SMU marks the opening of its new 2022 Academic Year with a hybrid freshmen orientation, a mega CCA Fair and a special opening ceremony

Singapore, 12 August 2022 (Friday) – The Singapore Management University (SMU) welcomes its latest cohort of about 2,400 freshmen to date. The 23rd cohort will begin the Academic Year 22/23 from Monday, 15 August 2022.

For the last two years, events were held virtually whereas this year, physical events are once again back on campus. Held over three days with three sessions in July and early August, the SMU Freshmen Orientation 2022 was conducted in a hybrid format involving some 31 passionate student organisers, over 150 student facilitators and staff trainers. Themed ‘SMOOvival!’, the orientation aimed to assimilate and orientate the incoming freshmen to the SMU Curriculum as well as co-curricular activities. The two days of in-person activities also involved freshmen navigating around the campus playing engaging games which were centered around SMU CIRCLE values.  

Watch the highlights for Freshmen Orientation Run 1 here.

In addition, Vivace, SMU’s annual CCA fair with more than 150 student clubs, will showcase the best of Student Life. These range from sports, performing and visual arts, community service, to entrepreneurial and international interest groups, all offering students invaluable opportunities to network and hone teambuilding, leadership and time-management skills. Held physically this year on 11 and 12 August, it features interviews, demonstrations and try-outs, and live performances, to help freshmen and other students to find meaning and a sense of belonging through CCAs.

On 12 August, the Academic Year Opening Ceremony will be held in the evening at the SMU Hall.

About 450 guests comprising SMU Board of Trustees, senior management, faculty, staff, donors, alumni, freshmen and student leaders, will be treated to a sit-down dinner, interspersed with student performances. The theme of this evening, “Ready, Reset, Go!” largely refers to resetting social norms to pre-Covid days in holding more events on campus; but also applies to a freshmen’s journey at SMU. Students get ready for life by experiencing a holistic education at SMU; reset their mindset to take on more – developing their leadership and entrepreneurial skills via class projects, SMU-X modules, CCA clubs or community service; and have unrivalled opportunities to see the world and experience some form of global exposure through summer programmes, study missions, SMU-X overseas projects, overseas exchanges/short-term study, overseas community service and internships.

New curriculum and courses with effect from AY2022/23

Starting 15 August, the university’s 23rd cohort of freshmen will pursue degree programmes in accountancy, business management, economics, computing and information systems, law and social sciences. Through the Core Curriculum, SMU aims to nurture distinctive identities in its graduates. Via SMU-X offerings and Work-Study Option with selected programmes, the University will also enhance opportunities for real-world, hands-on work exposure and multi-disciplinary learning.

SMU undergraduates will also have the opportunity to take up new offerings introduced for the first time in Academic Year 22/23. These include:

1. SMU’s first work-study degree: Bachelor of Science (Software Engineering) SkillsFuture Work-Study Degree (offered by the School of Computing and Information Systems (SCIS))

A full time, four-year undergraduate degree programme which combines classroom-learning with structured on-the-job training. It features a rigorous 52-week apprenticeship where students work in development teams under the mentorship of professional software engineers. GovTech and NCS Pte Ltd are the programme’s anchor partners.

2. Work-study options and electives

Since 2019, SMU has piloted credit-bearing work-study options, which allows students in selected programmes to take up longer internships of up to six months, while concurrently studying on campus. These include the SMU-Google Squared Data & Analytics Programme, the Health Economics and Management Programme with SingHealth, the SMU-KPMG Cyber Risk and Forensic Work Study Programme, SMU Accounting Data and Analytics Work-Study Programme, Audit and Assurance Work-Study Elective (with Deloitte) and the Wholesale Trade and Maritime Work-Study Elective.

From August 2022, SMU’s School of Economics has partnered AIA Singapore to pilot a new Actuarial Science Work-Study Elective aimed at providing actuarial science students with on-the-job training experiences. The apprenticeship will run for 20 weeks, and students will get to learn industry best practices from professionals in the actuarial science department at AIA Singapore. They will be exposed to actuarial functions such as product pricing, valuation of insurance liabilities, capital management and reinsurance, gaining greater exposure to the industry and cultivating a greater understanding of real-world practices.

The Lee Kong Chian School of Business (LKCSB) will also launch a new Family Office Management Work-Study Elective, curated by the SMU Business Families Institute in collaboration with family office advisory firms and family offices. As there has been an increasing number of new family offices established in Singapore in recent years, this course will help students prepare for a career in managing family business offices. Students taking the elective, which comprises a five-month extended internship with BFI’s partner companies, will gain first-hand experience in family offices and the opportunity to work with entrepreneurs, wealth owners, and industry professionals.

