New System Allows Poly Students to Graduate with a Degree Faster with Work Experience As Well

Getting a job in Singapore can be difficult. Getting into a university can also be difficult.

Life in Singapore seems determined to be difficult.

But, starting next year, a new “through-train” programme could change all that.

New Polytechnic System

This programme will guarantee polytechnic students a place in a university and a job after they graduate.

The programme was announced by Education Minister Ong Ye Kung on July 12 during a work-learn carnival at Nanyang Polytechnic.

Students enlisted in this programme will not only be granted entry into university and a job but also graduate from university a year earlier than their peers.

They will take three or more university modules in their third year of polytechnic studies, after which, they will go on an internship with the companies that are sponsoring them and graduate with a diploma.

Then, as an undergraduate, they will study and work concurrently for the company and return as full-time employees after graduation.

Image Source: Republic Polytechnic


The entire programme will take around five years.

Minister Ong said that this programme will allow students to have a “seamless integrated pathway that allows for a longer and more effective workplace learning stint with the same employer”.

According to the Straits Timesover five companies and 15 students have expressed in the programme.

But there is a selection process, of course.

Every year, students will be selected based on their aptitude and interest in the job industry. They will also have to go through interviews with the universities and employers and maintain a certain grade to remain in the programme.

Image Source: Temasek Polytechnic

Temasek Polytechnic (TP) is the first polytechnic to offer this programme to its students, in a collaboration with the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT).

Next April, they will offer this programme to students in the building services and mechatronics sectors.

Expansion of Work-Study Programmes

In addition to this “through-train” programme, Minister Ong announced that existing work-study programmes will be expanded.

Currently, local universities offer 16 work-study degree programmes which allow undergraduates to work while studying for their degree.

Nanyang Technological University will soon offer six of these programmes in areas like engineering, data science, and business analytics.

Furthermore, polytechnics will offer an additional 15 new Earn and Learn programmes (ELP) in fields such as IT and advanced manufacturing.

The Institute of Technical Education will also offer more work-learn technical diploma programmes.

All these initiatives aim to provide more occupational opportunities for students at a time where finding a job after graduation is not always a sure thing.