When Singapore Management University (SMU) was first set up in 2000, it was proud to be different.
Its advertisements showing students standing upside down on their hands were refreshing and much talked about. SMU said the difference was “confident students who speak out and participate actively in class, faculty who serve as mentors and role models, and a holistic approach”. And in the Stakeholders Report in 2002, SMU chairman Ho Kwon Ping proclaimed: “This university is unique. The faculty and staff know and feel the spirit, the students radiate it.”