comprises six schools offering undergraduate, graduate, and PhD programmes in Business Administration, Business Analytics, Financial Services, Accountancy, Economics, Information Systems Management, Law and the Social Sciences. The University has over 30 research institutes and centres of excellence, and customised corporate training and lifelong learning for individuals are available through the university’s professional and executive development programmes. SMU is accredited by the AACSB International and EQUIS.
The idea of setting up a third university in Singapore was first mooted by the Singapore government in 1997.
Ho Kwon Ping, a Singaporean business entrepreneur, was appointed to chair the SMU task force which determined that the new institution would follow the American university system featuring a more flexible broad-based education. Following a review of undergraduate business schools to serve as a model for SMU, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania emerged as the best candidate. The Wharton-SMU agreement was signed in February 1999 followed in June by the Wharton-SMU Research Center collaboration.
In July 1999, Professor Janice Bellace, then Deputy Dean of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, commenced a two-year term as SMU's first president alongside founding Provost Dr Tan Chin Tiong. Dr Tony Tan, then Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, remarked about the SMU-Wharton relationship: "We hope to be able to tap the expertise and support of Wharton's faculty and extensive alumni network of public and private sector leaders, while offering Wharton a 'beach-head in Asia'."
In 2000, SMU made its first home at the former Raffles College on Evans Road at the edge of the Hwa Chong Institution Campus. The campus, first opened in 1929, had already been home to several institutions, before SMU. In 2001, SMU upgraded and occupied the main campus facilities, balancing the need to refit and refurbish it with facilities while preserving the heritage of colonial architecture. From 2001–2004, Professor Ronald Frank served as SMU's second president and was succeeded by president Professor Howard Hunter.
After five years at Bukit Timah, during which time the University saw the formation of four schools, the library and three centres of excellence as well as the Commencement of the first SMU graduates, SMU moved to its new and permanent city campus in the Bugis-Bras Basah District.
Since then, SMU has expanded, with the establishment of the SMU School of Law in 2007 and the restructuring of the School of Economics and Social Sciences into two Schools, the School of Economics and the School of Social Sciences.
In 2010, Dr Yong Pung How and Professor Arnoud De Meyer officially took over duties from Dr Richard Hu Tsu Tau and Professor Howard Hunter as the Chancellor and the President of SMU respectively. Dr Yong was succeeded by Mr JY Pillay as Chancellor in September 2015.
The Singapore Management University follows a course credit system similar to that used in most American universities. Each individual course within the University is assigned a certain credit weightage and students are usually required to take a specified number of units to fulfill requirements for graduation. Courses are typically conducted as small group seminars of under 50 students so as to allow for a high degree of interactive discourse between students and lecturers.
Admission to the undergraduate programmes is on a competitive and selective basis. Shortlisted applicants will be assessed by SMU professors and evaluated on their academic credentials and co-curricular activity records. Some schools like Law and Business require written tests in addition to interviews.
SMU admits students from a list of pre-university or high school qualifications that includes Singapore Cambridge A-Level, Polytechnic and International Baccalaureate diploma once a year. Application begins in October and closes on 1 April. SMU requires applicants with international qualifications to submit either SAT or English Language Competency.
For entry to graduate or master programmes, SMU requires GMAT and TOEFL or IELTS for most of the study major. Some majors also required submission of essays, recommendation letter, and a minimum of 2 years' work experience.
Undergraduates who are offered a double degree programme have 15 combinations to choose from. They can combine any of two disciplines: Accountancy, Business Management, Economics, Law, Information Systems Management or Social Sciences. Graduates will receive two degree certificates upon successful completion of the double degree programme.
- SMU made its debut on the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings in 2017. Compared to similar specialist universities worldwide, SMU is ranked #11 according to the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings.
- SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business' Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) was ranked #24 worldwide by The Financial Times Executive MBA Ranking 2017. SMU's EMBA programme graduates will earn an average of US$338,725 three years after graduation, with a 20 per cent increase in average alumni salary from before the EMBA to their pre-EMBA salary.
- SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business' Master of Business Administration (MBA) made its debut in The Financial Times MBA Ranking 2018 as #49 worldwide, the highest new entrant in the ranking.
- SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business’ Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance programme is ranked 30th globally and first in Singapore in the latest 2018 Top MBAs for Finance ranking by The Financial Times (FT).
- SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business' research productivity in top ranked journals across all fields of business in 2016-17 is #13 worldwide according to the University of Texas Dallas ranking.
- SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business' research productivity in top ranked journals in management field in 2016-17 is #2 worldwide according to the University of Texas Dallas ranking
- SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business' Master of Science in Wealth Management was ranked #1 in Asia and #3 worldwide for The Financial Times Masters in Finance Post-experience 2016
- SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business' Master of Science in Applied Finance was ranked #4 in Asia and #42 worldwide for The Financial Times Global Masters in Finance Pre-experience 2016
- SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business was rated as a 4 Palms business school and ranked first in the Far East Asia Zone among 200 business schools ‘with significant international influence’ in the ‘Best 1,000 Business Schools in 154 countries’ ranking compiled by Eduniversal for 2014
- SMU School of Accountancy was ranked #1 in Asia and #3 in the world for both Archival Research (All Topics) and Archival Research (Financial). It also ranks #1 in Asia for All Areas, All DIsciplines according to the Brigham Young University Accounting Research Rankings 2016
- SMU was ranked #64 worldwide and #4 in Asia in the 2016 Tilburg University Top 100 Worldwide Economics Schools Research Ranking based on research contributions in leading international journals in the preceding five-year period
- USNEWS ranks SMU's Economics and Business faculty as 77 globally.
Schools and programmes
School of Accountancy
SMU School of Accountancy was launched in 2001 with the Bachelor of Accountancy (BAcc) undergraduate degree as its sole offering. Since that time, the SoA has received endorsement from the industry and the accounting profession. In 2005, the school launched launch the Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) programme for professionals without undergraduate accounting qualifications.
Both the SMU MPA and BAcc are accredited with the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA), the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), CPA Australia, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).
Lee Kong Chian School of Business
The Lee Kong Chian School of Business (LKCSB) is the largest School within the University. The LKCSB holds the status of being SMU's founding School with it having opened its doors to its pioneer batch of Bachelor of Business Management (BBM) students in August 2000. The School was named after Lee Kong Chian in appreciation for the sizeable donation provided by The Lee Foundation to establish the School.
In addition to the BBM, the Business School offers graduate coursework programmes such as the Master of Business Administration (MBA), Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA), Master of Science in Management (MiM), Master of Science in Wealth Management (MWM), Master of Science in Applied Finance (MAF) Master of Science in Quantitative Finance (MQF) and Master of Science in Innovation (MI). The school offers the Master of Science in Applied Finance (China) programme, a collaborative effort between SMU and Wangyanan Institute for the Study of Economics (WISE) at Xiamen University, China and the Master of Science in Communication Management (MCM), in partnership with Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) and with 10 days spent at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. The newest programme offering Master of Human Capital Leadership (MHCL) has been accredited by Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and the students visit the Wharton School, for their overseas segment.
School of Economics
The School of Economics (SoE) was established in July 2002 as part of the then School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS). Following a restructuring exercise, the University's economics faculty was separated from the social sciences to form a school of its own. This restructuring was largely accepted as a sound decision in view of the fact that SoE's curriculum had been modelled on that of the Wharton School instead of following the traditional social science-type economics curriculum found at most other institutions.
School of Information Systems
The School of Information Systems (SIS) was formed with the aid of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) when SMU and CMU forged a four-year strategic partnership intended to use the expertise of the CMU faculty in the School's initial establishment. Through this partnership, CMU aided SIS in establishing and developing the BSc Information Systems Management undergraduate programme, including faculty recruitment, development and mentoring; curriculum and course design; and the establishment of the flagship SMU CMU Fast-Track programme, which enables SIS students to graduate within four-and-a-half years with both a bachelor's degree from SMU and a master's degree from CMU. In 2007, both universities agreed upon an additional four-year extension with CMU now providing support in the establishment and growth of SIS's postgraduate education offerings. Under this agreement, the two universities also increased their focus on collaborative research efforts leading to joint faculty research outputs, funded projects and graduate student interaction.
