The government has been increasing opportunities for ITE and polytechnic graduates to pursue further studies at the polytechnics and universities respectively.

The proportion of ITE graduates progressing to full-time diploma programmes at the polytechnics has increased from about one in ten in 1995 to more than one in four today. Aside from providing more places, MOE also introduced the Direct-Entry-Scheme to Polytechnic Programme (DPP) in 2013 with an initial intake of more than 950 students. This allows well-performing Secondary 4 Normal (Academic) students to progress directly from ITE to a polytechnic, instead of spending the year in Secondary 5.

The proportion of places at our Autonomous Universities held by polytechnic graduates has also increased, from around 20% in Academic Year (AY) 2009 to about 30% in AY2013.

In 2009, the Taskforce on Expanding Upgrading Opportunities for Polytechnic Graduates recommended the establishment of the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) to partner overseas universities in creating more degree opportunities for the polytechnic students. In 2012, the Committee on University Education Pathways Beyond 2015 (CUEP) recommended that the degree Cohort Participation Rate (CPR) be raised from 30% in 2015 to 40% by 2020. The additional places provided through SIT and SIM University as applied degree pathways are intended to benefit our polytechnic graduates. As part of these changes, SIT also became Singapore’s fifth Autonomous University this year, offering a distinct approach to degree education that caters to a wider spectrum of preferences and abilities.

We recognise that progression is important to polytechnic and ITE graduates. Obtaining diploma or degree qualifications are not the only means to progress in one’s career. While the government has been increasing progression opportunities for polytechnic and ITE graduates who wish to upgrade immediately, MOE is also developing multiple pathways that offer viable upgrading alternatives. For example, polytechnic and ITE graduates may work first and pursue further studies later or progress through professional certifications and training. The Applied Study in Polytechnics and ITE Review (ASPIRE) Committee is currently reviewing measures to deepen the quality of the polytechnic and ITE education and to further enhance career prospects and progression opportunities for polytechnic and ITE graduates.