Fun stay at SIM hostel

Tennis, futsal, yoga, dance and space for visiting parents too

IT MAY not be publicly funded, but the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) is shaping up to offer some students a varsity experience not unlike that of the three local universities. Hostel living will now become part of the SIM education, after the tertiary institution officially opened its new campus yesterday.

Formerly an army camp, the campus at Ulu Pandan will have an array of facilities such as tennis and futsal courts, an outdoor yoga pad and a dance studio to go with its 247 rooms and 428 beds. The residences will be open to both local and international students ˜ and even visiting parents, who can use four short-stay studio apartments while their children settle in.

“We note that many of the parents of our foreign students come with them when they first arrive in Singapore. Since we provide hostel facilities for some of the foreign students, it will be logical for us to cater to parents who would want to stay with them for a few days,” said SIM chief executive Lee Kwok Cheong. These studio apartments would also be used to accommodate visiting faculty members.

But the biggest beneficiaries of its new campus, which is the size of six football fields, are its students.

SIM dance club president and final-year student Tan Mei Sha said: “I enjoy the green environment here. The facilities on this site have also helped CCA (co-curricular activity) groups to cut cost.

A lot of CCAs in SIM are self-funded and we previously had to rent our own dance studios for practice but now booking (the campus dance studio) is free and it’s really accessible to all students.”

Mr Lee said SIM’s third campus ˜ its main academic building is at Clementi Road and its management house is at Namly Avenue ˜ now gives the tertiary institution the opportunity to develop its students academically, personally and socially. “The new SIM is not just to provide hostel facilities to foreign students. It also creates a new campus to live, to learn and to have fun in.”

For international students, the timing could not have been better.

Mr Antony Simon, 21, a third-year student from Medan, North Sumatra, said: “Rising rentals have been a concern especially for international students.”

He described the $700 monthly hostel fees for his twin-sharing room as “quite reasonable”, although it would be $50 more than what he used to pay for a single room in a condo apartment. “There are enough facilities to support my study needs as CCA meetings and group studies are all centred in the campus.”

But what students like most about having a residential campus, they told Today, is that it takes interaction among themselves to a whole new level.

Mr Akshay Kingar, 20, a second-year student from Bangalore, India said: “I plan to start a business in the future and here, I get to mingle with and learn new things and concepts from international students from different countries. The world is getting more globalised and I feel here is a good place to start.”

Yesterday also marked the launch of SIM’s scholarship programme for its Global Education students.

Up to 35 scholarships would be offered each year to students with outstanding academic results or achievements in the areas of sports and the arts. The scholarships would have a total value of $500,000 annually.

Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who graced the opening, said: “The students are very lucky to have a campus that makes this a full university in a sense of providing an all round education for its students. I hope SIM continues to contribute to the Singapore brand of education, team up with reputable players internationally as it has been doing and keeps the high quality standard it has come to be known for.”

Source : Today – 19 Sep 2008

Join The Discussion

Compare listings