Singapore Institute of Technology Appoints Professor Chua Kee Chaing as its Third President

Leadership transition will take effect from 1 January 2022

The Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) will appoint current SIT Deputy President (Academic) & Provost Professor Chua Kee Chaing as President-designate from 1 September 2021, and President with effect from 1 January 2022. Prof Chua, who will be SIT’s third President, will succeed Professor Tan Thiam Soon who is stepping down as President after nine years in the role.


Prof Tan became SIT’s second President in early 2013 and his first task was to steer SIT to become Singapore’s fifth autonomous university, which was achieved in March 2014, and launched SIT’s first suite of its own programmes that year. He adopted the applied learning pedagogy and introduced the Integrated Work Study Programme which today, is a signature programme of SIT. He also led the effort to get approval for the construction of a new campus in Punggol, which is conceptualised as a living lab to support applied learning. Today, SIT students are well-received by industry and enjoy good employment outcomes.


Prof Chua joined SIT in September 2019 and has led the university’s development in academic policies and curriculum, applied learning and applied research, faculty development, as well as student administration. Prior to joining SIT, Prof Chua was the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS).


Professor John Thong, the current SIT Vice Provost, will be appointed Deputy President (Academic) & Provost-designate from 1 September 2021 and assume the role of Deputy President (Academic) & Provost with effect from 1 January 2022, succeeding Prof Chua. Prof Thong joined SIT in August 2020 and has worked closely with Prof Chua on academic policies and curriculum. Prior to joining SIT, Prof Thong was the Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NUS.


At SIT, Prof Chua has started various initiatives to deepen SIT’s applied learning pedagogy. These include reorganising the academic structure into a matrix of faculty clusters and programmes; harmonising SIT’s suite of education programmes to help students achieve mastery of disciplinary knowledge, skills and agility; as well as weaving interdisciplinary learning into the curriculum to mould highly employable and adaptable graduates. He has also positioned the University to strategically grow its applied research and pioneer a competency-based workplace learning pathway to support upskilling of in-employment learners.


Prof Tan will continue to be an integral part of SIT’s leadership as Institute Professor, supporting the new President in the University’s continued efforts in community and donor engagements, as well as mentoring younger leaders. He will also continue to contribute to industry in his roles as the Deputy Chairman of the Building Construction Authority and board member of the Land Transport Authority.


“I express my warmest gratitude to Thiam Soon for his visionary and exceptional leadership as President over the last nine years. I have every confidence that SIT will continue to grow and thrive under the leadership of Kee Chaing, who possesses the strategic vision and expertise to solidify SIT’s reputation as Singapore’s premier University of Applied Learning,” said Mr Ng Yat Chung, Chairman, Board of Trustees, SIT.


Prof Chua added, “I am deeply honoured to be given the opportunity to lead SIT into its next phase of growth and I look forward to working with all stakeholders of SIT to further strengthen our mission as Singapore’s premier University of Applied Learning”.


Click links for full biographies of Prof Chua and Prof Thong.