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SP Timeline

1951
Local businessmen met at Adelphi Hotel's roof garden to discuss idea of a polytechnic
1952
Legislative assemblyman Mr Thio Chan Bee submitted proposal to Governor
1954
Dobby Committee's recommendation accepted
1954
  • Mr A W Gibson, Principal of the Dudley and Staffordshire Technical College in England, was invited and commissioned to work on the details on building the polytechnic.
  • On 27 October 1954, the Legislative Council passed the Singapore Ordinance, which led to the establishment of Singapore’s first polytechnic.
1955

First Board of Governors appointed, chaired by Mr L Cresson
1956

Mr D J Williams appointed first Principal
1957
Construction of campus at Prince Edward Road began with classes conducted in borrowed premises in the meantime
1958

Completion of Prince Edward Road campus with an enrolment of 2,800 students registered for 58 courses to prepare them for external examinations
1959
  • Official opening of Singapore Polytechnic at Prince Edward Road by Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh on 24 February 1959.
  • Dr Toh Chin Chye, Deputy Prime Minister, took over chairmanship of Board of Governors and oriented Singapore Polytechnic towards meeting manpower needs of Singapore's industrialisation programme
  • Mr C I C Scollay appointed Principal
  • Internal system of examinations instituted, leading to the Polytechnic's awards at professional, technician and craft levels
1960
  • Chan Chieu Kiat Commission set up to review vocational and technical education in Singapore
  • The Singapore Polytechnic emblem was adopted. The Malay phrase, Berkhidmat Dengan Keahlian means To Serve With Skill. It is the Polytechnic’s educational mission.
1961
  • The first Graduation Ceremony on 26 August 1961 was held at Victoria Theatre.
1963
  • Craft courses transferred to Singapore Vocational Institute to make way for expansion and upgrading of professional and technician courses
  • Mr A R Edis appointed Principal
1964
Dr C A Hart led Colombo Plan team to study development of advanced courses. University of Singapore looked into feasibility of a faculty of technology and granting university degrees to Polytechnic graduates
1965
Professional diploma courses gradually replaced by degree courses
1967
First batch of degree graduates produced
1968
  • Decision taken to transfer degree courses to University of Singapore, giving rise to the Faculties of Architecture and Engineering.
  • Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew visits SP's Nautical School.
1969
  • Polytechnic restructured into School of Industrial Technology and School of Nautical Studies

