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Singapore Universities: NUS, NTU, SMU

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  • Singapore Universities: NUS, NTU, SMU

    I'm currently waiting for the release of my A level results and contemplating which Uni i should go to.

    SMU is attractive because of their novel teaching approach, akin to the US system and I feel that i could benefit greatly from such a learning experience where projects and presentations form a crucial part of the education module.

    However, there is the matter of SMU being a less well-established school as compared to the other 2 local universities. and coming from an outsider point of view, most usually have the opinion that students who go to SMU went there because their didn't get their preferred choice. Of course this is an unfair generalisation and I absolutely mean no offence to the students at SMU because I am seriously considering going there myself. nevertheless, it is usually thought that graduates from NUS and NTU are more highly valued to employers.

    haha of course i am considering the close proximity to Orchard Road when it moves to the city campus this coming August or so. kinda worried i might spend more time shopping than studying. but it is a perk in that its so much more convenient a location as compared to NTU or NUS though.

    this neatly summarizes the differences in what the various Unis offer and played a role in my thought processes. Comparison of Local Universities by ST.
    as of now, i am still largely undecided. to make things worse, i don't even know which course i really want to take! uggh..

    any current SMU students or graduates would care to comment about the quality of the education there, how it has helped you, how employers view SMU graduates, etc? any other opinions will be appreciated as well. just give me your 2 cents! TIA!
    Last edited by saphiration; 18-03-2005, 07:56 PM.

  • #2
    I was in a similar crossroad situation just like you 2.5 years ago. What i would suggest would be to talk to students from the 3 different universities and find out more about the offerings and culture of each school. From there, hopefully it can help you make a more informed choice.

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    • #3
      yea i intend to to do that as well, but at the same time I don't think i really know that many SMU students, unfortunately. so i was hoping that perhaps i could learn a little about SMU from the cotters here.

      anyhow, thanks for the suggestion, Jolin!may i know which uni you chose to go to in the end?
      Last edited by saphiration; 30-01-2005, 02:04 PM.

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      • #4
        I don't know much about these 3 unis, but I've read lots of good things about SMU.

        But you might be going about this backwards. Why don't you compare departments/courses instead? Of course, that'll mean you have to decide which course first.

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        • #5
          yea i guess i should consider my choice of courses first huh.

          i am still in a dilemma right now but possible choices would be Accountancy, Economics or Business. haha its not much to work on huh. gosh :roll:

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          • #6
            Originally posted by saphiration
            yea i intend to to do that as well, but at the same time I don't think i really know that many SMU students, unfortunately. so i was hoping that perhaps i could learn a little about SMU from the cotters here.

            anyhow, thanks for the suggestion, Jolin!may i know which uni you chose to go to in the end?
            i chose to go to NTU...even though SMU offered me a program to do double degree. Currently in Business, majoring in marketing. If you need any info on ntu business program, feel free to pm me.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by saphiration
              i am still in a dilemma right now but possible choices would be Accountancy, Economics or Business. haha its not much to work on huh. gosh :roll:
              If accountancy, go for NTU. If econs, go for NUS/ SMU. If business, go for NUS/ SMU.

              I believe SMU should have a pretty good Acct program as well, but in my time (4 years back), most went to NTU.

              For Econs, if you go to NUS, it'll be under Arts faculty. I'm not sure about SMU.

              As for Business, NUS is pretty established. But SMU is refreshing and exciting.

              Afriad I can't offer much advice since those are all not my faculty (NUS Computing).

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              • #8
                hmm i guess it depends on what you want...
                firstly, the choice over at SMU is somewhat limited because it focuses on business mangement and the likes.
                secondly, you should also consider if you'll prefer to be taught in small seminars(SMU) style or lecture/tutorial(NUS/NTU) style.

                Most people complete their degrees within 3.5 yrs instead of the stated 4 yrs. Again, it depends on how you plan for your course of study.

                On the unfair generalisation of SMU students, i guess the stigma has somehow changed...nowadays, it is common to hear people being rejected by SMU and got accepted by NUS/NTU. There are also alot of students who did well and were from top JCs choosing SMU because of the distinct teaching approach

                HTH

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jolin
                  i chose to go to NTU...even though SMU offered me a program to do double degree. Currently in Business, majoring in marketing. If you need any info on ntu business program, feel free to pm me.
                  At one point of time, the higher possibility of being offered a double degree influenced my inclination towards SMU because i was interested in taking Economics and Business simultaneously. If i am not mistaken, SMU offers double degrees to students more freely than NUS, right?

                  anyhow, i must admit that my impression of NTU isn't the best. I still see it as being less hip than SMU and NUS, but i want to leave my options open. I once hastily left out NTU as one of my considered Unis, but i see that i shouldn't be so narrow-minded, especially for something that important.

                  okay, this is kinda OT. back to SMU itself.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tinkling
                    hmm i guess it depends on what you want...
                    firstly, the choice over at SMU is somewhat limited because it focuses on business mangement and the likes.
                    secondly, you should also consider if you'll prefer to be taught in small seminars(SMU) style or lecture/tutorial(NUS/NTU) style.

