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Temasek Foundation and Singapore Polytechnic jointly launch Engineering educational framework in Yogyakarta, Indonesia


Temasek Foundation and Singapore Polytechnic jointly launch Engineering educational framework in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Singapore, 19 March 2013 - Singapore Polytechnic (SP) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Muhammadiyah Surakarta (UMS) and University of Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY) to embark on a new educational framework that will enhance engineering education in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Known as Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate (CDIO), this innovative framework will be adopted by UMS and UMY to transform the teaching and learning approach in the field of Science and Technology.  The two-year programme will be supported by Temasek Foundation, Singapore with a grant of S$453,780, while UMS and UMY will jointly fund the remaining cost of S$146,250.

For educators, the CDIO framework will form a basis for better curriculum planning and designing of learning experiences, as well as new approaches to engineering assessments, which are closer to the real world.  For students, they will acquire a range of technical and interpersonal skills, and product and systems-building experiences. They will be able to better integrate knowledge, skills and work experiences as needed by the engineering industry. 

A series of training workshops will be held to train 70 participants from UMS and UMY in the overall CDIO Teaching and Learning framework. A select group of 35 will then be trained as specialists to do the following:

• develop an integrated curriculum,
• conceive and design innovative products and systems,
• design active experiential learning experiences, and
• evaluate programmes for continuous improvement.

Thereafter, some 12 of these specialists will go on to be trained as specialist master trainers.  To further multiply the learning, the specialist master trainers will organise a learning forum to share their knowledge with another 100 participants from education institutions within the Muhammadiyah network.  UMS and UMY are part of the Institutes of Higher Learning under the auspices of Muhammadiyah, one of the largest non-profit organisations in Indonesia which focuses on Education and Health Care.

“As a fast growing university, UMY is committed to continuously strengthen its academic activities.  It is timely to introduce CDIO as it will be useful in producing future engineering graduates, who are relevant to the industry, especially with the enactment of the ASEAN Economic Community,” said Professor Bambang Cipto, Rector, UMY.

The Faculty of Engineering is the anchor for this activity as the learning process in the faculty matches well with the CDIO framework.  As one of well recognized universities under the umbrella of Muhammadiyah, the largest Islamic organization in Indonesia, UMY will also share the knowledge about CDIO to other universities under Muhammadiyah.

CDIO Experiential Learning - The Learning Express

One of the key components of the CDIO programme is the design of student learning activities. These student projects allow active and experiential learning experiences in and out of classrooms. To demonstrate this component, SP will run a Learning Express initiative to complement the TF-funded CDIO collaborative project. The Learning Express provides a platform for staff and students from SP and UMY to develop their CDIO skills while applying their technical know-how to co-create innovative sustainable solutions for the local communities.  Please see attached for the two Social Innovation Projects that will impact the local community.

“We have successfully implemented a new approach to teaching and learning for Engineering in SP through the adoption of the innovative CDIO framework. The Learning Express initiative allows educators a first-hand experience, of how the CDIO framework can be implemented to enhance Engineering Education and Training within the Muhammadiyah network,” said Mr Tan Choon Shian, Principal and CEO of Singapore Polytechnic.

“Educators need to constantly upgrade their skills and knowledge to stay relevant to industry needs and help students to be employable, especially in a field like Technical and Vocational Education and Training. With this programme, the engineering faculty from the Muhammadiyah network will be able to integrate new standards in their teaching curriculum, and contextualise learning experiences for their students,” said Mr Benedict Cheong, CEO of Temasek Foundation, Singapore.

