Oral History Collection

Publication Type


Date of Interview



Patricia Meyer


Singapore Management University, SMU, Hwang Soo Chiat, Tan Chin Tiong, history, university founding, beginnings, Singapore higher education, education policy, business schools, human resources, IT infrastructure, Tan Teck Meng, third university, research university, teaching university, student enrollment numbers, Ministry of Education MOE, student qualities, industry feedback, university curriculum, interdisciplinary, IT savvy, private university, high degree of autonomy, exceed expectations, success in attracting students, holistic curriculum, university administration, university admissions, interviews for admissions, National University of Singapore NUS, Nanyang Technological University NTU, Singapore Institute of Management SIM, marketing, university curriculum, pedagogy, student development, non-passive learning, confident graduates, eloquent speakers, teaching style, autonomous university, successful experiment, quality of graduates, risk takers, critical thinking, challenge norms, small size, thought leadership, Wharton School, city campus, Singapore brand, accounting school, lectures and tutorials, academic library, commencement, accounting student graduation, entrepreneurs, American-style education


The interview with Hwang Soo Chiat covered:first involvement with SMU, roles and responsibilities, first classes, teaching pedagogy, pioneer students, student interaction, student recruitment, parent interaction, commencement, milestones.


Associate Professor of Accounting, SMU, 2000–present

Member of SMU start-up team

Professor Hwang Soo Chiat is one of the SMU ‘pioneers’, a member of the start-up team for Singapore’s third university. Today he is an associate professor of accounting at SMU. In December 2005, he was named Outstanding Teacher in the School of Accountancy. His research interests are in the use of accounting ratios for prediction of bankruptcy of companies, corporate governance, behavioural accounting, and changing cultural values in Singapore.

Professor Hwang joined the National University of Singapore as a lecturer in 1979. Later, he became an associate professor at Nanyang Technological University where he taught at both the graduate and undergraduate level. His administrative appointments with Nanyang Technological University included head of the division of marketing and business policy, and head of two centres—the School of Accountancy and Business Research Centre and Entrepreneurship Engineering Research Centre.

Professor Hwang has extensive experience in consulting and executive teaching and his clients include the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore, Ministry of Finance (Singapore), Singapore Technologies Pte Ltd, and Singapore Turf Club.

He received his bachelor’s in accounting from the then University of Singapore; master’s degree in economics from Monash University, Australia; and his PhD from Macquaries University, Australia. Professor Hwang is a chartered management accountant (UK) and a fellow certified public accountant (Singapore).


Asian Studies | Higher Education | Higher Education Administration

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This is an abridged version of the original interview. Please contact Li Ka Shing Library at libIR@smu.edu.sg for access to the full version of the transcript and/or audio recording.

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