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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

NUS answers to surging demand for FinTech talent, launches new master’s degree

Singapore – The graduate school of the National University of Singapore (NUS) is launching a new master’s degree, one that can be said as perfectly fitting for the times of today – Master of Science (MSc) in Digital Financial Technology. 

The Lion City has been home to a number of pioneers in financial technology and is continuously dubbed as the Silicon Valley of Asia, earning the status of a leading technological hub in the world. NUS said that the program was built to meet the surging demand for high-quality FinTech talent in Singapore and globally. 

NUS’ School of Computing, together with the support of NUS Business School as well as the Asian Institute of Digital Finance, has established the program to help aligned professionals build an even stronger foundation in computing and finance. 

According to NUS, the program is intended primarily to help prepare graduates for challenging but rewarding careers as AI software developers, data scientists, and FinTech security specialists, as well as roles as financial quantitative analysts, and other similar professions in financial institutions or FinTech firms. 

The program comprises nine essential modules which will cover FinTech competencies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and data analytics. The roster of essential modules also encompasses the basics of finance and computing to solidify students’ foundation in the said skills. 

Meanwhile, the program’s range of elective modules is organized along three tracks: Computing Technologies, Financial Data Analytics and Intelligence, and Digital Financial Transactions and Risk Management. For the program’s capstone project, a two-semester undertaking will be required by students to obtain either an academic research project or a FinTech internship. The culmination strand of the program is designed to help students pick up in-depth skills and knowledge in a focused area via experiential learning. 

Admissions to the NUS MSc DFinTech program will be granted on a competitive basis with limited slots for enrollees. Minimum requirements for applicants include a Bachelor’s Degree in Computing with a high grade point average (GPA) or cumulative average point (CAP). Graduates are also deemed admissible when they have a Bachelor’s Degree in a related discipline such as in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), finance, economics, or business similarly provided that they have a high GPA or CAP. 

Other qualifications include a strong FinTech or information technology (IT) project or work experience for holders of a Computing degree, while two years of FinTech or IT industry experience is required for holders of Bachelor’s Degrees in the mentioned related disciplines. High proficiency in the English language is also required for the degree, whereas for those that have English as a foreign language, certain minimum scores for the ‘Test of English as a Foreign Language’ (TOEFL) and in the ‘International English Language Testing System’ (IELTS) are required. 

For non-computing students that wish to enter the program, sufficient evidence of Python programming knowledge and/or learning in advanced quantitative subjects is required. The program is also open to international applicants. Said individuals are to submit proof of acquired minimum scores on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Meanwhile, those that are graduates of Indian universities may submit scores on the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) instead.

The term will start on August 2021. Tuition Fee is at S$58,000, excluding the 7% Goods and Services Tax (GST). The program is offered only on a full-time basis. The estimated time for completion for full-time students is 1.5 years, with maximum candidature period of 3 years.

The application period has already begun at the start of March this year, which will run until 15 April 2021. Full details on the program can be found on NUS’ website


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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

ComfortDelGro partners with NUS to co-develop R&D lab for mobility tech

Singapore – Singapore’s transport company ComfortDelGro has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National University of Singapore (NUS), in an aim to develop innovative and sustainable services in the country.

The MOU will see ComfortDelGro investing S$10M in a mobility-focused CDG-NUS Smart & Sustainable Mobility Living Lab (CDG-NUS Living Lab), which will focus on energy sustainability, and integrated urban mobility, as well as smart and intelligent mobility technologies. The CDG-NUS Living Lab will be responsible for researching, testing, and analyzing mobility technologies to generate insights that could later be implemented in solutions for the mass market. 

Furthermore, the transport company will invest another S$40M to replace its fleet of diesel buses with electric buses, which will be deployed to the NUS Kent Ridge Campus, as well as supporting infrastructure and mobility technologies. At the same time, ComfortDelGro Engineering will also seek to explore the electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure into the campus’ car parks to study the impact of using EVs for traveling in and around the campus.

The company said the initiative is part of its plan to ‘electrify’ NUS. Part of this is having the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) targets validated and approved over the next 24 months, which includes transiting towards a clean-energy fleet, improving energy efficiency, adopting renewables, and driving business innovation.

The SBTi is an international collaboration between the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and the World Resources Institute (WRI) which encourages companies in the private sector to set science-based emission reduction targets to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, one of which is to limit global warming to a well-below 2°C and above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.

Yang Ban Seng, the managing director and CEO of ComfortDelGro, shared that the global pandemic which began in early 2020 gave them an opportunity to recalibrate and review their businesses, saying that one of the key outcomes has been the keen awareness that they must step up their commitment to green technology and processes. 

“Sustainability is not just a catchphrase to us. It has become a key pillar of our foundation and one that we intend to build on going forward. The collaboration with NU and our commitment to SBTi are just some of the new initiatives in this regard and we fully intend to invest and commit further in sustainable activities in the months and years ahead,” said Yan Bang Seng.

Meanwhile, Chen Tsuhan, NUS deputy president and research and technology professor, said, “The CDG-NUS Living Lab brings together advanced research and innovative technologies in NUS, such as sustainable energy and mobility engineering, as well as ComfortDelGro Group’s ambition and commitment, to develop innovative and sustainable services for Singapore and the world. It is also in line with the University’s goal of becoming a smart, safe, and sustainable campus.”

The CDG-NUS Living Lab is expected to be set up by September 2021.


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