Institute for Adult Learning to be Restructured as Autonomous Institute within Singapore University of Social Sciences

The Institute for Adult Learning (IAL), which is currently an institute under SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), will be restructured into an autonomous institute within the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), with effect from 1 April 2019. The restructuring will further strengthen the quality of Continuing Education and Training (CET).

IAL, an institute of SSG, was set up in December 2008, focusing on i) training as well as continuing professional development and professionalisation of adult educators; ii) conducting research into workforce development and lifelong learning; and iii) driving innovative practices in CET. As the sixth Autonomous University set up in June 2017, SUSS has a strong focus on the three areas of applied learning, the social sciences, and lifelong learning. It currently runs about 70 full-time and parttime degree-level programmes. The University has been running part-time programmes for working and adult learners for the last 13 years.

There are clear synergies in the restructuring of IAL into SUSS. By doing so, we will bring together know-how and experience of both SUSS and IAL in the provision of learning to adults. SUSS and the restructured IAL will work closely in areas that include course design, development and delivery to adult learners. SUSS will be able to tap on IAL’s research network and capabilities, such as the use of research findings by IAL to address the learning needs of its students, while IAL will be able to draw on SUSS's student data and its adult student learning experience for research and for the training of adult educators. The university will also accredit and issue formal qualifications for programmes run by IAL at the tertiary level, further elevating the quality and standing of these courses.

IAL will continue to maintain its current name and be overseen by an independent Council, chaired by the Chief Executive of SSG. This will ensure that IAL’s work continues to be aligned to the overall national priorities under SkillsFuture and to serve the adult learning space of Singapore. An Executive Director will be appointed by SSG and SUSS to lead the institute.

“IAL will benefit from becoming a constituent member of a university. It will draw upon SUSS to accredit formal qualifications to raise the professionalism of adult educators, as well as allow its researchers to be exposed to wider range of areas. The restructuring will also allow SkillsFuture Singapore to better focus on our mandate to create a thriving skills ecosystem,” says Mr Ng Cher Pong, Chief Executive of SSG.

“The restructuring will strengthen SUSS's positioning as a university of applied and lifelong learning targeted at working adults. The university will benefit from IAL's network of research capabilities, and will also add to IAL’s thrust in serving adult learning nationally. We look forward to welcoming IAL’s colleagues and the new working relationship,” said Prof Cheong Hee Kiat, President of SUSS.