SMU-X Overseas programme lauded in ‘Real Life Learning’ category of 2020 PIEoneer Awards

The SMU-X Overseas programme, an extension of the University’s hallmark SMU-X pedagogy, has been lauded at the fourth PIEoneer Awards, the only global awards that celebrate innovation and achievement across the whole of the international education industry.

SMU-X Overseas programme was lauded as Highly Commended in the ‘Real Life Learning’ category of the Awards.  The University’s experiential Statistics-X course was also one of eight finalists in the ‘Progressive Education Delivery Award’ category.

The SMU-X Overseas programme offers SMU students the unique, hands-on opportunity to tackle complex, real-world business challenges that overseas organisations face by taking on the role of consultants to provide fresh perspectives and decisive insights. As part of the programme, students also go abroad, thus developing global citizenship skills and building networks. SMU-X Statistics course, on the other hand, gave students from all disciplines the opportunity to learn Statistics by tackling real-world challenges through projects.

Held in October, the fourth annual The PIEoneer Awards is the only global awards that celebrate innovation and achievement across the whole of the international education industry. Although the awards ceremony was held virtually, there was no less celebration of the winners across institutions around the world.

With a distinguished judging panel representing geographical and professional diversity, the PIEoneer Awards recognise both individuals and organisations who are pushing professional standards, evolving their engagement or redefining the international student experience.

According to the organisers, this year saw record number of entries in the Awards’ history.  With nominations spanning 30 countries this year, 20 winners were selected by a judging panel of 38 international education specialists, and the live event was watched online by more than 300 attendees.

“SMU-X Overseas courses offer students a unique, hands-on opportunity to tackle real-world challenges that overseas organisations face. The world becomes the classroom where students and faculty learn to be critical thinkers, problem solvers, team players and global citizens who are attuned to real-world challenges and issues. We are honoured to receive this affirmation from the 2020 PIEoneer Awards committee on our project-based experiential learning programme. I would like to thank all our faculty, industry partners and students who have been a part of this SMU-X journey, and contributed to making a meaningful impact to businesses and societies.”, commented Professor Gary Pan, Academic Director, SMU-X.

The PIEoneer Awards are the latest accolade accorded to SMU-X.  Global accreditation body Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) has also lauded the SMU-X pedagogy as an ‘innovation that inspires’. These accolades are a testament to

the University’s commitment towards innovation and excellence, as well as the strong support for SMU-X from our partner organisations and the global education sector.

About SMU-X and SMU-X Overseas

Introduced in 2015 as a university-wide programme, SMU-X is an experiential learning framework where students tackle real-world challenges by taking on projects from corporate, non-profit and government-sector organisations. The curriculum of SMU-X courses combines academic with experiential learning through the heavy use of projects from partner organisations.

SMU-X courses challenges students to use their knowledge and skills to recommend solutions through inter-disciplinary approaches. Partner organisations and faculty are involved in active mentoring so that students benefit most out of this deep relationship.

This inculcates in all parties the value of continuous learning which is imperative given today’s rapidly changing economic conditions. Through projects with organisations across sectors and industries, undergraduates also gain industry exposure and networking opportunities which will stand them in good stead when they graduate and enter the workforce.

From 2018, SMU students and faculty have also begun to embark on SMU-X projects overseas (SMU-XO), collaborating with overseas organisations and universities to create meaningful impact beyond Singapore’s shores.

As of December 2019, SMU-X has benefited 8,000 students through more than 70 SMU-X courses, working with over 450 local and overseas project sponsors. About 90% of the students who went through an SMU-X course felt that the experience has made a strong impact to their learning.  The partners comprised about 70% private companies (of which more than two-thirds are SMEs), 15% public and government-related agencies, and 15% NGOs.

In the current academic year AY2020-2021, SMU will mount 50 modules, which are expected to benefit another 3,000 undergraduates.  The University will be working with at least 60 partners across the public, private and NGO sectors.  Given the current travel restrictions imposed by governments across the world as well as to protect our students, SMU students are currently working remotely in Singapore with our partner organisations on SMU-X Overseas projects.

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