MIT Collaboration

Our collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) represents MIT’s most significant collaboration on education to date. It is multifaceted and covered the following:

  • Development of the undergraduate curriculum
  • Co-teaching of subjects
  • Student exchanges
  • Recruitment and development of SUTD faculty
  • Establishment of a major co-located research centre, SUTD-MIT International Design Centre (IDC) 

The initial 7-year education collaboration with MIT (2010 to 2017) focused on the development, collaborative offering and transfer of key areas and subjects to be taught in the undergraduate curriculum. MIT faculty played a significant role in developing a blueprint for the curriculum, including a structure for the curriculum and the degrees to be offered.  More than 90% of our undergraduate curriculum was developed by MIT.
We also saw a regular flow of faculty and post-graduate fellows from MIT engaging in a range of activities, such as co-teaching of subjects with SUTD faculty. There were also opportunities for exchanges between students at MIT and SUTD. Such student and faculty exchanges encouraged within SUTD the same spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that has helped to make MIT a top-ranking university internationally.
In addition to building up our educational capabilities, MIT contributed to SUTD’s research capability by developing relevant research programmes through their top-class faculty. In the ongoing research collaboration with MIT, a key feature is the establishment of the SUTD-MIT International Design Centre (IDC). The IDC is the world’s premier hub for technologically intensive design. It is a focal point for faculty and students from SUTD, MIT and partner institutions to collaborate in the design of devices, systems and services that address the strategic needs of Singapore, the region and the world.

Harvesting the MIT entrepreneurial ecosystem

MIT is an entire entrepreneurial ecosystem.
According to a 2009 study, “25,800 currently active companies founded by MIT alumni employ about 3.3 million people and generate annual world revenues of $2 trillion, equivalent to the 11th-largest economy in the world.”
The MIT spirit of education that consists of research and social network with various industry institutions and community, contributes to this outstanding and growing entrepreneurial output.
In Singapore, at SUTD, we seek to replicate this spirit of entrepreneurship and cutting edge technology with novel education pedagogy. Our students will experience the full value chain from conception through development, prototyping, manufacturing, operations and maintenance. An education with us will provide students with the skills to bring their innovations to the marketplace or assist a company to transform an idea into a commercial enterprise.
As our President Professor Thomas Magnanti expresses, “SUTD aspires to establish an inspiring attitude and tone – the type of vibrant academic and research environment that exists at the world’s leading universities. Having ‘MIT within’ will help ensure that SUTD achieves the highest quality.”

Forging ahead, together

While MIT seeks to encourage in SUTD the same spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that helped propel it to its internationally recognised top-ranking position, SUTD is not alone in looking forward to this collaboration.
MIT does too.
According to the former President of MIT, Dr Susan Hockfield, “Building on MIT’s enduring relationship with Singapore, this agreement represents MIT’s most extensive collaboration with an overseas educational institution to date. The collaboration will not only help Singapore launch a new university, it will give MIT new opportunities to push the boundaries of design research. MIT is fully committed to helping SUTD achieve its distinctive vision.”
MIT President, Dr L. Rafael Reif has this to say about SUTD’s progress, “Even though it is a different university and organised very differently, there are some similarities (with MIT). I see tremendous commitment to a strong technical foundation in science and engineering, learning by doing through hands on learning and interdisciplinary education.  Both SUTD and MIT have a strong commitment in entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership. Both entities have a strong commitment in the synergy of education and research.”

With MIT and its rich global experiences on board, SUTD’s future is filled with promise. 

Find out more about MIT-SUTD Collaboration Office.