Straits Times, Apr 23, 1997
THE Singapore Institute of Management
(SIM), a private professional body which
offers degree and diploma courses, will be
turned into a private university specialising
in finance and business courses, Deputy Prime
Minister Tony Tan announced yesterday.
It will be free to set its own fees and
courses but can ask for government support in
the form of land and grants.
Dr Tan made the announcement when he
addressed the institute's Annual General
Meeting (AGM) yesterday. The AGM later
adopted a resolution calling on the institute
to expand its finance and business courses on
its way to becoming a university eventually.
A new governing council made up of
prominent businessmen and senior education
officials was also elected.
The council, chaired by Mr Ho Kwon Ping,
president of Wah Chang International
Corporation, will draw up the plan to turn
the institute into a private university.
To achieve this, an academic board, headed
by Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
President Cham Tao Soon, has been set up to
oversee academic matters and streamline
courses at the institute. Helping it review
the institute's programmes will be a task
force, headed by Professor Tan Teck Meng,
Dean of the School of Accountancy and
Business at NTU.
At the end of last year, the institute had
about 11,000 students enrolled in its mostly
part-time programmes, which range from
certificate to undergraduate to doctoral
It operates from four different places at
Clementi, Upper Thomson and Paterson roads
and Namly Avenue. A new Clementi campus is
In his speech yesterday, Dr Tan said
developing SIM into a private university will
be a "quantum leap" in the
institute's 33-year history and help meet the
needs of Singaporeans for tertiary education
in the next century.
He said the eagerness of workers to
upgrade themselves academically and to
acquire new skills and knowledge is
Singapore's significant strength and the
Government will support their efforts.
But the new university will be different
from NUS and NTU, as the private sector will
be involved actively in determining what type
of degrees or courses SIM should run.
The Government will probably receive the
SIM plans on becoming a university by the end
of the year after the academic board and task
force have done their work.
He added that going by the example of NTU,
which started as Nanyang Technological
Institute in 1981, it might be about 10 years
before the new university comes into being.
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