The School of Mathematical Sciences' Approach to Producing Quality Graduates

Institutions must strategize in developing their graduates dynamically and provide opportunities for them to realize their full potential. A high-quality syllabus is not enough to produce high-quality graduates. There should also be ample opportunities for students to improve on social and leadership skills, as well as to develop their Emotional Quotient (EQ), and to engage with peers and industry practitioners.

Acknowledging this need, the School of Mathematical Sciences (SMS) aims to continually improve in the stellar delivery of programmes through close engagement as well as by incorporating feedback from international professional bodies and industry practitioners. This is in addition to providing opportunities and platforms for students to not only develop their knowledge and skills, but also to develop their soft skills and leadership capabilities. Through this approach, SMS endeavours to produce high-quality graduates who excel academically with added extra-curricular achievements, who will be at the forefront in meeting the rising needs for actuarial, mathematical and statistical expertise globally.

SMS programmes are in close alignment with the industry needs and have been acknowledged for its quality – the BSc (Hons) in Actuarial Studies programme is accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), United Kingdom, whereas the BSc (Hons) in Industrial Statistics is recognized by the SAS Institute. Aside from the curriculum, SMS provides additional specialized workshops for students to train and further enhance their knowledge and skills, such as the Actuarial Practice Course (APC) for actuarial students and SAS Preparatory Course (SPC) for industrial statistics students.

The APC further equips students with knowledge and skills in long-term reserve, long-term pricing and International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS 17) through various practical assignments. Meanwhile, the SPC also prepares students to sit and pass four major SAS exams to attain the globally recognized SAS Certified Data Scientist qualification.

SMS is also dedicated towards empowering and grooming students as future leaders through the platforms of two programme-affiliated student societies, namely the Sunway Actuarial & Financial Excellence (SAFE) and Sunway Stamatical Professionals (STAMP) student societies. SMS lecturers have taken turns to serve as advisors to guide, support and enable students to showcase their leadership and organizational skills through SAFE and STAMP student events.

SAFE, since its inception in 2013, has organized numerous student events, such as team-building and leadership camps, social outings, alumni sharing sessions and educational field trips to well-known insurance, financial and consulting firms. To date, SAFE has successfully organized the ASymposium Actuarial Conference twice, which received support and recognition from IFoA and the insurance industry, and achieved a large turnout in participation rates among actuarial students from local and private universities in Malaysia.

On the other hand, STAMP, although relatively new, has begun engaging with industry practitioners and SAS industry experts through knowledge-sharing events.

 

Dr Jane Teh Kimm Lii
School of Mathematical Sciences
Email: janet@sunway.edu.my