Chopsticks and bricks
Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) reaffirmed its close ties with industry partners at the university’s second Industry Appreciation Dinner.
More than 180 guests gathered with SIT senior management, faculty and staff at CHIJMES Hall on 26 February for the Lunar New Year-themed Industry Appreciation Dinner (IAD) 2015. The event, in its second edition, was organised by SIT to thank its industry partners for their continued support.
The highlight of the evening was the customary – and raucous – Lo Hei ceremony which the guests partook in to celebrate the new Lunar New Year. A ‘tree of prosperity’ was also set up for industry partners to decorate as a symbolic gesture of their continued collaboration with SIT. While the convivial evening, which was peppered with acapella and traditional Chinese zither performances, had its thematic focus on the Lunar New Year festivities, the spotlight remained on the industry partners.
In his welcome address, Professor Tan Thiam Soon, President, SIT, thanked the university’s industry partners for their invaluable contributions: “We are thankful for their support in myriad ways – our industry partners not only offer financial assistance to our students but also help ensure that they have good jobs when they graduate.”
Mr Quek See Tiat, Chairman, Building & Construction Authority, acknowledged SIT’s commitment in working closely with industry during his keynote address. “I have observed first-hand SIT’s commitment to involving industry in its educational journey: from industry scans to industry feedback on its curriculum, and in ensuring its graduates have work opportunities, both in its Integrated Work Study Programme and after they graduate.”
Quek who is also the Chairman of the Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) for SIT’s Accountancy degree programme, added: “This will ensure that SIT remains industry-relevant and always ahead of the curve.”
A salient element of SIT’s university-industry collaborations is its Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP), which is a key feature of the university’s applied learning pedagogy. Through this student work placement initiative, SIT undergraduates are immersed in a real work environment when they are employed by host companies for between eight to 12 months.
To date, SIT’s IWSP has been received warmly by industry. Last August, SIT sealed a collaborative agreement to partner with 11 accounting firms for its debut IWSP. Yeo May-Fung, Director, Career Services, SIT, remarked: “We now have our first batch of 63 students who have commenced their IWSP at seven firms. As most SIT students are Polytechnic graduates, they possess relevant skills and work experience, maximising the value of the work that they can do with these companies.”
Dr Jeanette Ng, Programme Director, Accountancy, praised the industry partners for their efforts in making the IWSP a success: “Their participation in our IWSP goes beyond merely that of an employer; they have welcomed our visits with students in their offices, as well as ensured that we have had an opportunity to explain our learning objectives to their work supervisors. This ensures that we are all mutually aware of the needs of the IWSP.”
Indeed, Prof Tan reaffirmed the importance for both SIT and industry to deepen their existing close ties, which are the building blocks to the unversity’s success. “The building of a very symbiotic relationship with industry will be key to the success of SIT,” he reiterated.