Singapore is one of the University’s most engaged alumni communities despite being relatively small in size compared to other countries. In 2013 alone 70 students came to Warwick and the University organised speaking events at the Art Science Museum and the National Museum of Singapore which were attended by senior University figures such as the Chancellor and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Knowledge Transfer and Business Engagement.
Here Timothy Liu (MBA DL 1998-2005), alumni ambassador, shares his insight into the Singaporean alumni community.
This country is an intriguing blend of Western modernity and Asian culture. In an area of roughly 700 square kilometres you’ll find gleaming skyscrapers, Chinese shophouses, Malay mosques, Hindu temples and chains of airconditioned shopping malls. It’s a multicultural, multi-ethnic islandstate that attracts workers from companies around the world.
The Warwick alumni population within this cosmopolitan society comprises more than 1,100 people from various academic studies, from graduation years ranging from 1971 to 2013, from a variety of professional backgrounds, with diverse experiences and of local and international origin.
However, despite their diversity, the alumni community manages to come together regularly for events. The kinds of thing that prove popular here are social networking events that include family and friends. Around four times a year we have a casual get-together where we can catch-up, share our excitement or just relax and take a step back from the anxiety and stress of the working day.
Singapore is safe, clean and green with a reputation as a garden city. This encourages us to organize outdoor activities such as the recent alumni and friends easy cycling at East Coast Park. Despite the hot and humid weather there was an opportunity for exercise, pictures, fun-filled chit-chat, hydration and refuelling breaks and coffee and food stops along the way and it all concluded with a drink nearby.
Like alumni living in any other fast paced city, for Singaporean alumni there are always so many things to do in too little time. Alumni can find it difficult to juggle work and family and also to find the time to participate in our events. That’s why we try to actively engage them by being open to their suggestions, requesting their support with resources and by inviting their involvement in helping to organize events.
However, despite the challenge of finding time, Singaporean alumni do see the benefit in connecting with the wider Warwick graduate community. It’s a great opportunity to stay in touch, share information, hear updates about the University, network and engage with fellow alumni. Our folks have always been helpful and are more than willing to share the benefit of their experience.
Looking forward, we will continue to run events for alumni, family and friends in a carefree and relaxed setting. A weekend retreat to the Singapore mangrove island of Pulau Ubin, St John’s Island is just one of the suggestions we’ve received. Being in close proximity to many Asian countries, escaping Singapore can be quick and affordable and could be a lifestyle feature for us to consider.
Other alumni have suggested an overnight food-tasting tour to Penang, Johor Bahru in Malaysia or a family resort vacation in Bintan, Indonesia. With the input of our alumni community we hope to see some innovative event plans coming together soon. Needless to say, whatever we decide to do it will be publicised in advance so that as many alumni as possible can participate.
Chancellor visit to Singapore
University Chancellor Sir Richard Lambert visited Singapore in April 2013 to deliver a lecture on how other countries can learn from Singapore’s remarkable economic success story.