A 2-Part Series: The People Who Helped Shape SIM-University of London

For 35 years and counting, SIM and the University of London (UOL) have delivered a repertoire of diverse and high-quality programmes in Singapore. As we revel in the longstanding partnership, we celebrate, in tandem, the pivotal figures who helped shape SIM-UOL.

06 Apr 2021

5 mins read


For 35 years and counting, SIM and the University of London (UOL) have delivered a repertoire of diverse and high-quality programmes in Singapore. As we revel in the longstanding partnership, we celebrate, in tandem, the pivotal figures who helped shape SIM-UOL.

1991 was the year Sylvia Yeo joined SIM; and over the last three decades, she has found fulfilment and derived absolute joy from serving plateful of advice and support to fresh-eyed youths in their formative years. Sylvia’s ardour towards her calling here at SIM is irrefutable through the lens of those who have had the privilege to cross path with her. The Assistant Director of the SIM-UOL programmes shares more on the driving forces behind her purposeful heyday.

Tell us about yourself.

I am Sylvia Yeo, the administrative head for the SIM-UOL programmes. As SIM and the University of London celebrate 35 years of partnership in 2021, I am proud to share that this year marks my 30 years of service here as well. Delighted to be part of this extraordinary journey!

Sylvia (far left) with the rest of her colleagues at the SIM Management House in year 1991.

What does your role here mean to you?

I see myself as an enabler and facilitator. The education scene has evolved tremendously from how it used to be! SIM has so much to offer the community, and I enjoy sharing with prospective students on their study options. When students enrol, they sometimes do not know what they do not know. I love it when I can help them connect the dots.

Talk us through your most gratifying moment of your time here at SIM.

What can I say? I practically grew up with SIM and have more unforgettable memories than you can imagine. Here is one – a young man I once came across wanted to spend the last year of his degree at the LSE, but he fell a little short of the criteria for transfer by a few marks. He did not give up and went on to complete his undergraduate degree with UOL at SIM. Fast-forward two years later, he attained an SIM scholarship worth SGD100,000 to study for his Master’s degree in UK and continued on to pursue a PhD.

What do you think is most unique about SIM-UOL? 

Students have the best of both worlds studying with the University of London at SIM. They benefit from an academically stimulating education and gain the opportunity to enjoy SIM’s vibrant and multicultural campus life.

How does the University maintain the quality of teaching during these unprecedented times? 

The member institutions of the University of London, be it UCL, London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) or Goldsmiths, emphasise a lot on quality assurance. Many webinars were arranged by the UK academics for the International Foundation Programme and undergraduate programmes, to ensure that students were adequately supported in the lead-up to their final examinations. They also ran trial exams to make sure students knew exactly what to expect for their assessments.

Tell us about the most memorable student/alumni you have come across.

The first would be Sin Hong Wee, Senior Vice President at Maybank Singapore. He was among the first cohort of Diploma in Economics* students in 1989 before I started with SIM. Not only did he complete the diploma, he also has a degree and a Graduate Diploma too, plus a string of other qualifications. We connect regularly even until this very day. I am happy to say Hong Wee is also currently in the EXCO of the University of London alumni club in Singapore.


Sin Hong Wee next to Sylvia at the 20-year homecoming celebration at SIM in 2012

Next, I would have to say it was the first cohort of the Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Management. I was especially close to this Class of 1997. Just four years ago, they had a 20-year class reunion. We had a small gathering at the SIM Headquarters. It is amazing how well our alumni have all done in their careers.

Describe your journey with SIM-UOL in one word.

Fulfilling

If you could be in London right now, what would be the first thing that you would like to do?

Catch up with the University of London’s staff, many of whom I have known since 30 years ago! It is always an opportunity to share in person and work on improving the programmes and services for students at SIM.

Finally, summarise in one sentence, an advice that you think every student needs to hear.

Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and pursue the many opportunities available here at SIM-UOL.

Click here to learn more about the programmes awarded by the University of London.

To mark the significant milestone of an enduring collaboration between SIM and the University of London, there will be year-long fringe activities to celebrate the accomplishments and transformative impact it has on our students and alumni. Find out more about UOL here.

*The Diploma in Economics programme is no longer offered at SIM.


Posted online, 06 Apr 2021