The Big Read in short: What next for Singapore’s polytechnics?

03 Feb 2024

This commentary discusses how polytechnics have grown more popular as an educational choice over the years. Factors for polytechnics' success include better outreach programmes, diversification in courses as well as close industry links. Polytechnics also play an important role in Singapore's push to place more emphasis on skills instead of grades, but they do face challenges. These include the wage gap between university and polytechnic graduates and the speed at which skills become obsolete. MOE said that the five polytechnics will continue to "maintain close partnerships with industry partners through co-development of course content, internships, and work attachment opportunities, to ensure that our students are equipped with the most updated knowledge and skills to thrive in the future economy”. It added that it is reviewing admissions into polytechnic year one to better recognise the different subject levels taken by students. To ensure their graduates remain relevant as skills evolve at a quicker pace, several polytechnic leaders like Mr Soh Wai Wah, SP’s Principal and Chief executive officer, said Continuing Education and Training (CET) is crucial. Acknowledging that adults have different learning needs, SP has micro-credentials for adults to learn from bite-sized modules that can be stacked for higher-level recognition. To help adults acquire job-relevant skills at a comfortable pace amidst their busy schedule, about 30 per cent of its CET programmes are held online for flexible learning, he added.


5 feb big read

SP Sustainability Matters