Exploring Singapore & Malaysia: An Unforgettable Students’ International Experience


Strathmore Institute of Mathematical Sciences (SIMS) students just concluded an exciting academic adventure in South East Asia. The undergraduate students pursuing degrees in Financial Engineering, Financial Economics, and Actuarial Science spent time in Singapore and Malaysia as part of their annual international trip meant to enhance their learning experience and global citizenship through vital exposure to various global financial hubs. Students from the institute have previously visited other important finance and trade hubs like London, New York, Hong Kong, and Paris.

Global career opportunities and research
The island country and city-state of Singapore is one of the world’s wealthiest addresses, thanks to its port – which is one of the largest in Southeast Asia, and its remarkable economic transformation to become a powerful world trade centre. Our students kicked off their journey on this island of fewer than six million inhabitants by first visiting their flagship university – the National University of Singapore (NUS) – the oldest public research institution in Singapore, to delve into their research and academic programs.


Reflecting on the experience of this visit to NUS, Financial Engineering student – Elizabeth Wambua, noted that:

“Visiting NUS and learning about their many innovations, research, and academic programmes is beneficial to us as most of us are currently thinking about having global careers and pursuing postgraduate studies after our graduation later this year.”

The National University of Singapore is ranked, consistently, as one of the world’s top universities, a clear testament to Singapore’s reputation for academic excellence in Asia and globally. This fact piqued the interest of our students who decided to explore more universities in the region in a bid to understand why they attract a wide range of international students and the career opportunities they offer. The team, therefore, included important visits to Nanyang Business School – part of Nanyang Technological University and one of the top five universities in Asia, and INSEAD Business School – one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools.

In neighboring Malaysia, the students were welcomed to the oldest and the highest-ranking Malaysian institution of higher education – the University of Malaysia, where they had an engagement session with a team from the University’s Institute of Mathematical Sciences. Possible areas of research collaboration were also discussed between the faculty of Strathmore Institute of Mathematical Sciences, led by the Dean – Dr. Godfrey Madigu, and the Director of the Institute for Mathematical Research, Universiti Putra Malaya – Dr. Muhammad Rezal Ariffin.


The City of the Future and Planning for Success
While still in Singapore, the young academic sojourners from Strathmore took the opportunity to also visit the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and learn more about the multiple roles the central bank and financial regulatory authority play in the Singaporean economy and financial sector. This visit was followed by another important stop at the Singapore City Gallery to discover the development story of this once-fishing village that is now a global economic powerhouse. Here, our students toured the gallery that showcases Singapore’s impressive transformation over the past 50 years, to become one of the most liveable cities in the world and arguably, the 20th century’s most successful development story. The gallery visit left quite a remarkable impression on the students, especially Ireme Vunabandi, an Actuarial Science student from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who said:

“It has been exciting to visit this gallery and learn about Singapore’s development story. They have documented their progress very well through interactive and immersive exhibits that detail their planning challenges and the innovative solutions they have used to tackle them.”


A Glimpse into the Future of digital finance
The city-state of Singapore is famous for its role as a leading global financial hub and this trip gave our students an opportunity to go behind the scenes of some leading finance companies and learn more about the bold steps they are taking in digital asset innovation and the intelligent infrastructure they are putting in place for a more efficient market. WorldQuant is one such company where the learners spent an eventful afternoon delving into the intriguing world of quantitative finance. WorldQuant is a global quantitative asset management firm and one of the top finance companies in the world. Their Singapore team introduced the Strathmore scholars to WorldQuant BRAIN – their interactive simulation AI platform that is designed to assist in the research and development of trading strategies for the firm’s hedge fund. The excited learners practically explored how the platform uses a variety of AI techniques to identify patterns and trends in relevant data to inform various trading strategies.


A much-anticipated engagement session with the Global head of Digital Banking at Standard Chartered Bank – Alishaan Zaidi and his team, was a fitting way to wrap up the academic tour in Singapore. The academic adventurers had an invaluable experience visiting the Standard Chartered Campus in Singapore to learn more about the bank’s digital banking strategies in its operations around the world. Here, they also met the Trust Bank Singapore team – a fast-growing digital bank backed by Standard Chartered to learn what it takes to build and launch a successful digital bank in a competitive market like Singapore.


This article was written by Victor Anyura.

What’s your story? We’d like to hear it. Contact us via communications@strathmore.edu

What’s your story? We’d like to hear it. Contact us via communications@strathmore.edu


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