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Old 11-21-2007, 04:54 PM   #1
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Default SMU - Comparable to a NUS?

I was wondering, in terms of standard and ranking. Is SMU comparable to NUS? It is after all the third locally recognized university. First choice would be NUS banking and finance but I'm just afraid that I don't meet the criteria so I'm considering my other 2 options. NTU would be located too far from where I stay whilst SMU is more centralized but what I'm worried about is the way of teaching there. One of seniors was mentioning that the teaching style there is different from NUS/NTU... true?
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Old 11-22-2007, 10:59 AM   #2
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Old 12-11-2007, 10:16 PM   #3
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I'm currently in SMU and to be brutally honest, you really need to know how to speak up to participate actively in class discussions. If you're the kind of students who study better by befriending books in the library (no offence ^_^), then you may find class participation in SMU classes hard to "adapt". Conversely, if you're more of a "people learner" who have no qualms about voicing out and feedback, then you'll do pretty well in the SMU learning environment.
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Old 12-12-2007, 02:45 PM   #4
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I guess you should go read more about the undergraduate programme, that what both NUS and SMU can offer to your needs, before making your decision.

As to in terms of standard and ranking. Is SMU comparable to NUS?
I think it is a (no offence though) very typical singaporean bad habit of comparing school by its standards and ranking. I mean, ultimately the school mission is to prepare you well so that you can thrive and suceed in today industry, and all three Unis are strong in the business programme.

All three universities have their own niche areas in the Business programs, and they are widely known across the world. NTU programme is accredited by Equis and AACSB. NUS programme is accredited by AACSB. SMU is new, but 100% of their graduates found jobs within 6 months, and those with good honors are highly paid.So to me, all 3 are good in the business programs.

Moreover, I think you should see what are the factors that suit you needs.
For e.g
NTU is a 3 years direct honors program, so it gives you a faster headstart than the other graduates.
SMU is the only uni in singapore that have an american-style of education, and it's one of its kind.
I am not sure about NUS,as it isn't my considerations when I applied. But I am sure that there are student out there who chose NUS Business, because it suits their needs.

I chose SMU over NTU and NUS, because of it's unique seminar style of education. In addition, SMU is the only university that emphasise on character building and ways to thrive in todays market. I am convinced because of what they can provide for my future, not because of how good they are.

I hope the above details will help you to make your choice wisely.
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:57 PM   #5
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As mentioned by the others already, I don't think you should choose which university to go to based on its ranking. This choice should be based on which university complements you best and allows you to derive the most enjoyment and fun while learning.

I'm from SMU so I can only basically tell you more about SMU and not NUS and NTU.

SMU is a place that values opinion. Usually, 15% of the grade for each course is based on class participation or how much you speak up in class/online forums. If you're already well-immersed in the JC style of lessons where you just have to sit back and take notes, it's a good time to learn to speak up. For shy people, you'll be at a disadvantage at the start but it's a fantastic opportunity to break out of that shell.

SMU requires effort in studying as well. If you've heard stories about SMU being a place where you can have fun and party a lot without studying, well, be prepared for poor results then, unless you're a genius. SMU students usually have meetings and classes till late, projects all term round, and CCA commitments to boot. This isn't to scare you, we have fun as well but be prepared for as much work as there is play.

One thing that you'll miss out on if you come to SMU is hostel life. True, we do have hostels at Prinsep, but that's mostly for foreign students. If experiencing hostel life is your number 1 priority, then SMU wouldn't be the place for you.

You may also have heard about all the good things about SMU graduates, like full employment within a certain period, top salaries, higher average salaries, etc. But, do take all these bits of information with a pinch of salt. Statistics generated by any university are usually biased in its favor.

There's really a lot more about SMU than can be written here. But at the end of the day, I'm pretty sure that wherever you go to, the education you receive would be comparable. It's more of where you would like to spend these 4 years of your life, and where you would enjoy most.
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Old 12-12-2007, 10:06 PM   #6
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Default Every school has its own strength

I'm a student from SMU... I guess the difference is really the teaching style and how you are trained... I agree with the rest that NUS and NTU is probably more content based while SMU trains you on how you think on your feet and react to others. Don't select the school based on its ranking or the salary that its graduates earn. Also, don't be put off by SMU's 4 year program compared to NTU and NUS's 3 year program because SMU's program is planned by yourself so it is possible to graduate within 3 years. For those who "befriend books", the SMU teaching style takes a while to get used to, but I assure you that you will not regret your effort put into adapting. I used to dislike the school, but being half a year to graduation, I've realised the tremendous amount that I've learnt from the school. I'm sure you will too...
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:35 PM   #7
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I'm also a student from SMU, and I guess my fellow SMU students already mentioned that there is a significant difference in teaching styles.

There are many students who adapt extremely well in the SMU environment, they are those who speak up in class, contribute insightful comments, make impressive presentations, and are willing to stay overnight to finish projects. Yet, there are also those who don't adapt well, and to put it mildly, they don't enjoy their time here.

I would advise any application not to categorically label oneself as more suitable to one university or the other. Do take the time to attend the recruitment talks conducted by the three universities, get a chance to experience the different cultures, get to know the student volunteers in these events and talk to the professors as well. Immersing yourself in the process may make it easier to make a decision. Personally, I was wavering among my options until I finished the interviews with the three unis.

As for your question about teaching standards, I believe the three universities are comparable; peer comparison and the current competition may however eventually lead the three universities to develop their own trademark styles.

I am also not too concerned about minor differences in rankings – take for eg if you realized university A is the top Singapore university, B is the 2nd and C - 3rd. Would it matter to you if you also knew A is 11th in Asia, followed by B who is 12th in Asia and C, 13th?

If you plan to be a global executive, you might be interested to know that Singapore universities are viewed favorably worldwide and small differences in their local ranking will seem less significant on a global scale.

Personal biasness aside, SMU however faces a common problem of all young aspirant universities – we have yet to build a long solid history and left a lasting impression on employers.

Unlike NUS, which enviably have just celebrated a centennial several years back, we only started several years back. Our fresh graduates have the dual challenge (and responsibility?) to build this reputation one accomplishment at a time and to avoid missteps and bad judgment that shake the foundation laid by our alumni.
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Old 12-16-2007, 01:07 AM   #8
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i want the universities what can i do.
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Old 01-05-2008, 06:23 PM   #9
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I find it amusing that so far there's only SMU students posting here sharing your views on your university, what about the students from NTU or NUS?

Perhaps it is due to the style of teaching as mentioned in the various posts?

I'm also looking for a good business course to take up, and am quite undecided as for now (currently in NS). Really interested to hear the replies from other students of the two other universities.
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Old 01-16-2008, 02:39 PM   #10
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Default SMU students

Just to include another dimension to this debate. Disclosure : i am from U of Michigan and studied Engineering.

I deal with a lot of graduates (>1000 a year) from NUS, NTU and SMU from the point of view of a hiring manager or helping my client find good scholars/management trainees. I find that the difference is really not that big. It boils down to individual experience and personality. Maybe SMU students talk more, but many NUS/NTU students are like this too.

However, I would say that NUS and NTU do have a longer history and hence a larger alumni which a savvy graduate can leverage upon since many are leaders in industry. SMU being newer, by default, does not have this. SMU graduates need to move up the corporate, social, political ladder more and this takes time. My educated guess is that there will be some as the graduates I met from SMU are all pretty ok. So they will take up their proportionate positions in future. Are they better than NUS, NTU graduates, i do not think so at all.

Right now, my company has NTU and NUS graduates but no SMU graduates. More a case of proportion than anything else. Hope this helps give a perspective from employer point of view.
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