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BW Businessworld

'Curtin Singapore Is Both Safe And Close'

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One of the largest government funded universities in Western Australia, Curtin is home to around 45000 students. Apart from the off shore locations such as Hong Kong, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Mauritius, the university has been running its programmes in Singapore since 20 years now. Curtin opened its offshore campus in Singapore just two years ago and boast of an alumni network of 13000 from the newly found campus. The Singapore campus has been running Curtin Business School's programmes as well. A total of 1300 students from Singapore, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar and India are currently pursuing these programmes at the new campus. The Director of Marketing & Admissions at Curtin Singapore, Jeremy Histon was recently in India to promote the two flagship courses offered by the Curtin's Singapore campus and spoke to Businessworld Online's Poonam Kumar. Excerpts:
What sets Curtin, Singapore apart from the other premier universities in the world?
Curtin Singapore is academically identical to its 'mother' campus of Curtin University in Perth Australia - the very fact makes it unique in Singapore. It is one of the larger Australian government universities with 45,000 students worldwide. Curtin Singapore's academic quality is tightly controlled by Curtin - Perth so that students at the Singapore campus are assured of getting the same quality of education and degree as those (students) studying at our Perth campus. However, Curtin Singapore is slightly different from the Australian campus as it runs a 'fast track' academic year with three semesters instead of the usual two years in Australia.  This means students can complete their courses in a lesser amount of time (2 years for Bachelors, 1 year for Masters).

The tuition fees in Singapore is also significantly lower than in Australia. Curtin Singapore is all about Business. The programmes running in Singapore are in tune with the major industries in Singapore including finance, accounting, banking, and logistics. The new postgraduate Master of Finance, accounts and Master of International Business allow students to study industry relevant business programmes in the heart of South East Asia's business and economic hub, Singapore.

Why you chose India to launch your new postgraduate programmes in India? What is the percentage of Indian students at Curtin, Singapore?
India is the second largest market for students opting for Singapore, largely for the post graduate business courses. With our Singapore presence, we see these students as potential candidates for our programmes. Though we have been in Singapore since 20 years, we are a pretty young when it comes to the campus. So far we are more focused on under-graduate programmes and have around 1300 students, most of whom are pursuing under-graduate courses in commerce stream. Now, we are shifting our focus on India because the number of Indian students is much lesser in our Singapore campus (Just 30 students).

Every year thousands of Indian students opt for Singapore to pursue higher studies, especially when acquiring visa is becoming difficult to locations such as Australia. Indian students prefer Singapore over other destinations now, as its closer to home; has a reputation for being safe and delivering quality education. Being an Asian destination it gets easier for Indian students to settle in Singapore, and many comforts of home are readily available given the size of the Indian population in Singapore.

Now with the new post-graduate courses we feel that we have much more in line what Indian students are looking for.

What is the admission procedure for these programmes?
The admission process is very simple. Any student who has a bachelor's degree can apply. Students who want to join MIB programme can simply fill up the application form (available on the university website) and attach copies of his/her degrees from a recognised university. An authority letter and contract is sent out to the applicant. The applicant needs to understand the contract and sign it to accept the admission in Curtin, Singapore.

What is the fees structure for these programmes?
The programmes' fees is $28,569, which should be made in Singaporean dollars to Curtin Singapore by a bank cheque, international bank draft or telegraphic transfer. It's a three-semester one-year programme. Part time students can pay per module per semester (most part-time students study two modules per semester).

When it comes to the living cost and duration, the programmes being offered in Singapore are a more economical option than the ones being offered in Australia.

What is the USP of the Master of International Business? How it is different from an MBA?
We specifically decided not to bring the Curtin MBA to Singapore. The Masters of International Business is very different an MBA.  An MBA tends to give students a snapshot across most areas of business:  finance, marketing and HR, but students don't get to study anything in any real depth. An MIB is a management degree that focuses on enriching students with top level management education giving them the big picture. It focuses on strategy and international management. The programme is ideal for people who see themselves going for a top level management roles in the future. So, most of the students who tend to do an MIB may already have a background in a functional area, though they do not have to to be admitted into the program. They may have technical expertise in that a functional area but not the management expertise.

What are the job prospects after the completion of these programmes? Does Curtin Singapore provide placement assistance to the students pursuing these courses?
Most of the world's major investment banks such as Credit Suisse, UBS, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered and Citibank have a major presence in Singapore. Singapore has one of the largest stock exchanges in Asia, and as recently the Singapore stock exchange launched a bid to merge with the Australian stock exchange - this would make Singapore an even more important economic and financial hub in the region. Curtin Singapore is working to increase our profile with the finance industry by working to build partnerships so that our graduates will become the prime candidates to join such illustrious companies. Under the guidance of the Pro Vice-Chancellor the new internships and career guidance team will be working with all the major financial institutions to help develop opportunities for our students.
Tell us about Curtin Singapore's future plans?
Curtin Singapore will continue to introduce industry relevant programmes to Singapore and build on its current offering. We are focused on growing the number of students but at the same time maintaining our high academic quality and standards. We are working alongside Curtin University to achieve its stated goal of being in the top 20 universities in Asia Pacific by 2020.
Any message you would like to give the students who are seeking admission in Curtin Singapore?
By opting for a Business education (whether it's a bachelor or a master degree) at Curtin Singapore, you can be assured that you will receive an excellent Australian university experience, and receive an internationally recognised degree that is well known, and appreciated by employers around the region. Curtin is proud to produce 'industry ready' graduates; meaning that you don't just learn theory at Curtin, you learn the soft skills and the application of the theory that employers appreciate.