NUS announces new Lifelong Learners Programme, for Students and Alumni

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NUS welcomes back its alumni for Lifelong learning scheme

Photo credit: Unsplash
Photo credit: Unsplash

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”― Socrates

The Greek philosopher’s words still hold true at this age where we can thrive only by keeping ourselves abreast with current knowledge and skills. What better way to achieve this when our parent university gives us an opportunity to take us back in its wings, to soar higher.

The NUS LifeLong Learning (L³) initiative for alumni, caters to this very need to upgrade skills and was announced by Minister of Education (Higher education and skills) Ong Ye Kung, during the debate on his ministry’s budget in Parliament on 5 March.

The new lifelong learning initiative addresses the lifelong learning needs of its student and alumni communities. The move is intended to ensure that NUS graduates have ready access to skills-based, industry-relevant courses necessary for upskilling or reskilling, to remain competitive in the job market, and to enable them to make a greater impact on the future economy.

In NUS L³, a first-of-its-kind initiative, the alumni are automatically eligible to apply for the Continuous education and training (CET) courses, valid for 20 years, from the point of their admission. All of NUS’ 288,600 alumni will also be automatically eligible for publicly available CET courses under NUS L³. They may also stack up selected courses into qualifications such as Graduate Diplomas, or even Bachelor’s or Master’s Degrees.

This is in continuation of the pilot phase that began in 2017, which saw an overwhelming response, of over 8000 applications for the available 79 courses.

NUS provost Ho Teck Hua said “At NUS, we see lifelong learning as the key to ensuring that our students and alumni stay updated on the developments and disruptions that globalization and digital technologies are bringing to the workplace… It represents our strong commitment to our students and alumni, as well as our ambition to be their anchor for lifelong learning.”

Back to school!

NUS L³ will be offered by the NUS School of Continuing and Lifelong Education (SCALE) in collaboration with the University’s Faculties and Schools.

The initial suite of courses are from eight priority and emerging skills areas identified under the SkillsFuture Series: Data Analytics, Finance, Tech-Enabled Services, Digital Media, Cyber Security, Entrepreneurship, Urban Solutions, and Advanced Manufacturing and the whole catalog will be available from July 2018 here, when applications open. These courses will be launched in phases and will include those currently offered to NUS students, as well as those designed specifically for adult learners.

To encourage alumni to pursue lifelong learning, NUS is offering virtual vouchers to cover the cost of one CET course of their choice. The courses are stackable and if one wishes to attain a second degree (i.e. Bachelor ’s or Master’s Degree) or a Graduate Diploma, they can do so by taking up the required additional courses later.

This would empower the alumni with new skills that could give them better leverage to step up in their career ladder and is a great initiative for those who are looking for alternative careers.

This move has the potential to enrich the classroom experience for current NUS students. The alumni who have already been exposed to the work environment have much more experience to share with their peers, a majority of which are freshers. This would contribute greatly to peer learning, an educational strategy to enhance learning. This thought is echoed by a Year 4 NUS Business student Cyril Ting who said “With them in the picture, they offer industry perspective and I think it brings discussion in class to the next level which is good”.

For more information on NUS L³, please visit here.

Source: NUS