SIS offers the Master of Science in Information Systems, Master of IT in Business (MITB), as well as the PhD in Information Systems programmes, in addition to its BSc undergraduate offering. Master of IT in Business (MITB) augments its Analytics and Financial Services Analytics Tracks’ offering with Harvard Business School’s HBX Credential of Readiness (CORe) online programme. SMU is the first ASEAN educational institution to incorporate HBX (CORe) into its master’s programme.
School of Law
The School of Law stands out as the University's smallest school with an annual intake of around 180 students. The establishment of the School of Law was announced in August 2007 following the encouragement of the Singapore Government, which had, during a major review, discovered a shortage of qualified legal personnel in Singapore. Previously, the School existed as the Department of Law at the university's Business School, and it was chaired by Professor Andrew Phang (now a Judge of Appeal). The School of Law is part of the THEMIS law network comprises Università Bocconi (Milan, Italy), ESADE (Barcelona, Spain), Freie Universität (Berlin, Germany), Université Paris Est Créteil Val de Marne (Paris, France), Maastricht Law School (Maastricht, The Netherlands). SMU is the only Asian university in the network. The current dean is Goh Yihan, who succeeded Yeo Tiong Min, Singapore's first Honorary Senior Counsel in 2012.
The School of Law offers the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) undergraduate programme with a further offer of an American-style Juris Doctor (JD) programme. The offer of a JD programme, unique in Singapore which has until recently adhered to the British-influenced system of legal education, was made to enable mid-career or fresh graduates in other disciplines to pursue a degree in law, allowing them to become practising lawyers. The school also offers a LLM programme, with the option of a dual LLM with Queen Mary University of London.
The School of Law has a strong track record in international moot court competitions, having either won or been to the championship final of all the major competitions such as the Jessup moot, Vis moots, Price moot, International Criminal Court moot, and Frankfurt moot.
SMU's new School of Law Building, along with the Kwa Geok Choo Library, was officially opened on 15 March 2017 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
School of Social Sciences
The School of Social Sciences (SoSS) was established in July 2002 as part of the then, School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS). Through a restructuring exercise in 2007, the School of Economics and School of Social Sciences were separated to form independent Schools within the University. The School's primary offering is the Bachelor of Social Science, a broad-based multidisciplinary social sciences undergraduate programme. Within this programme, three main majors are offered, namely Political Science, Psychology and Sociology. In addition, the school offers a PhD in Psychology.
In addition to its traditional academic programmes, the University also runs executive education and development programmes for leaders at four stages of their career: emerging leaders, general managers, senior executives and corporate directors. These courses include Executive Skills for Board Members in Challenging Times; SNEF-SMU CEO Seminars: The Art & Science of Productivity Leadership; and Johnson & Johnson-SMU Hospital Management.
From 1 April 2017, the Centre for Professional Studies (CPS) was integrated with the SMU Academy, forming one of its domain pillars in human capital, management & leadership. CPS was established in 2012 to advance the competence and career aspirations of working professionals. SMU Academy aims to play the role of a valuable learning partner of working professionals through structured learning pathways (diplomas and certificate programs) made possible by the unique combination of practical industry knowledge integrated with general management skills.
The University hosts eight institutes, as well as a number of research centres and other academic, research and research bodies.
