Singularity Academy: Encouraging Individual Learner's Growth With Singularity Approach To Education

By Prof. Dr. Ying Zhang, Founder & President
Singularity Academy: Encouraging Individual Learner's Growth With Singularity Approach To Education
Prof. Dr. Ying Zhang,Founder & President

Prof. Dr. Ying Zhang

Founder & President

Switzerland boasts a unique educational environment, especially in higher education, often following the structure of the German education system. This distinguishes it from nations such as the U.S.A., U.K., and Canada, highlighting a robust emphasis on academic excellence. Its allure resides in its opportunities for students to attain top-tier academic proficiency.

Moreover, Switzerland accommodates a smaller student body compared to countries like the U.S.A. and the U.K. As a result, the quality of education per person surpasses that of numerous other nations despite being relatively more costly, albeit considerably less so than the U.S.

Singularity Academy, established in Zurich, Switzerland, redefines higher education by personalizing (singularizing) learning experiences for students across European campuses, for example, in the Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland. Departing from conventional education models, the academy prioritizes individualized curricula tailored to each student's unique passions, abilities, and interests.

This innovative approach spans and integrates multiple disciplines, aiming to equip learners with multidisciplinary skills alongside specialized knowledge.

The institute follows three stages: description, diagnosis with analysis, and prescription. Through in-depth interviews and interactions with student candidates, Singularity Academy’s experts craft personalized programs, allowing students and their coaches to jointly shape their learning journey's pace content with its unique structure.

An emphasis on wisdom-based education, integrating ancient and Western knowledge, sets this institution apart. Practical application takes precedence, offering students opportunities to collaborate with industry leaders, engage in entrepreneurial ventures, and receive institutional support for idea incubation.

While this method might incur higher costs, it ensures the nurturing and development of individual talents, enabling students to confidently navigate their future paths. Singularity Academy's goal is to address post-graduation uncertainties by empowering students early in their educational journey,
helping them understand and use their strengths, making societal contributions, and potential career/entrepreneurial trajectories.

Quality in Faculty Evaluation
Assessing faculty quality at Singularity Academy varies significantly, extending beyond standardized educational criteria. While institutions like Harvard may excel by these measures, Singularity Academy’s focus lies in identifying faculty who actively contribute to the educational mission. “We seek individuals making substantial impacts in their fields, adapting at merging theory with practical application.

Our faculty represents a global spectrum, not confined to Switzerland and Europe. Some are industry luminaries turned educators, while others excel academically but benefit from support in teaching. We diverge from conventional metrics like publication counts, prioritizing alignment with our educational philosophy, centered on tailored interdisciplinary learning and integrative application.

Faculty must possess multidisciplinary knowledge, anchored in human-centered and sustainability-driven perspectives, forming our primary collaboration criteria. Their ability to address societal issues and inspire innovative thinking among students is pivotal”, highlights Prof. Dr. Ying Zhang, the President of Singularity Academy.

Singularity Academy’s approach challenges the norm, steering away from traditional faculty assessment methods. They acknowledge the limitations of metrics like publication counts or journal prestige in gauging true educational value, emphasizing a more holistic evaluation focusing on faculty's engagement with its educational philosophy.

Reimagining Educational Infrastructure
The definition of infrastructure varies widely, particularly concerning physical assets. While traditional universities emphasize physical buildings and classrooms, Singularity Academy’s approach diverges significantly.

At Singularity Academy, for example, students studying psychology and psychiatry benefit from access to hospitals for practical learning. These facilities facilitate learning from psychiatric experts, offering hands-on experiences and insights into patient care methods.

Instead, it prioritizes investing in a diverse range of courses and modules, referring to this as software infrastructure instead of conventional hardware infrastructure. When physical structures are essential, Singularity Academy ensures top-notch facilities to cater to our students' needs.
Leveraging their network, the institute extends additional resources to students through collaborations. However, in today's context, Singularity Academy firmly asserts that software infrastructure holds far greater significance than hardware infrastructure.

Scholarships to Encourage Learners
Singularity Academy offers scholarships covering up to half or the full tuition fee for students from low-income or less-developed nations to alleviate financial constraints. The institute assists in combining these scholarships with offerings from students' countries. A key advantage is Singularity Academy's flexible location policy; students can study online from anywhere globally, avoiding expenses tied to Switzerland. However, occasional visits to Europe for on-site sessions and internships are required.

This hands-on approach includes meetings with industry leaders, providing unique insights related to humanity and sustainability. Singularity Academy’s students have rare opportunities like attending the Davos World Economic Forum, fostering unparalleled learning experiences and direct exposure to global leaders.

”Singularity Academy’s innovative approach spans multiple disciplines, aiming to equip learners with multidisciplinary skills alongside specialized knowledge”

A Futuristic Vision
“Today's universities have transformed into profit-driven entities, commercialized like banks, where degrees are expensive commodities rather than centers for open discourse and exploration of knowledge. My hope is for universities to evolve into platforms fostering wisdom rather than merely storing information”, says Prof. Dr. Ying Zhang, the President of Singularity Academy.

In this future vision, conventional faculties might become outdated due to flawed PhD training methods, prioritizing publications over effective teaching. The higher education system requires reform to address these issues.

Despite being a young institution, Singularity Academy aims to draw attention by offering an alternative to the conventional system, breaking free from its limitations. It seeks to counteract the extreme competitiveness prevalent in countries like India and China, which leads to mental health issues and loss of personal identity. Conversely, the Western world sometimes exhibits a more relaxed approach to education, bordering on complacency. These extremes highlight the societal challenges Singularity Academy aims to confront in the coming times.
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