  • Two-year Industrial Technician Certificate (ITC) programme introduced
1970
  • Temporary additional campus site at Ayer Rajah Road acquired
  • Industrial and Business Orientation Programme launched by Dr Toh Chin Chye, Minister for Science and Technology
1971
  • Nautical Studies, Civil Engineering and Building students housed in Princess Mary Barracks
  • Present campus site at Dover Road chosen as permanent home of the Polytechnic
  • By the end of 1971, Princess Mary Barracks at Dover Road was converted into Princess Mary Campus - SP’s second campus.
1972
  • Ayer Rajah Road campus completed. Polytechnic began functioning on three campuses
1973
  • New Boat and Radar Station at Pasir Panjang completed
  • Mr V P W Ager appointed Principal
1974
  • Construction of Dover Road campus began
1975
  • Foundation stone for new campus laid by Dr Toh Chin Chye on 12 April
  • Mr Low Guan Onn appointed Chairman of the Board of Governors
  • ITC courses transferred to Industrial Training Board
1976
Polytechnic restructured into nine academic departments and divisions
1978
  • Dover Road campus completed
  • Mr Khoo Kay Chai confirmed first local Principal after two years in acting capacity.
1979
  • Dover Road campus officially opened by Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew on 7 July. The ceremony was held at the Quadrangle between the Admin Building and the Library.
1980
  • Singapore Polytechnic (Amendment) Act passed in Parliament on 26 February, reconstituting the Board of Governors and reorganising student bodies
  • Mr Chua Chor Teck appointed Chairman of the Board of Governors
1982
  • Five-year Expansion Plan (1982-86) approved, detailing new targets for student enrolment and staffing, as well as new courses
  • Industrial and Business Orientation Programme for students replaced by Vacation Training Programme with support from Skills Development Fund
1984
All full-time Technician Diploma courses restructured and revised to cater for high technology needs
1986
  • Prof George Fong Wah took over as Chairman of the Board of Governors
  • Completion of Second Phase campus development programme which took five years
  • Visit by His Excellency, Mr Wee Kim Wee, President of the Republic of Singapore
1987
Japan-Singapore Institute of Software Technology (JSIST) transferred to Singapore Polytechnic
1988
  • Graduates' Guild's clubhouse officially opened by Senior Minister of State for Education Dr Tay Eng Soon
1990
  • New $3.3 million Sports Complex completed
  • 50,000th graduate received his diploma at the 30th Graduation Ceremony
  • In line with government's effort to assist local companies, the Polytechnic took on second mission of providing expertise and resources to these enterprises
  • Move made towards Swiss- German model of technical education
1991
  • Three term academic calendar changed to one with four terms
  • Dual Training Scheme for workers to study part-time at the Polytechnic and receive on-the-job training at their companies introduced
  • Foreign language programme offered for the first time
  • Vacation Training Programme replaced by a longer and more structured Industrial Training Programme
  • SP became the first poly to offer a professional Diploma in Accountancy
1992
  • Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officially opened the Third Phase campus development project
  • Modular system adopted for courses offered by the Polytechnic and at the same time, the credit accumulation and credit transfer systems were also introduced
1993
  • Launch of Singapore Polytechnic Entrepreneurs' Club for graduates who had become successful entrepreneurs
1994
  • SP became the first poly to introduce the Diploma in Optometry.
  • Official opening of Fourth Phase campus development project by Minister for Education Lee Yock Suan.
1995
  • Mr Lim Yong Wah appointed Chairman of the Board of Governors
  • Principal Khoo Kay Chai retired after 19 years at the helm
  • SP was the first poly to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Pokka Corporation (Singapore) to market the ‘Lemonsi Delight’ drink that was formulated by 20 students and 5 lecturers from the Chemical Process & Biotechnology Department.
  • In September 1996, Pokka Corporation launched full-scale production and marketing of "Lemonsi Delight’, which is still available in major supermarkets today (2014).
1996
Mr Low Wong Fook took over as new Principal
1997
  • Virtual College launched, offering online courses including part-time programmes and various modules
1998
  • Clementi Student Service Centre, a joint project with the Tanjong Pagar Community Development Council and Clementi Citizen's Consultative Committee, opened its doors as part of the institution's effort to reach out to the community
1999
  • In recognition of its attainment of a commndable level of performance in its journey to excellence, the institution was made member of Singapore Quality Class
  • Singapore Polytechnic received People Developer Standard Award which recognises organisations that invested in its people and had a comprehensive system for developing employees
  • For its many initiatives to protect and preserve the environment, the Polytechnic was picked for Green Leaf Award (Organisations Category)
2000
  • Singapore Maritime Academy was formed with the merger of the Polytechnic's Department of Maritime Technology & Transportation and the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore's National Maritime Academy
  • 100,000th graduate received his diploma at the 40th Graduation Ceremony
  • Electronics & Communication Engineering Department merged with Electrical Engineering Department to form the Electrical & Electronic Engineering Department
  • Mr Tan Kay Yong (left) appointed Chairman of Board of Governors
  • Principal lecturer, Mr Loh Peng Chum invented the world’s first purple gold after 23 years of research. Purple gold is traditionally known to be porous and brittle, but Mr Loh made it malleable enough to be fashioned into rings and pendants. Not only has his formula been patented, an agreement has also been reached with Aspial to market the product globally.
2001
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Dr Tony Tan (extreme left) officially opened the Singapore Polytechnic Graduates' Guild's new clubhouse
  • The Polytechnic satisfied requirements for ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 certifications
  • Academic departments renamed as schools to better reflect their central role in offering programmes to prepare students for work and life
  • Industrial Training Programme commemorated its 30th anniversary
2002
  • The Public Service Award for Organisational Excellence, one of the most prestigious servicewide awards, was presented to the Polytechnic
  • Ms Teng Li Yeng, graduate in Diploma in Banking and Financial Services, was the first poly graduate to be awarded the Public Service Commission Overseas Merit scholarship.
2003
  • New Convention Centre and Plaza project completed
  • Re-branding of the Polytechnic initiated with a new Education Model of the Future, and with programmes to unleash creativity, innovation and enterprise, to create a unique SP experience for students and to make SP a great place to work
  • Principal lecturer, Mr Loh Peng Chum created the world’s first titanium-gold and five-coloured multi-layered gold
  • SP is the first and only poly to introduce the Diploma in Architecture. The Diploma has its roots back in the 1950s when it started out as a Part-time Technician Diploma in Architectural Draughtsmanship.
  • Opening of fifth-phase campus expansion by Minister for Education RADM Teo Chee Hean.
2004
  • General Elective, Creative Reasoning Skills and Innovation, Design and Enterprise in Action modules introduced
  • Singapore Polytechnic turned 50. His Excellency, Mr S R Nathan, President of the Republic of Singapore (second from right), launched the yearlong celebrations on 13 February at the official opening of the new Convention Centre and Plaza
Gala Dinner
  • Grand Climax to the 50th Anniversary Celebrations - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong joined staff, alumni and overseas partners to celebrate the 50th anniversary at a gala dinner.
  • SP became the first poly to produce a perfume – Romancing Singapore with all 3000 bottles selling out within 9 days in local departmental stores

 

