Some highlights in the education this month include:
- Starting this year, local universities are to assess students based on their aptitude, rather than grades, when selecting students. As part of this, NUS, NTU and SMU will stop offering discretionary admissions, and instead begin to assess applications on the ground of aptitude and interest across the board. Education Minister Ong Ye Kung, announcing the move at the Applied Learning Conference, said the new initiatives will bring the Singapore education system "closer to having a flexible and porous system of inter-connected pathways".
- Starting from October this year, A-Level graduates can be exempted up to two semester (one year) when they start in certain polytechnic courses. In 2019, A-Level students were allowed mid-year entry or certain exemptions. But this move will allow them to begin in Year Two of polytechnic if they meet the requirements.
- Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) has partnered with Shopee, well-known internet commerce platform, to launch Shopee-SUTD bond-free scholarships as well as dialogue sessions. In a joint statement, they declared their aim to enable "financially disadvantaged" students to pursue an education in technology and design. Four Singaporean undergraduates from the university will receive full, four-year scholarships starting from the academic year 2020 intake, with no bond period.
- SMU president Lily Kong said in an interview with the Straits Times that SMU aims to promote the value of interspersing learning with work throughout a student’s life, be it through short-term employment or a gap year. SMU hopes to lead the change in admissions and other aspects of university education. “If we say employers are not looking for the right thing when they focus on qualifications, then we should apply that to ourselves as universities. If we're not looking for the right thing, behaviour will not change,” she said.
- The National Environment Agency (NEA) launched a new scholarship on 12 February, targeted at students who intend to study or are studying environmental services-related courses at polytechnics or the Institute of Technical Education (ITE). These include engineering, built environment and the sciences, such as applied chemistry and molecular biotechnology.