Management Development Institute of Singapore

The Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS), founded in 1956, is the oldest non-profit vocational university for lifelong learning in Singapore.[1][2] It offers a variety of degree programs such as business management, engineering, fashion design, nursing, mass communications, psychology and hospitality management.[3][4][5]

Management Development Institute of Singapore
新加坡管理发展学院 (Chinese)
MottoWhere lifelong learning begins
AccreditationSingapore Ministry of Education
PresidentEric Kuan Choon Hock
501 Stirling Road
CampusMDIS Campus (Stirling Road)
MDIS Dhoby Ghaut (Orchard Road)
WebsiteOfficial website

It also offers preparatory courses for GCE 'O' level and 'A' level examinations via its subsidiary MDIS College,[6] which is registered under the Committee for Private Education Singapore (CPE).[7]


Before 1995

1955: A group of personnel managers got together to discuss industrial relations problems. The coming-together sparked off the formation of the Supervisory and Management Training Association of Singapore (SAMTAS).

Understanding that supervisors were probably the best people to identify and solve any labour problems, training was catered primarily to these supervisors on aspects from job relations to industrial safety. Certified courses, seminars, lectures, film shows and excursions were organised. The inaugural meeting was held on 29 November 1955 where Mr Loke Wan Tho was named its first President. In April 1956, SAMTAS was formalised.[8]

1963: SAMTAS pioneered the Training-Within-Industries (TWI) courses in Singapore. In line with the Singapore government's plans to promote industrialisation in the country, these were courses on supervisory skills initiated by the then Ministry of Labour.

1984: The plan to upgrade SAMTAS' status to that of a professional institute was initiated in 1982. The change of name from SAMTAS to MDIS, or the Management Development Institute of Singapore, was made official on 8 February 1984. The purpose of this move was to give a more professional image and to upgrade the individual membership by allowing the use of designatory letters.

SAMTAS, and then MDIS, is the oldest professional institute in Singapore today.

MDIS has collaborated with universities in the UK, the US and Australia to offer certified courses. Besides its certified courses from Certificate to Master's level, MDIS conducts seminars, in-house training and consultancy services and offers membership services and privileges.

1995 to 2007

MDIS Campus

An International Affairs Department was set up in 1998 to handle the affairs of foreign students studying with MDIS. In March 2001, the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Singapore announced that MDIS is a recognised educational institute in China. To date, MDIS has helped almost 3,000 foreign students attain academic qualifications through its courses.

MDIS was accorded charity status on 23 August 1996 under the Charities Registration Act, 1994. On 19 November 1997, MDIS was awarded the ISO 9001 certification. On 7 November 2000, MDIS received the People Developer Standard certification. The MDIS Education Trust Fund received its Institution of a Public Character and Charity status in 2002. In 2003, MDIS was among the first seven education institutes to receive the Singapore Quality Class award for Private Education Organisations(PEOs).[9]

Community projects that MDIS is involved in includes:

  • Scholarships and bursaries to four self-help groups (Yayasan MENDAKI, CDAC, SINDA and The Eurasian Association), NTUC, SAFRA, CDANS and SPANS, and students from the secondary schools, junior colleges, ITEs and Polytechnics have been given out yearly since 1996. From the year 2001, together with the support from donors like university partners and other organisations, about a quarter of a million dollars were presented each year.
  • In 1999, MDIS collaborated with the drama and dance faculty of the Oklahoma City University to present the American Spirit Dance Company's performance from 23 to 25 April, and the Charity Gala Dinner. A total of $272,000 was raised in aid of the Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD) and the MDIS Education Trust Fund.
  • MDIS in Tashkent
    Near by City, Queenstown Singapore
    For education collaboration, MDIS has been expanded overseas campuses and provided comfortable living environment for exchange students.[10]

2008 to present

MDIS set up it first overseas campus in Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan, built in 2008 at a cost of US$20 million.[11] It was announced on 28 June 2010 that MDIS would be setting up an S$130 million overseas 30-acre (120,000 m2) campus in Iskandar Malaysia which is expected to start work at the end of 2011.[12][13] MDIS Malaysia is expected to be five times as big as the MDIS Campus in Singapore.

In 2015, MDIS planned to establish a campus in Chennai, India.[14] In 2019, MDIS plans to open another campus in Turkmenistan.[15]

Graduate employment

In a survey conducted by Committee for Private Education on employment outcomes, graduates of MDIS achieved good employment rate, however it would be lower in comparison with 78.4% for their peers from three autonomous universities - the National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Management University (SMU).[16] While the graduate employment rate of post-national service polytechnic graduates whose full-time employment rate was 64%.

See also


  1. Shiao, Vivien (22 November 2017). "MDIS banks on the Singapore brand". The Business Times. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  2. hermesauto (24 April 2016). "MDIS, the oldest non-profit private education institution here, celebrates 60th anniversary". The Straits Times. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  3. hermes (23 October 2017). "New nursing school and more vocational courses at MDIS". The Straits Times. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  4. hermes (29 March 2017). "MDIS unveils studio for culinary-related courses". The Straits Times. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  5. hermes (17 May 2019). "Fashion graduates' creations hit the runway". The Straits Times. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  6. migration (14 January 2015). "After the O levels: Fewer private candidates, but more doing better". The Straits Times. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  7. "MDIS College". 14 July 2017. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  8. '- MDIS Heritage: 1956 SAMTAS Formed
  9.' - Singapore Quality Class award for Private Education Organisations(PEOs)
  10. "MDIS College". Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  11. migration (22 October 2014). "MDIS expands campus in Tashkent as part of growth plans in Central Asia". The Straits Times. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  12. "MDIS raises the bar to help students excel". The Business Times. 22 November 2017. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  13. "MDIS makes S$116m footprint in Iskandar". TODAYonline. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  14. hermesauto (22 July 2015). "MDIS to set up overseas campus in Chennai". The Straits Times. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  15. "Management Development Institute of Singapore offers to open branch in Turkmenistan". Trend.Az. 17 September 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  16. hermesauto (3 April 2018). "47% of private students find full-time work 6 months after graduation, compared with 78% for public university grads". The Straits Times. Retrieved 8 March 2020.

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