On 8 May 2017, a Bill to formalise the autonomous university (AU) status of Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) was passed in Parliament. With this, SUSS is another step closer to becoming Singapore's sixth AU, with a focus on lifelong learning, the social sciences and applied education.
In his Parliamentary speech, Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung explained these three distinctive features of SUSS. He pointed out that, since its establishment in 2005, the University has been providing quality learning opportunities to adult learners. Hence, the University has continually sought to improve the structure and delivery of its programmes, including leveraging ICT, in order to better support working adults. It will continue to refine its teaching model, expand its programme offerings and participate actively in the national SkillsFuture movement. This is proof of SUSS's commitment in providing lifelong learning and qualification upgrading opportunities.
Minister Ong also highlighted that, with the focus on social sciences, SUSS will champion disciplines that will positively impact society and its development. This will be achieved through building a strong niche in the social sciences such as social work, early childhood education and human resource management, and infusing the mission of social development into other disciplines.
He added that the University will continue to develop the applied degree pathway, strongly inter-lacing theoretical knowledge with real-life application.
SUSS was renamed from SIM University (UniSIM) on 17 March 2017, as part of its re-structuring to be Singapore's newest AU. Following the passing of the Bill in Parliament, it will next be presented to the Presidential Council for Minority Rights for consideration, and President Tony Tan Keng Yam for assent. SUSS will formally become an AU when the law has been gazetted, which is likely to take place later this year.