                    On the unfair generalisation of SMU students, i guess the stigma has somehow changed...nowadays, it is common to hear people being rejected by SMU and got accepted by NUS/NTU. There are also alot of students who did well and were from top JCs choosing SMU because of the distinct teaching approach

                    HTH
                    I saw the small seminar styled lessons as being a good chance for me to become more vocal, more confident of my own opinions and capable of accepting my making mistakes sometimes. there is hardly any chance of having discussions during lectures aren't there? however, i guess there are still tutorials for me to attempt this.

                    does anyone know what's the emphasis on project-based grading in the different universities, it might help me somewhat..

                    yea i guess more and more students view SMU more favourably these days, but i was worried what employers themselves would think.

                    chewie, thanks for the neat summary! haha unfortunately i think i'm nowhere closer to making a decision between accountancy, business and economics than i was yesterday. lol but i'm sure it'll come in handy when i finally make up my fickle mind. haha

                    and glitzy, yea i've tried goin thru the various curriculum of the different schools but it doesn't help that i'm still sitting on the fence about my course choices. i always hated it that i never knew what i really wanted to do. it just makes things so much more troublesome! haha
                    Last edited by saphiration; 31-01-2005, 08:46 PM.

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                    • #11
                      saphiration, where do you see yourself after graduation? Do you have a dream career?

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                      • #12
                        unfortunately for myself, saresha, i don't have a dream career! well technically i do have one but it will hardly be possibly to pursue considering the combi i took in JC. that would be to become a vet, but sadly, i didn't take biology in JC.

                        on the other hand, there is this one career that piqued my interest. i am not exactly certain what its called but from what i understand, it involves reducing the amount of taxation a company is liable to pay thru tweaking the accounting methods, or something along that line.

                        i guess if i were to pursue such a career, Accountancy would be a clear choice. and things would be so much easier.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tinkling
                          hmm i guess it depends on what you want...
                          firstly, the choice over at SMU is somewhat limited because it focuses on business mangement and the likes.
                          secondly, you should also consider if you'll prefer to be taught in small seminars(SMU) style or lecture/tutorial(NUS/NTU) style.

                          HTH
                          i think it's best to look at the curriculum of the various unis.

                          here at SMU, we have modules like Basic Japanese, Basic Spanish, Psycology etc. under General Education ...

                          for assessment, normally is project 40%,
                          class participatoion 15%, the rest being test and quizzes.

                          for seminar style, you can ask questions
                          whenever you thought of it, don't need to keep till tutorial time then ask...

                          you can raise a mini debate with the professor without feeling so embarrressed unlike in a lecture teaching style...

                          but.. be mentally prepared to come to school on a sunday. for projects.

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                          • #14
                            If you aren't sure, then probably a more general degree like Business would be best.

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                            • #15
                              SMU focuses a lot on class participation. If you are not the vocal kind, and you feel very very pressurised about talking in class and contributing to the issues in concern, I guess SMU might not be a good choice.

                              As for me, I was from SMU, graduated in December. Used to hate the school so much I was dying to graduate. Now that I have really graduated, thinking back, think the school isn't SO BAD..

                              I am not the vocal kind, it takes a lot of courage and hesitation to speak up in class. My heart will beat really fast, and sometimes before I put up my hand to speak, someone else would have said what I wanted to say, so.. that's it.

                              If you are lucky enough to have a professor who likes you and calls on you very often to answer, then probably it will help a lot, because once you have been called to answer questions once, you get a lot more braver in that specific class.

                              Apart from whether you are vocal. another thing you should consider if of course the modules you are interested in.

                              NTU does offer direct honours (not sure if it depends on the results), but in SMU, you need a good GPA to be able to get direct honours.

                              SMU is also very projects based. Could be fun sometimes, and a burden when the team is unable to find a common time to meet etc. You also have to make lots of presentations on your project work.

                              As for job prospects, it's hard to say. Some people claim SMU graduates are hot in the market because they are different (I don't think so though, we are all humans!) , as in they receive a different kind of coaching. However, we cannot deny the fact that some employers might prefer NUS and NTU because they are more established.

                              Perhaps you should have a checklist of what you intend to achieve through your university education and compare and contrast which school is your final choice.

                              My brother is like you too, wondering where to apply for the university education.

                              Good luck to you in your application, irregardless of where you will apply eventually.

                              If you need to know more information about SMU, feel free to PM me and I will let you know what I know

                              Happy New Year in advance!

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