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December 2015

Sec 5 studies less popular as new paths to poly open

Article featured the year-long Polytechnic Foundation Programme (PFP) and the two-year Direct-Entry-Scheme to Polytechnic Programme (DPP) as alternative routes for post-secondary education that are available to Normal (Academic) students. The PFP is a one-year preparatory course that covers English, mathematics, and domain-specific modules such as life sciences or physics. If a student passes all the modules, he will move on to the first year of his chosen diploma. SP’s PFP student Lee Jing Hua, who hopes to study Aerospace Electronics opined on how the PFP is helping him to realise his aspirations. Mr Patrick Phang, SP's course vice-chair for the PFP shared how the programme's curriculum is similar to that of the O levels and how students learn about science concepts through simple experiments and pop quizzes in a small group size. Mr Phang also shared the various safety nets that SP has put in place to help students pass their PFP. In the same article, Andrew Tan who is in the second year of SP’s Diploma in Computer Engineering shared how the DPP was an alternative pathway to him as he preferred more hands-on work. Under the DPP, students spend two years in a Higher Nitec course in ITE and are guaranteed a spot in a polytechnic if they meet the minimum grade point average, which is between 2.5 and 3.0. Article also mentioned a NP student who is doing her PFP as well as the various measures RP has in place to prevent PFP failures. [The Straits Times, pB11-B12]


November 2015

Waseda University and Singapore Polytechnic set up joint research facility

Article featured the opening of the joint research facility by Waseda University (Waseda) and Singapore Polytechnic (SP) on 26 November 2016. This new 2000 square-foot facility set up at SP’s Centre for Biomedical and Life Sciences (CBLS) is built to house up to 15 Japanese and Singaporean researchers who will be conducting biomedical research . This is also Waseda’s first-of-its-kind research facility being set up in an Institute of Higher Learning outside Japan. SP’s Principal and Chief Executive Officer (PCEO) Mr Tan Choon Shian mentioned that this joint research facility is an important milestone of SP’s partnership with Waseda after the MOU signing with Waseda in December 2013 and the annual joint biomedical symposium. The latest collaboration draws on the strengths of both Singapore Polytechnic and Waseda University as both have strong capabilities in common areas such as biomedical sciences, robotics and research. The first project was the development of new class of bio-materials for targeted drug delivery by WABIOS’s principal researcher Dr Keitaro Sou and SP’s researcher Dr Ken Lee. Waseda’s Senior Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Dr Shuji Hashimoto mentioned that this joint lab can serve as a bridge for the creation of joint research in other fields such as health issues due to ageing population, food science and robotics. Photos of article featured Dr Shuji Hashimoto and SP’s PCEO Mr Tan Choon Shian visiting the joint research facility. [NNA Singapore, p1 and 2]


Singapore Polytechnic partner with Waseda University to set up joint biomedical laboratory

Article featured the opening of a joint biomedical laboratory by SP and Waseda University (Waseda) to pursue the development of new technological advancements in the area of biomedical sciences. This is also Waseda’s first-of-its-kind research facility being set up in an Institute of Higher Learning in Singapore. The new 2000 square-foot facility in SP is built to house up to 15 local and Japanese researchers who will be conducting research on topics such as bio-imaging and next generation sequencing. These topics could potentially lead to new innovations in the areas of cancer detection or treatment for dementia. The joint team is also developing a new class of bio-materials for targeted drug delivery to allow for a safer, more efficient and precise drug delivery system. The new lab will also benefit students from SP’s Diploma in Biomedical Science and Diploma in Biotechnology as they will have the opportunity to intern at the lab and work alongside its researchers and learn about the latest trends in the biomedical science industry. SP’s Principal and Chief Executive Officer Mr Tan Choon Shian opined that the latest collaboration draws on the strengths of both Singapore Polytechnic and Waseda University as both have strong capabilities in common areas such as biomedical sciences, robotics and research. Through this collaboration, they hope to translate the research into innovative solutions that are beneficial for the community and the world. Article also mentioned about the annual joint symposium by SP and Waseda. The theme of this year’s symposium is ‘Robots in Society’ to look at how robotic technology and applications can be useful to society, especially in the fields of healthcare and education. SP and Waseda took turns to organise the annual symposium and last year’s symposium was in Japan. [Lianhe Zaobao, p12]


$12.5m fund to groom talent in transport

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has launched a $12.5 million fund to help attract and groom talent in the industry. The Public Transport Manpower Development Fund will, over the next three years, be used to develop industry-relevant courses, sponsor study awards, and set up new training facilities, like simulators. The Government has also partnered with the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnics and universities to develop courses that will cater to students and mid-career professionals. SP’s part-time Diploma in Engineering (Rapid Transit Technology) was mentioned as one such course. The course has an inaugural intake of 15 mid-career professionals. Mr Sam Bin Mian, a senior technical officer with SBS Transit who is taking the part-time diploma opined on how the course will upgrade his skills in train electronics and electrical systems and provide him with more career progression opportunities. Next year, SP and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency will also roll out a SkillsFuture Earn-and-Learn programme for rapid transit technology. Photo in the article featured Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo interacting with SP’s Diploma in Engineering Systems students Amirul Husni Sidek and Bryan Lim Wen Chong. Similar story was reported in Channel News Asia, Today, Lianhe Zaobao, Shin Min Daily News, Lianhe Wanbao, Berita Harian, The Business Times, The New Paper, 938Live and Capital 95.8. [Straits Times, pB4]


October 2015

S’pore Polytechnic bags Asean award

SP was named the national winner of the inaugural Asean People’s Award for its efforts at regional community building over the years. The polytechnic beat seven organisations and 15 individuals who were nominated for the award during a public nomination exercise earlier this year. SP’s efforts include organising the annual Youth Model Asean Conference (YMAC) that allowed 300 students from across South-east Asia to take on the roles of diplomas to discuss challenges in their different homelands and how to solve them. Other regional community building efforts include 84 overseas community service projects since 2010 that has benefitted 1,800 students. The projects include building infrastructure works, providing healthcare and teaching English to people in other Asean countries. Under the polytechnic’s Learning Express programme which began in 2013, 900 students also got the opportunity to spend a fortnight staying in another Asean country to brainstorm solutions for the community’s problems. As a result of these three initiatives, SP was picked as the winner by a panel of four judges including former Community Chest chairman Jennie Chua as well as ambassadors-at-large Tommy Koh, Chan Heng Chee and Ong Keng Yong. The award comes with a US$10,000 (S$14,000) cash grant and all 10 recipients will receive the award in a ceremony next month at the 27th Asean Summit in Kuala Lumpur. SP’s Diploma in Business Administration student Laura Lau, who is also this year’s YMAC Secretary-General opined on how YMAC has given her the opportunity to better understand her peers in the region. [Straits Times, pB11]