Cutting-Edge Experiential Learning in Singapore Universities

  • Date — 8th December, 2016
  • Location — Black Box Theatre, Yale-NUS College, 16 College Avenue West, Singapore 138527
  • Time — 6:00pm - 8:30pm

Thank you to everyone that attended our last event of the year. 

It was great to hear from the panel of university representatives as well as the students from SMU, Yale-NUS and NTU. Hosted at the very impressive Yale-NUS campus, the session shed a light on what universities are focusing on right now in terms of experiential learning. 

It was very interesting to hear how organisations can now partner with universities to develop students and their relationships with them through these different programmes. SMU-X, now in its 2nd year, is a new way to bridge theory and practice. All SMU-X courses are inter-disciplinary, project-based, and feature real-life issues faced by partner organisations, such as LVMH, Resort World and the U.N. High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Topics include Design Thinking, The Science of Happiness and Innovations for Asia's Smart Cities. 

Week 7: Learning Across Boundaries at Yale-NUS involves all first-year students participating in what has become a flagship offering where students, faculty and staff are taken out of the traditional classroom setting and placed in and around the region. Projects are experienced-based, inter-disciplinary and collaborative. Recent topics include Apartheid in South Africa, Food Sustainability in Singapore and Genomics in the Jungle. 

The NTU Renaissance Engineers Advance in Leadership (R.E.A.L.) Programme was designed exclusively for the NTU Renaissance Engineering Programme. This is one of the top programmes in Singapore where students go through a rigorous and structured course that is facilitated purely by industry leaders from companies such as McKinsey, Bain, Shell and Singtel. The focus is on developing your unique leadership style through communication and influence using real-life group simulations and role-plays. 

Hearing the experiences and take-aways from the students themselves made this session extremely valuable. Understanding that employers need to review their approach when working with universities during live/experiential projects to ensure both sides get the most out of it really stood out. For example, students feel that companies often present a business problem (the brief) in the same way they would to their actual business. Students admit that this is slightly too advanced, and that they need a bit more guidance to really benefit from the experience, with the focus being on the learning and approach, and not necessarily the proposed solution and output.