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SUTD and Ecole 42 Collaborate to Set-Up First Tuition-Free, No Instructor Programme in Singapore

23 Nov 2021

To develop future coding talents, computer programming developers and specialists for the digital world

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Ecole 42 in Paris, France signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to collaborate on setting-up a tuition-fee free Continuing Education and Training (CET) programme focused on programming in Singapore. Supported by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), the new programme, called 42 Singapore, will offer modules in the fields of computer programming, coding, cybersecurity, network infrastructure, data science and more, and will help develop a pipeline of tech talent for the burgeoning digital economy.
 
This is the first partnership between Ecole 42 and a Singapore autonomous university. SUTD President Professor Chong Tow Chong and Ecole 42’s Chief Executive Officer, Ms Sophie Viger, signed the MOU today. The event was witnessed by Singapore Minister for Education Mr Chan Chun Sing, the Ambassador of France to Singapore His Excellency Marc Abensour and SUTD Chairman Mr Lee Tzu Yang at the SUTD campus.

From left to right, SUTD President, Professor Chong Tow Chong, French Ambassador His Excellency Marc Abensour, Education Minister Mr Chan Chun Sing, Ecole 42 CEO Ms Sophie Viger (via Zoom) and SUTD Chairman Mr Lee Tzu Yang at the SUTD-Ecole 42 MOU signing ceremony.

Prof Chong said, “SUTD continues to challenge traditional modes of teaching by embracing Ecole 42’s unique programme design. 42 Singapore will be accessible for everyone who is 18 and above, regardless of your academic background and professional coding experience. We believe the 42 Singapore programme will provide an alternate pathway to train a highly skilled talent pool of programming experts and address the manpower shortage in the digital arena.”
 
Ms Sophie Viger, CEO of 42, said: "We are very pleased with the signing of the MOU between 42 and SUTD, the first step in what is expected to be a successful collaboration. Joining 42 is a great opportunity to access, tuition fee free, a proven training of excellence and to become, regardless of gender or origin, a professional with skills that are in demand worldwide. Digital technology is a powerful vector of equal opportunity and non-discrimination, it is a great satisfaction to contribute to fostering access to an inclusive and equitable education in the country."
 
Shared Pedagogy
SUTD and Ecole 42 share similar pedagogical approaches, such as, the emphasis on human-centred education, peer-to-peer learning, project-based learning, self-directed learning and life skills. Both institutions also groom students to be industry ready.
 
Unconventional Admission Requirement & Unique Learning Approach
Following the same principles as Ecole 42, the new 42 Singapore programme will be open to anyone above 18 years of age (and completed NS for Singapore males) regardless of their prior academic qualifications. This provides an alternative skills-based pathway for participants who are looking to re-skill or upskill, to keep pace with the technology advancements in related industries. Students can benefit from this education without having to pay tuition fees. There are no formal lessons, textbooks and teachers. Students will learn at their own pace advancing stage-by-stage through project-based learning, peer-to-peer learning and gamification. Refer to Annex A for details on the admissions process.

Slated to commence by end 2022, student recruitment will be done through one or more admissions exercises a year. SUTD plans to enrol up to 150 students a year, and about 450 in three years. Students in this programme will be part of Ecole 42’s international network of 36 campuses. The programme is supported by SSG, and SUTD is also seeking industrial partnerships to co-support this programme.
 
The 42 programme has proven to produce agile and highly qualified coders and programmers with various specialisations who are able to meet the expectations and demands of related industries. This will help to build up the national talent pool and contribute to industry transformation in the digital economy.

Annex A: The Admissions process & the curriculum

The Admissions process & the curriculum
There is no pre-admissions requirement. Interested applicants have to first take an online test. Applicants are admitted based on merit and assessed on their performance at the ‘Piscine’ (French for ‘swimming pool’) where students spend 4 weeks in immersion to find out if the 42 method is suitable for them.
 
Participants can choose to specialise in cybersecurity, cloud computing, machine learning, etc. As they learn the tech skills, they will also pick up soft skills such as teamwork and leadership along the way.
 
This individualised programme gives students the flexibility to choose their specialisation without compromising key concepts and strategic thinking skills. Students learn at their own pace, and are not required to complete the module together with the rest of the cohort.
 
Students in the 42 Singapore programme will also have access to workshops, events and competitions organised by the SUTD community. This will allow the students to interact and exchange ideas with the wider SUTD family.