University of Birmingham celebrates more than 20 years of graduate success in Singapore

Over 200 graduands in Singapore have received their master and bachelor degree scrolls at the University of Birmingham-SIM degree congregation which took place on Friday 7 November. The ceremony marked 21 years since the University of Birmingham first began delivering business education in Singapore.

This year, more than 84 per cent of the Singapore undergraduate cohort achieved first-class or upper second-class honours degrees and 81 per cent of the MBA graduates received Distinction or Merit level.

Singapore graduation ceremony


Birmingham Business School at the University of Birmingham launched its MBA in Singapore in 1993 and in 2009 a strategic partnership with the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) was formed. Initially delivering undergraduate Business Management and International Business programmes, SIM conducted the MBA from 2011. An MSc International Business was also launched in April 2014.

The programmes are fully taught by Birmingham Business School faculty, who travel to Singapore in order to deliver all of the modules. Furthermore, the latest research ideas by its staff are incorporated into the lessons to ensure relevance and up-to-date learning.

Whilst receiving their degrees in SIM’s Grand Hall, graduands received words of advice from guest high profile speaker Brigadier General Chua Chwee Koh. Chua Chwee Koh studied BSc Mechanical Engineering at the University of Birmingham and today is Chief Operating Officer of Certis CISCO Security, Singapore’s leading security organisation. During his leadership, the organisation has more than doubled its revenue and manpower; in 2013, Certis CISCO Security had a turnover of more than S$600 million and employed more than 9,500 personnel.

Commenting on the success of Birmingham Business School graduates in Singapore, Chua Chwee Koh said:

“I have fond memories of the day I graduated as it was a joyous occasion; the accumulation of years of hard work and dedication. Most importantly, my education at the University of Birmingham laid the foundation for the success in my career, as well as my personal life, and I am sure it will help the current cohort from Singapore in the same way in the years ahead.”

He also had this advice to offer the Singapore graduands as some of them enter the world of work for the first time:

“When you are looking for a job, remember to consider development opportunities before accepting an offer. A high starting salary is always good but it should not be the main consideration as opportunities to learn and grow are more important.”

Chua Chwee Koh previously addressed students as part of the Birmingham Business School’s MBA Distinguished Leaders lecture series in Singapore. The series has featured several high calibre Birmingham alumnus including Stewart McLaren (MBA International Business) Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Barclays International Business Centre, Singapore.

Senior academic faculty from the University of Birmingham flew in to Singapore especially to celebrate the latest cohort of graduates’ success, including Professor Saul Becker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Sciences, University of Birmingham. He commented:

“Our strategic alliance with SIM is an example of international higher education working at its best. With our experienced faculty, students gain global insights to better compete in today’s job market. We are proud of the achievements of all our students in Singapore and look forward to their active participation in our alumni community.

“SIM students experience exactly the same programme, teaching and lecturers as they would do if they made the 10,000-kilometre journey to the University of Birmingham. These programmes have been very popular with both local and international students, who want to be based in Singapore but experience and benefit from a UK, Russell Group, qualification.

“2014 marks 21 years since Birmingham Business School first began teaching in Singapore and, having welcomed more than 1,900 students during this time, we look forward to a further 21 years of teaching here.”

Mrs Ho Soon Eng, Director of Higher Education, SIM Global Education added:

“SIM Global Education and the University of Birmingham share a common commitment to quality delivery and stringent academic standards. The University of Birmingham brings to us an enviable track record, pedagogical and research experience and achievement that has strengthened SIM Global Education’s comprehensive suite of bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes.”