Thu, Dec 31, 2009
The Straits Times
Board to chart path for poly grads seeking degrees

A 14-MEMBER high-level board has been appointed by the Education Ministry to chart new directions for polytechnic graduates seeking a university education, with a strong industry focus.

Heading the board of the new Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) is Mr Ng Yat Chung, a senior managing director at investment house Temasek Holdings.

The institute will manage and implement degree programmes offered by foreign universities in partnership with the five polytechnics.

The SIT board, made up of key individuals from medicine, telecommunications, law and Government, has also appointed Professor Tan Chin Tiong as its president.

Prof Tan was the founding member of the Singapore Management University and has been its provost and deputy president since 1999.

'Over the years, more and better students are opting for polytechnic education. SIT will offer new degree opportunities in Singapore to this large pool of students,' Prof Tan said.

'I look forward to the many challenges ahead for SIT and believe that it will contribute significantly to the new landscape of higher education in Singapore.'

SIT will work with the foreign universities to offer degree courses but the classes will be mostly conducted at the five polytechnic campuses.

The institute intends to offer places for 2,000 full-time and 1,500 part-time students yearly by 2015. The full-time courses are expected to last two years while the part-time courses can take up to four years.

Since 2007, six foreign universities have partnered three local polytechnics to offer niche degrees in areas such as optometry and early childhood education.

Currently, just 300 students are enrolled in the two-year degree programmes run by the six overseas universities.

This article was first published in The Straits Times.

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