The first workshop on Introduction to CDIO Teaching and Learning Framework took place in Yogyakarta on 2 February 2013, followed by a second workshop on Designing an Integrated Curriculum which took place in Solo from 4 to 8 February 2013.          
This programme signifies the twelfth collaboration between TF and SP in six countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

                                                                                              -- The End --

Singapore Polytechnic students in the process of making environmentally friendly cassava crackers as part of the Learning Express programme in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Singapore Polytechnic Principal and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tan Choon Shian (second from left), exchanging the signed MoU, with Professor Dr. H.M. Wahyuddin, Vice Rector for Cooperation for international affairs, University of Muhammadiyah Surakarta (third from left). Looking on is Professor Bambang Cipto, Rector, University of Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (frist from left) and Professor Dr. H.M. Din Syamsuddin, General Chairman of the Central Board of Muhammadiyah (fourth from left).


For more information, please contact:

Singapore Polytechnic
Yvonne Chan                                                   Frank Chua
Corporate Communications Department           Corporate Communications Department
Tel: (65)6772 1006 / Mobile: (65)9111 7627   Tel: (65)6870 7043 / Mobile: (65)9771 7871
Email:                         Email:

Temasek Foundation
Caroline Tan                                                      Diana Lee
Communications                                                Communications
Tel: (65)6828 6739 / Mobile: (65)9768 4628    Tel: (65)6828 6737 / Mobile: (65)9652 0569
Email:     Email:


1. Fact Sheet on the Temasek Foundation – Singapore Polytechnic CDIO programme and its programme components 

2. Fact Sheet on the Learning Express and the students’ projects

About Singapore Polytechnic (

Established in 1954 to meet the manpower needs identified by the government, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) is Singapore’s first polytechnic. Its 10 academic schools offer 50 full-time diploma courses for its 15,970 students and courses are kept relevant through close links with industry and government bodies, as well as with various overseas institutions.
SP offers broad-based, multi-disciplinary and flexible curriculum dedicated to hands-on experience. It is committed to the development of its applied research and development capabilities to enhance the quality of teaching and commercialisation efforts. Through Design Thinking, SP offers a revolutionary approach to education, allowing its students to look at problems from different perspectives, and strike a dynamic balance between intuitive and analytical thinking to provide impactful solutions.

Among SP's 166,800 graduates are successful entrepreneurs, top executives in multinational and public-listed corporations, and well-known professionals, many of whom are captains of industries, university professors and researchers, and leaders in government.

SP is the first polytechnic to be awarded the President’s Award for the Environment in 2010 and the President's Social Service Award in 2011.

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About Temasek Foundation (

Temasek Foundation is a non-profit philanthropic organisation anchored in Singapore that seeks to contribute to sustainable growth and a bright future of hope and opportunities for people in Asia.  The foundation works  with  partners  to support programmes that develop people through health  care,  education  and  research,  programmes  that build bridges between  peoples,  programmes  that  build  institutions  of  excellence through  governance  and ethics, and programmes that rebuild lives and livelihoods affected by natural disasters.

About University of Muhammadiyah Surakarta and University of Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta

University of Muhammadiyah Surakarta (UMS) and University of Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY) are two of the 171 Higher Education Institutions organised by Muhammadiyah. Both universities are committed to playing an important role in improving the quality of human resources in Science, Technology, Art and Humanities.

Established in 1958, University of Muhammadiyah Surakarta (UMS) has 12 faculties, 664 full-time academic staff, 221 part-time academic staff, 321 administrative staff, and around 22,000 students. UMS is also one of the 54 Indonesian Universities listed in the QS Top Universities website in 2010. There are 6 engineering programmes in UMS, namely civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, architecture engineering, chemical engineering and industrial engineering, with a total of 2,500 students. The university is committed to improving its academic quality, and has collaborated with AusAID for its Centre for Business and Management Development, and with USAID Higher Education Learning & Management for its Quality Management Centre.

University of Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY) was established in 1981. UMY has 7 faculties with a total of around 700 academic and administrative staff, and a total student population of about 13,000. The engineering faculty in UMY offers 4 programmes, including civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and information technology. UMY also runs a polytechnic on its campus that offers diploma courses in management, applied accounting, electro-medical engineering and automotive & manufacture mechanical engineering.


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