Campus - Prinsep Street Residences
From Ms CHANG Ching Chen _ on October 11th, 2019
It does. So that is just the core curriculum, and I have touched on the core curriculum, and how it is integrated. There are other dimensions yet of the core curriculum, a key part being residential living and learning. I am a firm fan of that experience having benefited from that myself. Your best friends are made when you have lived with them; the fights that you have had; the late night discussions and debates about things that are outside of the curriculum, but sometimes from the curriculum; the cookout sessions that you have had together. All that makes for firm bonding. In a business school context we talk about networking and how important that is, but this is a different level of networking altogether. It is not an instrumentalist networking, it is building ties and relationships that last for life. And it is also about learning to live independently away from home, even if you are Singaporean.
We have remade Prinsep Street Residences, and I am extremely proud of my colleagues who made that happen. If you haven’t had a chance to visit it, I encourage all of you to visit it. It is a lovely heritage building conserved, and that speaks to that part of me that is an urban heritage conservation scholar and advocate. It allows old spaces to find new uses, it allows old buildings to have a refresh but keeping true to the original spirit. It allows students to have programmatic elements woven into their experience so that it is not just living, it is learning at the same time, and it is working together at the same time on projects, etc. I hope we will have the opportunity to do still more of that. We are working on some possibilities, and I hope that our students, especially our Singaporean students, will step forward and avail themselves of the opportunity. It is easy to think of international students wanting that because they need some place to stay, but the real challenge and the real success is getting Singaporean students to want to stay. So that is another dimension of the co-curriculum, if you will, that I think is very important.
We have thought really hard at the Blue Ribbon Commission about our pedagogies as well. SMU from the beginning has been known for the interactive small group seminar-style teaching and learning, and I think that’s really stood our students and graduates in very good stead. It is no accident that our students are thought to be more articulate, more confident in holding a conversation, a debate, putting forward a view, and that sort of setting has contributed to it.