Inside Singapore Institute of Technology's vision for applied learning

President Professor Tan Thiam Soon will discuss the growing role of applied learning and the work-learn continuum model on 30 January.

“Ordinary jobs are disappearing, but not ordinary people,” Professor Tan Thiam Soon noted at GovInsider Live last year. He told the story of the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and how it was set up to provide an education that would help more students cope with a disruptive future. He will share this vision for SIT at the university’s upcoming Applied Learning Conference 2020. Jobs and industries are facing disruption from automation and AI, and people with repetitive roles are at risk of losing their jobs. Professor Tan believes education institutions must adapt rapidly to this. “Are we able to do something to help these people scale up and manage the future?” he asked. SIT started in 2009 to deliver on this. “We have to make education accessible and real, and help ordinary people become competent with skills that will help them navigate the future,” Prof. Tan said. The university emphasises an applied learning approach. Students go on meaningful work placements where they take on a more in-depth scope of work related to the fields of their studies. The industry knowledge and experience they pick up from companies complement the theory they learn in classrooms. Students also work closely with the industry to form the basis of their capstone projects. By doing so, they are trained to work on real-world problems that exist within the industry. A key topic that Prof Tan will also be discussing is making education accessible for those who are already in the workforce. Institutions of higher learning need to encourage talents to ‘learn, unlearn and relearn’, and implement a work-learn continuum model that stimulates an environment for the re-skilling and knowledge enhancement of those who are already out in the workforce, through facilitation of learning at the workplaces. On 30 January, Professor Tan will share more about how SIT is augmenting students’ experiences through engaging with industry experts and allowing students to bring what they learn in the classroom into the real-world, as well as inculcating a growth mindset in students to encourage a lifetime of learning. Register for the Applied Learning Conference 2020 today. When: 30 – 31 Jan 2020 Where: Sands Expo & Convention Centre | Marina Bay Sands Singapore