2005
Time Capsule
  • Singapore Polytechnic (SP) buried a time capsule to signify the close of the year long celebrations and the opening of a new chapter in the SP story. The event took a retrospective look at SP's achievements and thanked staff for their support in making the anniversary celebrations a success. The finale saw the unveiling of SP's 50th Anniversary Commemorative Book which highlights amongst others, the contribution of Singapore's pioneer polytechnic to the development of the nation and how its success spawned the establishment of other polytechnics here
  • The Public Service Award for Organisational Excellence, one of the most prestigious servicewide awards, was presented to the Polytechnic
2006
Best Environmental Report
  • Singapore Polytechnic awarded the Best Environmental Report for 2005 by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
  • As part of its efforts to give back to the community, the SP Optometry Centre was set at West Coast Community Centre to provide public with affordable eye care. The centre also offers Optometry students an authentic learning environment under their lecturers’ supervision.
  • A full-length musical “Superstar” written and produced by SP staff and starring SP students and graduates was produced to raise funds for President’s Challenge.
2007
Scholarship Presentation
  • The SP Scholarship Programme was launched in March 2007 with first batch of 40 SP Scholars receiving their scholarships.
Opening of Food Innovation and Resource Centre
  • Food Innovation and Resource Centre, a one-stop consultancy centre to assist Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), is officially opened by Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Mr Lee Yi Shyan.
Opening of Food Innovation and Resource Centre
  • Singapore Maritime Academy celebrates 50 years as a leading provider of maritime education and training.
  • SP Design School was launched on 29 January.
2008
Mr Tan Hang Cheong
  • Mr Tan Hang Cheong took over as the new Principal at the start of 2008.
School of Communication Arts and Social Sciences
  • Singapore Polytechnic opens new School of Communication, Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) on 1 February 2008.
Student Hub@Moberly
  • A remnant of Singapore’s colonial past – Moberly Block was a British army barrack before it was converted to form part of the Dover Road campus. The block was refurbished and transformed into a new hub for student activities. It was officially opened by HE Paul Madden, the British High Commissioner to Singapore, on 9 May 2008.
2009
Game Resource Centre
  • Singapore Polytechnic (SP) and Epic Games China launched Unreal Technology Lab, the first Games Resource Centre in Southeast Asia.
Alex Chua
  • Chua Koon Ting became the first polytechnic student to read Dentistry at the National University of Singapore.
Kuriakin Zeng
  • Kuriakin made history by becoming the first student to score distinctions for all his subjects.
2010
Launch of PACE Academy
  • The Professional and Adult Continuing Education (PACE) Academy was officially launched on 20 April by Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Minister of State for Manpower, Trade and Industry.
Kenneth Chen Yi Xin
  • Kenneth Chen Yi Xin became SP’s 150,000th graduate and received his Diploma at the 50th Graduation Ceremony. He was also presented with a special memento by Mr Lim Chin Aik, the first registered student of SP.
Desmond Thiam
  • Desmond Thiam became the first SP graduate to be admitted into the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore.
  • Alex Chua Koon Ting, who graduated with Diploma in Biomedical Science in 2007, made history by becoming the first poly student to be accepted by National University of Singapore to read Dentistry.
  • SP receives the Public Service Milestone Award. Formerly it was known as the Public Service Award for Organisational Excellence.
  • SP won the President’s Award for the Environment – the highest accolade to recognise organisations and companies for their green efforts.
  • SP organised RoboCup 2010, a world-class event dubbed the Olympics of the Robotics world. It was the first time the event was held in Singapore.
2011
President's Social Service Award
  • Singapore Polytechnic received the President’s Social Service Award 2011 for the voluntary contributions made to the social service sector.
Launch of SPELL
  • Singapore Polytechnic launched SPELL, an off-campus retail store at Changi Airport’s Terminal 3 run by SP Business School students.
  • Food Innovation Resource Centre was set up to cater to the needs of local food enterprises.

 

2012
Mr Bill Chang
  • A new Board of Board Governors was appointed. Outgoing chairman Mr Tan Kay Yong, who dedicated 12 years of distinguished service, was replaced by Mr Bill Chang. Six new members also came on board.
EcoFriends Awards
  • SP Principal Mr Tan Hang Cheong received the National Environment Agency's EcoFriend Awards 2012 in recognition of his leadership in inspiring the campus to support the green cause.
2013
Mr Tan Choon Shian
  • Mr Tan Choon Shian took over as the new Principal at the start of 2013.
  • SP was awarded the Public Service Milestone Award at this year’s Excellence in Public Service Awards.
2014
  • SP celebrates its 60th anniversary.
  • SP’s new vision – A caring community of inspired learners committed to serve with mastery was annouced.
  • Launch of the Perfumery and Cosmetic Science Centre to support students studying the Diploma in Perfumery and Cosmetic Science.
  • A new five-storey Design School building was unveiled.
2015
  • SP reaches a key milestone with graduation of close to 5,900 students.
2016
  • Mr Soh Wai Wah took over as the new Principal and CEO in October 2016.
 

WITH SP, IT'S SO POSSIBLE.

The journey of Singapore's first Polytechnic

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