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Charting The Development Of Infocomm Manpower To The Next Level

16 March 2006 - Speech By Professor Howard Hunter, President At The Signing Ceremony for SMU-Carnegie Mellon Fast Track Programme, Offered Under the National Infocomm Scholarship, Singapore Management University.

Speech By Professor Howard Hunter, President At The Signing Ceremony for SMU-Carnegie Mellon Fast Track Programme, Offered Under the National Infocomm Scholarship on 16 March 2006, Singapore Management University.

Good Morning,
Mr Chan Yeng Kit, CEO, IDA,
Dr Jared L Cohon, President of Carnegie Mellon University,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies & Gentlemen,

1. It is my pleasure to welcome Dr Jared Cohon, President of Carnegie Mellon University, to Singapore and to SMU's new city campus for the announcement of the inaugural SMU-Carnegie Mellon fast track programme under the National Infocomm Scholarship offered by the IDA.

2. As a young university, SMU takes pride that we are able to establish a very close partnership with a university as established and prominent as Carnegie Mellon. We are extremely grateful for Carnegie Mellon's support over the last three years and today’s announcement of another new collaboration speaks volumes about what we aim to achieve at SMU.

3. I am sure Jared will concur that our relationship so far has been enriching and fruitful for both universities. It has been a learning experience for the both of us. The programme directors and faculty at SMU and Carnegie Mellon hold regular meetings to develop our curriculum in many ways. In time, the strategic alliance with Carnegie Mellon will be expanded to cover an even broader range of areas between our two universities including further development of the pedagogy model for the School of Information Systems, increasing faculty resources, building up the organisational and technological infrastructure for SMU. The significance of the new SMU-Carnegie Mellon fast track programme represents another major step forward towards producing skilled Infocomm manpower to compete in the vibrant Infocomm industry. This fast track programme is made possible by the generous sponsorship of up to 40 National Infocomm Scholarships by the IDA to enable the best and brightest to benefit from an education both in SMU and Carnegie Mellon. In a while, we will be signing two agreements – one between SMU and Carnegie Mellon; and a second agreement between the two universities as well as with IDA. After today, SMU and Carnegie Mellon are committed to take our partnership a step further to explore more collaboration not only at the undergraduate level but also postgraduate studies in the field of IT.

4. The extension of our alliance represents a significant step towards a more holistic and integrated approach to delivering the unique brand of SMU pedagogy. As the programmes offered by the School of Information Systems in SMU matures in parallel with the infocomm manpower needs of Singapore and the region, we hope the SMU-Carnegie Mellon collaboration can also become a platform for the gathering of industry leaders of the future, local and overseas, to exchange ideas on how to chart the development of infocomm to the next level.

5. The ability for infocomm professionals to turn technology into new products and services will increasingly become the business driver of tomorrow. Thus, it is important for us to prepare our students now and be one step ahead in the global race. Our strong association with Carnegie Mellon will position SMU, and specifically, the School of Information Systems to tackle some of the existing and future challenges in the infocomm industry such as the availability of highly skilled manpower. Our goal is to carve a niche for SMU's School of Information Systems by providing innovative programmes, one of which would be the fast-track IDA scholarship programme to immerse our students in challenging environments and expose them to innovative thinking and research through interaction with top infocomm faculty and students from around the world.

6. Once again, my heartiest congratulations to all who have worked tirelessly to make the SMU- Carnegie Mellon fast track programme a reality. Appreciation goes especially to IDA for its endorsement through a prestigious scholarship programme. It is a significant milestone for SMU and we look forward to the first graduating class in 2010.

7. Thank you.