- Behavioural Sciences Institute
- Business Families Institute
- Institute of Innovation & Enterpreneurship
- Institute for Societal Leadership
- Institute Service Excellence at SMU
- International Trading Institute
- Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics
- UOB-SMU Asian Enterprise Institute
- Applied Research Centre for Intellectual Assets & the Law in Asia (ARCIALA)
- Centre for Cross Border Commercial Law in Asia
- Centre for English Communication
- Centre for Management Practice
- Centre for Marketing Excellence
- Centre for Research on the Economics of Ageing
- Centre for Teaching Excellence
- Lien Centre for Social Innovation
- Living Analytics Research Centre
- Pro Bono Centre
- Retail Centre of Excellence
- Secure Mobile Centre
- SMU-TA Centre for Excellence in Taxation
- Wee Kim Wee Centre
Labs, initiatives, research and training bodies
- SMU Academy
- SMU Executive Development
- Office of Postgraduate Professional Programmes
- Office of Postgraduate Research Programmes
- Office of Research & Tech Transfer
- DHL-SMU Analytics Lab
- Fujitsu-SMU Urban Computing & Engineering (UNiCEN) Corp. Lab
- LiveLabs Urban Lifestyle Innovation Platform
- Pinnacle Lab
- SMU-TCS iCity Lab
- Urban Decision & Optimization Lab
The Li Ka Shing Library was named after Li Ka-shing in appreciation for his support and Li Ka Shing Foundation’s donation to SMU. Situated at the heart of SMU's city campus, the Li Ka Shing library is the centre for academic resources and services that support the research and learning needs of the SMU community.
The Kwa Geok Choo Law Library is dedicated to the memory of Madam Kwa Geok Choo. Establishing the Kwa Geok Choo Law Library was first proposed in 2009.
Institutional Knowledge (InK)
InK, Institutional Knowledge at SMU is the institutional repository and archives of the Singapore Management University. As the institutional repository, InK acquires, organises and provides access to the research and scholarly works of SMU faculty. Collections in InK include journal articles, working papers, conference proceedings, books, book chapters, reports and other research works including the dissertations and theses of postgraduate students and a collection of print and video teaching cases. In addition, there are also the heritage and research data collections.
In March 2010, SMU initiated an oral history project to gather records that encapsulate the thinking behind the establishment of Singapore's third university. "Conceptualising SMU: The People and Ideas behind the SMU Story" is a collection of personal recollections in audio and video form from individuals who have been instrumental in the setting up of the university including the then Deputy Prime Minister Tony Tan, the presidents and founding deans of each of the six schools as well as pioneer faculty and students. The Oral History collection was launched in January 2012 and is an ongoing initiative to include others who contributed to SMU over the years. This collection is updated with 2- 3 new interviews per year.
Campus and facilities
The campus has seven blocks:
- Lee Kong Chian School of Business
- School of Accountancy
- Li Ka Shing Library
- School of Information Systems
- School of Economics / School of Social Sciences
- School of Law & Kwa Geok Choo Law Libray
- Administration Building
Six of the seven buildings are connected by an underground walkway known as the Concourse, which is open to the public and lined with shops. The campus was designed by two teams of architects, with Cox Architects and Planners and DEG Architects in charge of the Administrative Building, and Edward Cullinan Architects and KNTA Architects designing the rest.
Teaching facilities include seminar rooms, class rooms, computer labs and group study rooms used by students for project discussions. There are research facilities scattered throughout the University. Sports facilities are limited on campus because of space constraints; however, the university has a swimming pool, gymnasium, and a multi-purpose sports hall which is equipped with a rock wall. The University has campus-wide wireless LAN networks.
The most recent building on campus is the School of Law, which officially opened in March 2017. A key feature integrated into the new building is the Kwa Geok Choo Law Libray, named in memory of the late Madam Kwa Geok Choo, wife of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. The 2,600 square metres Law Library takes on a distinct architectural form that is reminiscent of a pearl. It seats more than 500 people and is fully equipped with modern technology and wired for legal research in the 21st century. Also housed within the Law Building is the David Marshall Moot Court, the SMU Pro Bono Centre and other research centres.
The university also leases a building on Stamford Road which houses SMU Labs. SMU Labs provides collaborative learning spaces for the university's latest learning experiment, known as SMU-X, in which lessons are centred on solving real-world problems through projects.
The SMU Hostel, known as SMU Residences @ Prinsep, is located on Prinsep Street. The hostel was created by refurbishing three Housing Development Board blocks donated by the government. The hostel welcomed its first residents in December 2006 and was officially opened in February 2007. The hostel buildings can accommodate about 250 residents. Priority is given to international students, most of whom live in various private hostels around the island.
