NUS announces new initiatives to support the lifelong learning needs of Singapore’s workforce

Doubling down on in its commitment to bolster a culture of lifelong learning in Singapore, the National University of Singapore (NUS) has announced new initiatives to make it easier and more affordable to pursue postgraduate studies at the University, from Academic Year 2023/2024. These initiatives were unveiled today at the inaugural NUS Lifelong Learning Festival, graced by Guest-of-Honour Minister for Education, Mr Chan Chun Sing.

In order to reduce the financial burden for those wishing to further their education with NUS, the University will automatically extend a 10% tuition fee rebate to all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents enrolling in close to 70 Master’s degree programmes which are not subsidised by the government. NUS alumni will enjoy an additional 5% tuition fee rebate on top of the 10% for the same programmes. For NUS staff, a new scheme will be launched where the University will offer full tuition fee sponsorships for full-time administrative staff who wish to pursue a NUS master’s degree, subject to certain criteria and requirements.

Please refer to Annex A for more details on the tuition fee rebates and applicable courses.

Recognising that Graduate Certificate courses constitute an increasingly popular admissions pathway into Master’s degree programmes, NUS will also commit to:

1)    Increasing the capacity (number of places) in popular Graduate Certificate courses relevant to the future economy. These include the Graduate Certificate in Analytics and Technology Management offered by NUS Business School, the Graduate Certificate in Technological Innovation Management offered by the College of Design and Engineering, and the Graduate Certificate in Computing Foundations I offered by the School of Computing;

2)    Rolling out new Graduate Certificate courses. Kicking this off, the College of Design and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and NUS Business Analytics Centre will launch new Graduate Certificate courses to meet increasing student demand by Academic Year 2023.

Generally, students who earn a minimum Cumulative Average Point in a Graduate Certificate course can be considered for admission into a relevant Master’s degree by coursework programme. Most NUS colleges, schools and faculties also allow for the transfer of credits earned for a Graduate Certificate into the relevant Master’s programme.

NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye said: “In the face of a highly volatile and complex Industry 4.0 world, NUS seeks to help Singapore’s workers future-proof themselves with the necessary knowledge and skills to adapt to an increasingly demanding working environment. These new initiatives are part of our longstanding effort to encourage a culture of lifelong learning amongst our staff, graduates, and the larger Singapore workforce as well. By making it easier for more individuals to pursue postgraduate studies and acquire new skills sets, we are building on the success of our suite of lifelong learning programmes to make continuous education and training at NUS even more flexible and accessible. We look forward to welcoming more students back to campus, and are confident they will benefit from the quality of education that NUS is globally known for.”

In 2018, NUS recognised every student’s enrolment as valid for 20 years and beyond, from the point of undergraduate or post-graduate admission. The University also established the NUS Lifelong Learners (NUS L³) programme to ensure its graduates have ready access to skills-based, industry-relevant courses necessary for upskilling or reskilling. Since its inception, NUS L³ has been well-received by alumni. To equip its administrative staff with emerging skills to be effective and relevant in the workplace, NUS has also rolled out University-wide skills upgrading programmes like the Data Literacy Programme (DLP) and the Artificial Intelligence Competency Course (AICC).

Professor Susanna Leong, Vice Provost (Masters’ Programmes & Lifelong Education) and Dean (School of Continuing and Lifelong Education) said: “As the future of work continues to evolve, we want to encourage our students, staff, alumni and the general public to adopt a lifelong learning mindset, and learn continuously across a wide range of areas. This will help them to develop the necessary agility, adaptability, and flexibility to navigate the complex developments and disruptions that increasingly characterise the modern workplace. As an Institute of Higher Learning, our calling is to be a strong anchor for all learners to fulfil their lifelong learning needs, so they can be better prepared for the changing demands of the labour market, and be able to capitalise on strategic opportunities in the future economy. We hope these new initiatives will motivate more individuals to continue their learning journeys with NUS.”

NUS Lifelong Learning Festival: Thriving in the future workplace

The inaugural NUS Lifelong Learning Festival (LLF) is the latest in a series of events and initiatives to help students, alumni, and industry professionals keep abreast of the skills and knowledge they need to remain competitive in the future economy. With over 30 NUS experts and industry partners gathering to share insights on the future of work, the one-day festival attracted strong public interest, with over 2,500 participants signing up for the various masterclasses, panel discussions and presentations. Held both in-person and online, the hybrid NUS LLF 2022 was a nod to the hybrid nature of the future workplace.

One of the key highlights of NUS LLF 2022 was a live demonstration and walk-through of the newly-enhanced NUS Career+ mobile app. Launched in 2018, the Career+ app is an AI-powered learning and career development tool exclusive to NUS students and alumni. As of July 2022, the Career+ app has been refreshed with new professional insights, curated based on the three key pillars of growth identified by SkillsFuture Singapore – the Digital Economy, Green Economy, and Care Economy. These insights help alumni identify in-demand job roles in emerging economies, the skills sets needed to take on these roles, and the training available to build up competencies for such roles.

Please refer to Annex B for quotes from NUS alumni and industry partners.