Part-2: 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. Dr Zhang Jianlin first began his journey with SIM-UOL as an undergraduate student back in 1998. His passion for teaching transpired upon graduation. He has since taught a wide range of courses and is now the academic head of SIM-UOL programmes. Dr Zhang's high energy and unfailing devotion to his students are hallmarks of his time in his current role. He enjoys bringing life into the classroom and excels at making abstract concepts concrete for students through innovative pedagogies such as classroom experiments.

14 Jul 2021

5 mins read

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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.

Dr Zhang Jianlin first began his journey with SIM-UOL as an undergraduate student back in 1998. His passion for teaching transpired upon graduation. He has since taught a wide range of courses and is now the academic head of SIM-UOL programmes. Dr Zhang's high energy and unfailing devotion to his students are hallmarks of his time in his current role. He enjoys bringing life into the classroom and excels at making abstract concepts concrete for students through innovative pedagogies such as classroom experiments.


Tell us about yourself.

I came to Singapore in late 1994 from Fujian, China with the intent to further my education. I first learnt about SIM-UOL programmes through my peers - they shared that SIM is a recognised institution with brand recognition.
 
DrZhang
 
Dr Zhang receiving a gift for graduating top of the BSc Management class in 2001.

I was accepted into the UOL BSc Management programme at SIM in 1998. 3 years later, I completed the programme by topping the world to be the only one to graduate with First Class Honours. This enabled me to secure a scholarship to pursue the MSc Accounting and Finance programme at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Upon graduating from LSE, I returned to SIM to teach several UOL courses in Economics, Finance and Management before finally taking on the role of the Head of SIM-UOL programmes.

Give us a summary of your day as the Academic Head at SIM-UOL.

As I provide academic leadership, I spend a huge portion of my time working alongside student-facing colleagues, associate lecturers and the academic team at UOL/LSE. I also see students one-on-one for academic advisement sessions. Nothing beats first-hand feedback as it helps me design precise solutions to address some of the common challenges faced by our students.

What can an SIM-UOL student expect in your classroom?

Being creative and critical is an important learning aspect of the UOL programmes. I challenge students with my research problems and findings. Through scientific research and publications, I hope to convey to the students that knowledge is not static; it evolves and changes every day and that it is of utmost importance that learning should take place with a critical and creative mindset.

What sets the SIM-UOL education apart from others?

The SIM-UOL programmes follow a unique academic framework where renowned member institutions such as the LSE, Goldsmiths and UCL direct the curriculum design, study material and assessment. It truly helps ensure the high academic rigour and standard of UOL programmes at SIM.

In addition, SIM is the largest UOL teaching centre in the world. It enables us to secure many academic resources, which students studying in other teaching centres may not benefit from. There is also the yearly flagship revision programme, where academics from the University personally coach our students before their final examinations.

What kind of support is in place to help our students cope and learn in the new normal?

Both UOL and SIM have beefed up more online academic support.

For example, students are no longer restricted to attending lessons in person. They have the flexibility to tune in for their lectures at any location and watch on-demand lecture recordings. All existing student support programmes like Peer Assisted Learning are also available online.

What is a unique aspect of SIM-UOL?

UOL houses its one and only regional education centre in the world at SIM. This gives our students a distinguished recognition, as they continue to benefit from the best of both worlds, i.e., learning from experienced local lecturers and guided by the University's academics.

Click here to read the first part of this two-part series; The people who helped shape SIM-University of London

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 are year-long fringe activities to celebrate the accomplishments and transformative impact it has on our students and alumni. Find out more about UOL here.



Posted online, 14 Jul 2021