In Singapore, learn to be more than book-smart

A world-class education system awaits in Singapore at the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM)

SINGAPORE - Media OutReach  - 13 November 2018 -  Mention the word education, and there will be those who instantly look towards the vaunted Finnish system -- one that emphasises learning through playing, with human values, rather than clinical statistics, the topmost priority. Yet another school of thought prescribes that to be successful, it's more a matter of studying smart and attaining balance, rather than simply studying hard.

With an equally lauded reputation as its Scandinavian counterpart for producing top-tier graduates, Singapore is progressively taking its seat in the latter camp. This comes as its government continues to implement policies that move away from an obsession with grades, by focusing more on character scorecards and reflection journals , ensuing in a long overdue shift in mindset.

Future-proof skills and values the way forward

This trend can be attributed to how workers of the future have to compete across borders for the best education, jobs and growth. That's why a singular focus on academics will no longer suffice, in light of how artificial intelligence and automation will disrupt industries and render certain jobs obsolete. A collaboration between Cisco and Oxford Economics revealed that roughly 4.3 million workers will be displaced by 2027, with an additional 2.2 million workers disrupted, resulting in a total of 6.5 million job moves.

Taking this knowledge into consideration, students in Singapore are being trained to strengthen their competencies in collaboration, creativity, problem-solving, resilience and empathy , adding on to the foundational skills like literacy and numeracy they already possess. Essentially, old-school rote learning is making way for knowledge application to real-world scenarios and soft skill-based interactions.

Stellar results: a time-honoured Singaporean tradition

However, this does not mean that Singapore is abandoning its post as a global leader in education. In fact, its teenagers consistently emerge on top when faced with tests in maths, reading and science , as judged by the influential Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

Besides the PISA rankings, Singapore's education system has also attained recognition as the best in Asia in preparing students for the future , according to an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) index in 2017. As such, it's evident the well-oiled talent factory is functioning as optimally as ever.

A key reason for this continual success? Look no further than a pool of highly qualified educators.

The art of effective teaching

Singapore's successful future-skills education system is led by its teachers, who are selected primarily from the top 5% of graduates to teach challenging concepts, as well as excite students by linking lessons to relatable situations outside the classroom. Raising the status of teachers has been one of the ways to entice high-calibre students to take up the profession.

Professor David Hung, Associate Dean of Education Research at the National Institute of Education remarked, "The culture of Singapore has moved to a place where the profession of teaching is more highly valued by families and parents. Two decades ago this wasn't the case. Pay is important. The substantive quality of teachers as observed by the public is important."

Teachers are also entitled to 100 hours of professional development per year, and their performance is appraised on a yearly basis across several metrics , including contribution to the academic and character development of their students. This places them firmly in line with the positive education movement, which seeks to create caring and trusting relationships within schools -- of which a large, quality selection exists.

Convergence of top education institutions

Singapore has firmly established itself as a key knowledge hub in Asia. In addition to its six autonomous universities (National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore Institute of Technology, and Singapore University of Social Sciences), several other world-class universities have also established a significant presence domestically. Among these are the Massachusetts University of Technology (MIT), Johns Hopkins University, and the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania.

They are complemented by Private Education Institutions (PEIs) who have garnered greater popularity of late, with some students favouring a shorter degree completion period. This newfound confidence in PEIs has been further enhanced with measures to protect their interests , such as compulsory annual graduate employment surveys to track graduate employment outcomes and minimum financial standards.

PEIs also add to an already diverse range of degrees and faculty mixes to choose from. For instance, the Singapore Institute of Management Global Education (SIM GE), a non-profit institution, offers courses from the University of Birmingham taught directly by faculty lecturers, and the renowned University of London , one of the world's oldest universities.

Going places with SIM GE

The award-winning SIM GE lays claim to over 50 years of experience in the private education arena, and its leadership in this field has led to a fraternity of 150,000 graduates, with an annual enrolment of 19,000 students, 20% of which are full-time international students from more than 40 countries.

More than just a multi-cultural learning environment, SIM GE provides students with career-ready skills and knowledge, through over 80 full-time and part-time courses offered in partnership with prestigious universities. Partner universities include:

From the UK

  • University of London: One of the oldest universities in the world established in 1836
  • University of Birmingham: Named University of the Year for Graduate Employment1
  • The University of Warwick: Ranked 54th in the world2
  • University of Stirling: Scotland's University for Sporting Excellence


From the US

  • University at Buffalo, The State University of New York: Ranked 38th among public universities3


From Australia

  • University of Wollongong: with top-ranking faculty for Computer Science in School of Computer Science and Software Engineering
  • RMIT University: 14th highest ranked university in Australia4
  • La Trobe University: Ranked in the Top 50 universities for Hospitality and Leisure Management5

Programmes aside, top-notch facilities that support learning can be found across SIM GE's campus of over 100,000m2 , like the largest management library in Singapore, a Financial Training Centre, and over 100 well-furnished lecture theatres and seminar rooms. From academic to career development programmes, SIM GE has built a reputation as a global institution which settles for nothing less than the best for its students.


To get started on your personal world-class educational experience with SIM GE, visit here to learn more. Alternatively, contact Ivy Ang at +65 9100 3712 or email


1 The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2016

2 QS World University Rankings, 2019

3 U.S. News and World Report's Best Colleges Ranking, 2019

4 QS World University Rankings, 2018

5 QS World Rankings by Subject, 2017