Here’s a fact. If you want to know what the future looks like for a country, look at the status of its youth.
There’s a good reason why education is crucial for nation-building. Educating the youth is an investment that safeguards a country’s future. In every sphere of society. Out of it are the next future leaders of the nation, if not the world. That’s why, if you’re looking for solutions to address the problems in society, look at how students are being trained in the classrooms.
At Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), students are being equipped with skills and mindsets to be entrepreneurs who lead the way. And they’re doing quite a good job! Here are three things Professor Chong Tow Chong, the University’s President, shared on how they do it:
1. The curriculum answers the right question.
Google’s Chief Education Evangelist Jamie Casap once said, “Don’t ask kids what they want to be when they grow up but what problems they want to solve.” SUTD has been asking the right question.
Before crafting a curriculum, they ask what the world needs. What skills do students need in today’s society? From there, they design the curriculum. Not the other way around. This “outside-in” approach allows students to have multidisciplinary learning.
At SUTD, they take classes like programming and data statistics to develop their digital skills but, at the same time, study subjects like poetry and early Asian religion to hone their understanding of humanities and the arts. Both training teach students design thinking principles to help them develop better products and solutions.
2. Students are teachers, too.
Gone are the days when students just sit for hours (maybe struggle to stay awake sometimes, too) and wait for the teacher to finish the lecture. Here’s the thing: students learn better when they are actively engaged in the learning process. Think group discussions and hands-on experiments!
Thanks to a low student to faculty ratio and modular classroom design, SUTD students do just that. Through the “flipped classroom” design, students are able to creatively collaborate with their peers—teaching and learning at the same time. How’s that for encouraging creative thinking and problem solving?
3. Students get a break from school.
Yup, you read that right! Unlike any other university in Singapore, SUTD gives students school break every Wednesday and Friday afternoon. (read: school goals!) This two-day break is not so students can binge-watch their favorite TV series or slack all day, but to give them opportunities to explore their own interests outside their course. Just like how Google employees have dedicated time to work on creative projects!
Prof. Chong says it best, “Don’t underestimate students – they can come up with great things when we give them freedom.” The policy helps make SUTD a vibrant environment where aspiring entrepreneurs are given enough room to grow, take risks, and start their own ventures. Even while they’re still students.
If we want to start seeing positive changes happen in society—whether that be in the business world or other industries—we have to start making positive changes in the classrooms. That’s where the next future leaders are. SUTD has already started with these three priority changes. And there’s every reason to believe they are doing it right.
Want to be an entrepreneur? Find the right course for you at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)! If you want tips and advice when you study abroad, check out our blog at Edukasyon.ph now!