3. New Tracks by the schools

New Industry Integration Track for Actuarial Science Major from AY2022/2023 by the School of Economics (SOE)

SOE is launching a new Industry Integration Track for the Actuarial Science (ACS) major, with effect from AY2022/2023, Term 2. The new track will incorporate an ACS Work-Study Elective for ACS students who are eager to pursue their professional careers in the actuarial field after graduation. ACS students in this new track need to fulfil three CUs from (a) DSA301 Time Series Data Analysis (1 CU) and (b) Actuarial Science Work-Study Elective (2 CUs). The track allows ACS students a higher exposure to industry, better connections, and more practical working experience. The track will be available to intake AY2020/2021 onwards, although students from earlier cohorts may be enrolled in the track on exceptional basis and at no delays to their expected graduation.

New Sustainable Futures track, Bachelor of Social Sciences (Politics, Law and Economics) by the School of Social Sciences (SOSS)

Currently, students pursuing the Politics, Law and Economics (PLE) major must elect to specialise in one of four tracks: (i) Choice and Behaviour; (ii) Global Studies; (iii) Public Policy and Governance; and (iv) Distribution and Justice. With effect from AY2022/2023, PLE students can choose a new Sustainable Futures track which will allow them to engage with climate change and other environmental problems, as well as explore the potential and impact of new technologies, with implications not only for the sustainability of our physical environment but also the sustainability of human civilizations.

New Fast-Track Bachelor of Business Management (BBM) Quantitative Finance (QF) Major and Master of Science (MSc) in Quantitative Finance (MQF) Programme

LKCSB will launch a Fast-Track BBM-MQF Programme this year. This new programme allows BBM students majoring in quantitative finance to graduate with both BBM and MSc degrees in four years. By integrating the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, students will enjoy a holistic education by combining a broad-based undergraduate education with a highly specialised skills-based postgraduate education. The programme allows students with good academic standing to cultivate cross-disciplinary expertise in financial markets, analytics, and programming skills.

4. Exciting new SMU-X Courses

In addition, the University continues to ramp up its offering of SMU-X courses in the new academic year, with at least 50 SMU-X courses that undergraduates across all years can choose from. The new SMU-X courses include interdisciplinary topics, such as Community Based Projects in the Real World, offered by Yong Pung How School of Law, where students will have the unique opportunity to undertake projects to help community partners and non-profit organisations on issues relevant to the organisation. Such projects can include matters relating to access to justice, family law, succession law, criminal law, corporate governance and charities law. Another new SMU-X course offered by LKCSB, New Product Development, provides students with the intellectual foundation as well as experience of the new product development process.

After a close to two-year hiatus, SMU-X Overseas courses are finally reinstated after the travel controls were eased. Students will have the opportunity to travel and work on exciting projects with our overseas partner organisations located in Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Seoul; including a new SMU-X Overseas course offered by SCIS to Thailand, Overseas Project Experience: Data Analytics in Asia, where students will apply machine learning techniques to improve the identified Thai project sponsor’s competitiveness and business efficiency.

The University will be working with at least 60 partners across the public, private and NGO sectors to roll out the SMU-X courses through the academic year.

Scholarship and Financial Assistance Schemes Available

At SMU, we practise a ‘needs-blind’ admission policy where no deserving student will be deprived of an education because of financial hardship. In FY2022, we have made available a total of close to $10.5 million in financial aid for students, combining university resources as well as donor-supported schemes.  This is a 5% increase compared to that of FY2021 (and 27% compared to FY2020). Over the past 5 years, there had been a significant 48% increase in financial aid since FY2018. 

Students can gain access to the financial aid via the SMU Study Awards, SMU Access grant, Work Study Grant, SMU Education Loan, SMU Student Computer Loan, and the Undergraduate Supplementary Assistance Plan which was set up in 2020 to provide relief to undergraduates whose family members’ livelihoods are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Furthermore, there are donor-supported bursaries, study awards and needs-based scholarships available to students.

With 310 scholarships and bursaries that freshmen can apply for in the new academic year, one in three freshmen of the new intake may receive a scholarship or award from the University.  Some of these give preference to students with financial needs, and all of them are bond-free.

Additionally, tuition fee financing schemes – in the form of the Tuition Fee Loan and Study Loan (both supported by the government), as well as the CPF Education Loan, are available for students. The former two are interest-free during the course of a student’s studies.  Via the Work Study Grant, SMU offers students help in seeking part-time employment on campus so that they may earn additional income.  Currently, more than 70 students are working with various Offices in the University.

The University is committed to delivering a high-quality SMU education that will develop its students into confident, well-rounded young men and women, who are capable of being trusted leaders and responsible global citizens, and whose contributions will make meaningful impact in Singapore and beyond.