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Strathmore students in Singapore & Malaysia – A Journey of Academic & Cultural Immersion

During their visit to Thomson Reuters

Very few places in Asia or the rest of the world, for that matter, come close to the futuristic ambiance of Singapore. The tiny city-state located in Southeast Asia with a population of about 5 million; it is an amazing story of what was once a sleepy fishing village that defied all expectations to become a leading world financial hub and economic powerhouse. For a week – 26th – 30th March 2018 – students of Strathmore Institute of Mathematical Sciences (SIMS) enjoyed a memorable academic trip in the city looking at fascinating developments before another brief visit to neighboring country Malaysia.

This particular trip to Singapore drew students from BBS Actuarial Science, BBS Financial Economics and BBS Financial Engineering. As a powerful financial centre, Singapore had a lot to offer for us, excited learners, visiting Nanyang Business School, National University of Singapore, the Central Bank of Singapore, Thomson Reuters, INSEAD Business School and global insurance giant – AXA.

Top business schools

The academic tour started at Nanyang Business School which enjoys a favorable global ranking. The Financial Times’ Global MBA ranking places the Nanyang MBA at 22nd worldwide and 5th in the Asia-Pacific region.  While there, students got an opportunity to explore courses of interest they can pursue once they complete their undergraduate degrees.

More opportunities to network and meet professors from top business schools in the region; and indeed the world, presented themselves with the visits to INSEAD and the National University of Singapore – NUS.

While at NUS, students visited the Centre for Asset Management Research and Investment Lab (CAMRI). The state-of-the-art lab gave them a taste of its 32 workstations, Bloomberg live feeds, live financial data tickers, MSCI Barra investment and risk management software modules, and portfolio management software applications.

According to Ivy Karanja (BBS Finance) the experience in the lab exposed her to very practical insights into the latest technological tools used in finance.

“This is definitely one of the key highlights of this trip for me because I have experienced some of the best tools used by professional investment managers.”

The INSEAD visit proved to be refreshingly thrilling too. The school’s MBA has been ranked number 1 globally by the Financial Times 2016 & 2017, and at their beautiful Asia campus in Singapore; our students got a better understanding of how studying in an advanced entrepreneurial city can benefit their career growth.

World’s top financial hub

To understand Singapore’s role in financial regional growth, students were invited to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

While at MAS, Roshni Pabari (BBS financial economics) pointed out some of the key lessons Kenya can pick up from Singapore to tackle our growing inflation.

“By visiting MAS, I have learnt so much about how the Central Bank of Singapore continues to promote a sustained non-inflationary economic growth, while making Singapore a sound and progressive financial centre.”

The world’s second largest insurer – AXA insurance – was next in target for our academic tourists. While at AXA, the students were received by the General Insurer and Vice President of the Singapore Actuarial Society. He encouraged students to be more patient in the qualifying process while always looking for opportunities to grow.

His sentiments were echoed by Renaissance Reinsurance CEO and long serving underwriter, John Paradine, when his team of actuaries welcomed our students at their offices in downtown Singapore. While expressing his pleasure at the sight of so many female students in the group taking Actuarial Science, he also challenged the students to add big data skills to their actuarial qualification so as to excel in the profession.

A deeper discussion into big data and technology, and how it is affecting the world of finance globally, took place later in the trip at Thomson Reuters. The company prides itself as the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. While there, their team of experts discussed new tools available in big data and analytics.

According to Jeffrey Murerwa (BBS Financial Economics) the visit to Thomson Reuters challenged him to be more innovative and entrepreneurial in his approach to finding solutions for businesses.

“There’s no denying that data will continue to shape our world; and today, I have received practical insights into just how Thomson Reuters engages with the world of finance to make the industry more efficient”

Culture and environmental sustainability

For the students, the academic trip presented a unique opportunity to get immersed in the diverse and multicultural environment of the cosmopolitan melting pot that has always attracted expatriates from all over the world.

Amongst numerous tourist attractions students visited the Singapore city gallery. The gallery is a testament to Singapore’s commitment to sustainable development. At the gallery, the students explored how Singapore has tackled the issue of sustainable growth over the last 4 decades by balancing its economic growth and sustaining a livable environment. And this no doubt made a significant impression on Hameet Singh (BBS Financial Economics).

“I was amazed to learn of Singapore’s journey. I think it has taught us all some valuable lessons about how to cope with rapid economic development while minding the environment we live in”


After a week-long academic adventure in Singapore, the students concluded their academic trip with a visit to the University of Nottingham in Malaysia. After touring the expansive campus, students engaged in a networking session with some of the university professors to learn about Nottingham’s innovative and exciting graduate programmes in the area of finance.

And after the Malaysian tour, Fiona Chepkorir (BBS Financial economics) called the experience a unique and fabulous time packed with rich academic and life lessons.

“This academic trip has benefitted my personal development immensely. An experience abroad is surely a great idea to connect with opportunities internationally and gain incredible new outlooks. I thank Strathmore University for opening the world to me.”