Obtain a Masters degree within 4.5 years – Application for SUTD’s integrated programme was over-subscribed 10 times

16 May 2017

Lianhe Zaobao, 16 May 2017 (summarised translation)

SUTD’s newly launched through-train SUTD Technology Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) drew overwhelming number of applications. For its inaugural intake of up to 30 students, STEP attracted 390 applications. 

Since its first student intake in 2012, SUTD has matriculated six batches of students, with the admission of the latest batch on 11 May. In response to Lianhe Zaobao, SUTD pointed out that the university received over 3,500 applications, a 15% increase from last year.  A total of 439 students matriculated this year.

Ms Lim Su Fang, SUTD’s Director of Admissions said: “The increase in applications across all qualifications could be due to our outreach activities over the years. In addition, SUTD has received full accreditation for its programmes, and the two batches of graduates produced stellar employment survey results, where over 90% of them secured employment within six months of graduating; a display of the industries’ strong endorsement of our students.”

There was strong interest in SUTD’s newly launched integrated SUTD Technology Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP), with 390 applications received and 22 students enrolled. To encourage entrepreneurship and innovation, students in STEP will have a full year’s overseas experience, immersed in the entrepreneurship environments of the US and China, and graduate with both a Bachelor and a Master degree within 4.5 years.

Completion of Masters programme within two terms after learning about entrepreneurship in Berkeley and Zhejiang

STEP students can specialise in any of SUTD’s undergraduate degree programmes, which will span three years in Singapore and the fourth year, overseas. Thereafter, they will have entrepreneurship studies at the University of California, Berkeley, followed by an exclusive summer work immersion in the San Francisco Bay area, then finally spend another term of cultural immersion and exchange in Zhejiang University in China. For the last two terms, after their return to Singapore, they will need to complete a special capstone entrepreneurship project and a Masters dissertation on Technology Entrepreneurship to fulfill the postgraduate requirements. Singaporeans enrolled in this programme will receive full bond-free scholarships.

Lim Su Fang pointed out that SUTD has maintained its quality of incoming students due to the high admissions selection standard. “SUTD practises holistic assessment where candidates are evaluated not only on their academic abilities, especially in Maths and Science, but students are also assessed through an admissions interview and short question answer, etc. as to whether they demonstrate creativity and spirit of risk-taking, enjoy hands-on learning and have a passion for technology and design.”

SUTD is Singapore’s fourth public university, with a focus on integrating engineering, technology and design. Its Bachelor programmes include architecture and sustainable design, engineering systems and design, engineering product development and information systems technology and design. However, students’ scope of learning is expanded as they are also required to take on some humanities arts and social science electives during the course of their study. 

In cultivating startup companies, SUTD’s unique selling point is its culture of innovation 

SUTD’s culture of innovation is one of the reasons why students are attracted to the school.  Jerry Neo (23) graduated from Ngee Ann Polytechnic with a grade point average of 3.9, and with such good grades, he would have had many opportunities for furthering his education, but Jerry only chose to apply for SUTD’s STEP.

During the interview, Jerry said: “I have some friends who are studying in SUTD and from what they shared, I learnt that SUTD is very supportive of students’ innovation and entrepreneurship activities, providing guidance for startups and incubation space, etc. When I attended the SUTD Open House, I was also exposed to various innovative projects and prototypes done by the students, such as the smart helmet, etc.  Such a learning environment appeals to me.” 

The business-minded Jerry had, during his secondary school days, used an online platform to sell watches and other products. He is currently working on a mobile app that was inspired by the game Pokemon Go. By using a game, he hopes to encourage people to look out for neighbourhood stray cats and ensure their safety. He feels that STEP would not only allow him to earn a direct Masters degree, but the opportunity to go to America could also help open up his future business path. 

National sailor, Bertha Han (19) was also attracted by SUTD’s culture of innovation. The Raffles Institution alumna has decided to join the engineering product development pillar. She revealed that her parents had recommended SUTD to her as they felt that SUTD’s academic programme would be more suited to her learning interests. After consulting with the school, she believes that she can handle both the school curriculum and her frequent training sessions.