Engaging students for success: Integrating pedagogical approaches, student experiences and desired outcomes

Professor Lily Kong, Provost and Lee Kong Chian Chair Professor of Social Sciences at the Singapore Management University (SMU)

Student success is often defined in terms of outcomes, such as the timely completion of a college degree, and the acquisition of desired knowledge, skills and competencies. However, it is essential for institutions to bear in mind that successful outcomes are enabled by targeted processes. Studies have shown that a key factor that leads to student success is student engagement. This may be considered from two perspectives – the extent to which students invest time and effort in educationally purposeful activities; and the degree to which institutions invest resources to facilitate and encourage students to participate in activities that would lead to the desired outcomes. In this talk, I focus on what institutions can do to enhance student engagement, and share our Singapore Management University (SMU) experience of integrating our student experience purposefully with our desired outcomes, through our pedagogical framework and approaches, curriculum and co-curriculum.


Professor Lily Kong is Provost and Lee Kong Chian Chair Professor of Social Sciences at the Singapore Management University (SMU).

A graduate of the National University of Singapore (NUS) and University College London, Professor Kong was a faculty member in the NUS Department of Geography from 1991 to 2015.  She took on numerous administrative positions from 1995, often concurrently, including Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (2000 – 2003); Dean of the University Scholars Programme (2002 – 2003); Vice Provost (Education) (2004 – 2007); Vice-President (University and Global Relations) (2007 – 2014); Acting Executive Vice President (Academic Affairs), Yale-NUS College (2011 – 2012); and Vice-Provost (Academic Personnel) (2012-2015).  She was a key force in shaping and establishing Singapore’s first liberal arts college.  She moved to SMU in late 2015.

Professor Kong is well-known for her research on religion, cultural policy and creative economy, urban heritage and conservation, and national identity.  She remains actively engaged in research.  Recent publications include “Religion and Space: Competition, Conflict and Violence in the Contemporary World” (2016), “Food, Foodways and FoodscapesCulture, Community and Consumption in Post-Colonial Singapore” (2015) and “Arts, Culture and the Making of Global Cities: Creating New Urban Landscapes in Asia” (2015).


The Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association Inc. (ANZSSA) is a professional association for people with an interest in the role of support services in post secondary education.

For more information, please visit ANZSSA website by anzssa.com.


ISANA International Education Association is the representative body for professionals in Australia and New Zealand who work in international student services, advocacy, teaching and policy development in international education.

For more information, please visit the ISANA website at www.isana.org.au.

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