September 08, 2018
Speech by Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Education, Mr Chee Hong Tat, Guest-Of-Honour, at the Launch of SUSS Life at SUSS Open House
SUSS President Prof Cheong Hee Kiat,
Provost Prof Tsui Kai Chong,
Students, Alumni, Parents,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. Good afternoon. It is my pleasure to be here with you today, at the launch of the SUSS LifE Initiative, which will be led by the new College of Lifelong and Experiential Learning (CLEL).
The need for lifelong learning
2. As the Chinese proverb goes, ‘活到老，学到老’, one is never too old to learn. Mdm Lina Teo was 62 years old when she picked up some basic knowhow in digital literacy, thanks to a workshop under SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace at SUSS last year. Besides being an active Pioneer Generation ambassador and grassroots leader, I am impressed with Mdm Teo’s dedication to lifelong learning. She is a good role model to inspire other Singaporeans.
3. Lifelong learning can also deepen our skills and knowledge in different areas of work and enable us to transit into new roles as part of a globally competitive workforce. Mr. Kevin Leung, 42, is currently enrolled in a Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) at SUSS in Business Analytics. He has done well in modules covering a spectrum of skills including Financial Technologies and Innovation, Blockchain Technology, and Data Mining. We hope to see more learners like Mdm Teo and Mr. Leung who are keen to seek new knowledge and skills at different stages of their lives. And this was indeed a key reason why we started the SkillsFuture movement. I understand that Mdm Teo and Mr Leung are here with us today – a round of applause for them. Thank you very much and I hope that your examples will inspire others to also embark on this wonderful journey of lifelong learning.
Lifelong learning at the Autonomous Universities
4. Through the SkillsFuture movement, we seek to develop a robust and vibrant skills ecosystem which helps to promote a strong culture of lifelong learning. Our Autonomous Universities (AUs) are key players in this skills eco-system, and can step up in providing training for the workforce.
5. In July 2017, SUSS was restructured into Singapore’s sixth AU with the vision to be the university of choice for lifelong learning. SUSS now offers over 200 MOE-funded modular courses. And today, we are launching SUSS LifE, at the College of Lifelong and Experiential Learning or CLEL. It will consolidate different lifelong learning and experiential offerings such as CET courses, work attachments, overseas exposure programmes, and service learning. These will be branded collectively as SUSS LifE, where LifE represents Lifelong and Experiential Learning.
6. With this reorganisation, CLEL will offer both pre-employment training (PET) and continuing education and training (CET) students the opportunity to interact with and learn from one another. I think that this is a strength and a feature that SUSS has and can differentiate yourself from other universities, because your student population comprises both young students who are doing it as PET, as well as working adults who are coming back and doing it as CET. And I believe these can further strengthen SUSS’s position as a university for lifelong learning.
7. I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations and best wishes to SUSS on the launch of SUSS LifE, which will create a rich and valuable learning experience for all of us.
8. I also encourage students, alumni, and parents to make good use of the opportunities such as this Open House and the exhibitions and seminars organized by SkillsFuture Singapore to discover more learning opportunities. And as Prof Cheong said, these can be full-time courses, part-time courses, online learning, face-to-face classroom learning and experiential learning. There are indeed many different ways and pathways to learn. But the most important thing is to have the passion to learn. Thank you, and I wish everybody a fruitful day ahead!