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SMU School of Social Sciences Celebrates 10 years of Holistic Education and Excellence

18 Dec 2017

[Featured Photo: Guest-of-Honour Dr Noeleen Heyzer, Social Scientist, Former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) and SMU Provost & Lee Kong Chian Chair Professor of Social Sciences Lily Kong at the SoSS 10th Anniversary Dinner held at Fairmont Hotel on 26 October 2017]

Originally established in July 2002 as the School of Economics and Social Sciences, SMU School of Social Sciences (SoSS) expanded to be a separate entity on its own in 2007 and is the first school in Singapore to offer multi-disciplinary education.

Beginning with a pioneer batch of 76 Bachelor of Social Sciences (BSocSc) students in 2004, SoSS is now home to more than 972 BsocSc students in 2017. With just two faculty members in 2003, the School now boasts a diverse group of 40 full-time faculty members across the fields of Social Sciences – Psychology Political Science and Sociology, and Humanities – Philosophy and the Arts.

In 2016, SoSS welcomed the pioneer cohort of 45 Politics, Law and Economics (PLE) students, carefully selected from over 1000 prospective applicants. This innovative new major, the first-of-its-kind in Singapore, aims to prepare future leaders and thinkers with a deep understanding of global political and economic transformations and the legal frameworks and contexts within which such changes take place. 2017 sees a second cohort of 55 PLE students.

To commemorate its year-long 10th Anniversary celebrations, SoSS organised many talks, seminars and events this year covering topics such as politics, foreign relations, demographic transitions and gender differences, family and aging, and culture and heritage.

On 26 October 2017, the School’s 10th Anniversary celebrations included an evening of joy and appreciation for some 150 guests and integral stakeholders – industry and academic partners, alumni, students, faculty and staff. The dinner was held at the Fairmont Hotel.

Guest-of-Honour Dr Noeleen Heyzer, Social Scientist, Former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) and SMU’s Lee Kong Chian Distinguished Fellow was full of praise for the School. She said, “In the past decade, the School has firmly established itself as one of the finest in the country. It has produced a generation of bright scholars and outstanding community leaders, many of whom are in the room tonight. As we applaud the remarkable achievements of the School, we cannot help but ask, what has made this possible? I believe an important reason for the School’s success is its unique character. When you reflect on your experiences, they are associated with your intellectual pursuit and the friendships that you have made. And yet, neither either of these, important as they are, fully captures what the school is and what you celebrate today. The special quality of the School is captured in the theme of this year’s celebrations - 10 years of holistic transformational education. You aim for the high ground, you want students to not just do well academically and in their careers, but also to simultaneously explore new horizons and develop a genuine a sense of service and social responsibility towards society. You invest in an education that encourages students to lead a purposeful life for themselves and their families, but a life that values relationship with the other and to treat all human beings with respect and dignity. This is a strong foundation in which we create social impact to enrich our world and make it a far better place to live in”.

She went on to share examples on how students had spent hundreds of hours on community service in Singapore and the region, and upon graduation they had gone on to work at international humanitarian agencies on areas such as human trafficking and children at risk in conflict affected countries like Syria. She added that true to the value of holistic education, many have also excelled in sports and the creative arts. Others have also taken on new developmental challenges like the environment and sustainable development highlighted by the UN. They have won numerous awards for their excellence, holistic approach and contributions.

Guests at the dinner were then treated to performances by SMU’s very own student clubs – , SMU Indian Cultural Society, SMU Symphonia, SMU Ballare Ballroom Dancing Club and SMU Malay Langauge & Cultural Club Rentak.

You can watch the dinner highlights here.

Last updated on 19 Dec 2017 .