In addition, the university leases rooms from a student hostel at Commonwealth Drive and these are open to 212 full-time SMU students (2nd year and above), exchange students and full-time postgraduate students who plan to study full-time at SMU for the forthcoming academic year. The hostel is located near Holland Village which is known for its cosmopolitan array of restaurants and cafes.
SMU also has 20 units in the Mount Sophia development which are available for rent and intended for faculty and staff and their family members, especially those relocating to Singapore from overseas or on visits of several months or more.
In the Joint Graduate Employment Survey of 2017, graduates of SMU’s undergraduate university programmes achieved higher employment rates and higher incomes than their peers from Singapore’s two other autonomous universities (NUS and NTU). A total of 1,380 or 77.6% of the 1,779 SMU alumni who graduated in 2017 took part in the survey.. It revealed that 93.9 per cent of SMU’s graduates from the 2017 cohort were employed within six months after completing their final examinations, with 65.4% being offered jobs before graduation. The average gross monthly salary of SMU graduates in full-time employment was $3,910, the highest since SMU graduated its pioneer cohort in 2004. There is also an increasing trend of graduates embarking on entrepreneurship path.
Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIEE) is headed by a Enterprise Board IIE Chairman Anil Thadani and governed by an Enterprise Board composed of Entrepreneurs, senior professionals from the industry, members of SMU's Board of trustees, and Academic leaders from SMU. The institute leads the scene of entrepreneurship in Singapore Management University. IIE is a practice-oriented institute that provides support for innovation and entrepreneurship related activities across all the schools at SMU. Its activities range from events, competitions and networking around innovation & entrepreneurship, workshops, training programs, study missions and internships for entrepreneurs & budding entrepreneurs and a full-fledged incubation programme that help aspiring entrepreneurs take their ideas to market. Past successful startups include social marketplace Oompr, app development studio Rainmaker Labs, social tutoring app Edusnap, property and design tech Nestr, fintech Toucan and student exchange platform Flying Chalks.
Students can take part in the school clubs and events, as well as organise school events.
The academic year commences in late August. Each term is 15 weeks long, including a week-long mid-term break and another week of revision and exams. Term 1 generally runs from late August to early December, while Term 2 begins in January and ends in mid-April. In most courses, students are assessed on the level of their class participation, a group project, a midterm test, and possibly, an exam at the end of the term. Students are generally required to give a presentation on a project topic for every course they read. Attending a half-unit course, called Finishing Touch, which advises students on career skills is also mandatory.
It is part of each student's curriculum to spend at least 10 weeks on an internship at an approved organisation, and 80 hours of community service. These occupy the summer holidays of most students. Students are also encouraged to go an international exchange term with partner universities to experience different cultures. SMU has around 220 agreements with partner universities from 48 countries.
SMU Students' Association
The Association was formed in 2000 by students, with the aim of building a community of students. Every matriculated SMU undergraduate is a member of the SMUSA. The SMUSA serves as an umbrella organisation that consists of the SMU Students' Association Council, an Executive Committee, and ten constituent bodies. The constituent bodies are the governing body for co-curricular clubs and societies. There are four non-school constituent bodies and six school constituent bodies looking after more than 100 student clubs in SMU. In addition to the constituent bodies, SMU Bizcom is the business development arm of the Students' Association and offers discounts, privileges and post exam parties; and SMU International Connections (ICON) is the international students’ department of the Students’ Association. These clubs aim to build ties among the members of their respective communities and promote their cultures to all SMU students through events and initiatives.
Notable alumni and students
- Jason Goh Koon-Jong - chess player
- Rebecca Lim - actress
- Russell Ong - swimmer
- Poh Seng Song - athlete
- Pornsak Prajakwit - television personality
- Pritam Singh - Member of Parliament
- Jade Seah - actress
- Adithya Srinivasan - singer
- Liyann Seet - artist
- Yip Pin Xiu - swimmer
- Shereen Williams - Honorary Member of the Order of British Empire (awarded for community work)
- Ong Jun Hao - Prominent professional investor and cryptocurrency expert
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