In line with the Ministry of Education’s push to expand continuing education and training, NUS will be leading the development and delivery of programmes in data analytics as part of the latest SkillsFuture Series of bite-sized courses offered by institutions of higher learning (IHL) in Singapore.
The SkillsFuture Series is a new pipeline of some 400 courses across 12 universities, polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education that was announced by Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) on 28 October at the Lifelong Learning Festival. The courses span eight emerging areas that are central to Singapore’s future economy needs, with each IHL assigned to focus on a specific area.
NUS currently offers 74 bite-sized courses under the SkillsFuture Series initiative, which includes NUS’ focal area of data analytics, as well as other areas such as advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, digital media, tech-enabled services and urban solutions . These courses are offered through the NUS School of Continuing and Lifelong Education (SCALE), NUS Institute of Systems Science (ISS), and the Strategic Technology Management Institute, which is supported by NUS Computing. The university intends to offer more of such courses in the coming years, with another 50 new SkillsFuture Series courses planned for 2018.
The SkillsFuture Series is expected to benefit about 10,000 individuals in Singapore across the various institutions in the first year. MOE will be spending more than $70 million on the SkillsFuture Series in the next three years. Singaporeans and permanent residents can get up to 70 per cent subsidies on the courses.
Commenting on the University’s role in the push towards lifelong learning, Professor Brenda Yeoh, NUS Vice Provost (Graduate Education) said, “As Singapore’s flagship university, NUS is fully committed to supporting the SkillsFuture movement and the nation-wide industry transformation efforts.”
There are currently about 8,300 learners pursuing various skill-based courses at NUS, and another 6,150 enrolled in graduate degree coursework programmes this academic year. Prof Yeoh expects the number of adult learners in NUS to increase.
“As the global economy becomes increasingly complex and competitive, companies, industries and employees are recognising the need to acquire new knowledge and skills to stay competitive and relevant. In tandem with the government’s effort to promote and expand lifelong learning opportunities for working adults as well as NUS’ continuing efforts to create opportunities for both NUS alumni and Singaporeans to upgrade their skills, we expect the number of adult learners taking courses at NUS to reach about 13,000 per year by 2020.”