Lifetime cohort participation rate for publicly funded university degrees will be increased from the current 50 per cent to 60 per cent by 2025, Minister of Education Chan Chun Sing announced during the Ministry of Education (MOE) Committee of Supply debate (Mar. 1).
The term, cohort participation rate, refers to the percentage of a cohort who are given places in MOE-funded degree programmes.
This means that there will be up to 2,300 more places for fresh school leavers and adult learners in publicly funded universities in 2025, and more Singaporeans can obtain a degree from Autonomous Universities (AUs).
Symbolises a shift in mindset that education is frontloaded
Chan shared that this decision takes into account the demand for degree-level manpower across the economy in the medium term, arising from Singapore's industry transformation efforts.
According to the Education Minister, the move to a lifetime cohort participation rate concept also symbolises a change in mindset that we need to embrace.
"There is no need to rush to frontload education, as there will be more subsidised spaces for Continuing Education and Training (CET) pathways to support upgrading later in life," Chan explained.
New degree pathways & CET programmes at AUs
Chan added that it is also important to ensure that the format of these CET programmes suits the needs of working adults and the industries in which they work.
To this end, the AUs have already begun innovating their offerings to better cater to the needs of adult learners.
Degree in Applied Computing at SIT
For example, Chan shared that mid-career workers who are looking to switch to the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector can pursue a degree in Applied Computing at the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) whilst working.
The degree programme will be delivered through a mixture of asynchronous and in-person learning to help adult learners manage their busy schedules.
Polytechnics’ Post-Diplomas will also be recognised for credit exemptions so as to provide a more seamless upgrading pathway for Diploma holders.
Micro-credentials at SIT
Singaporeans who are already working in the ICT sector can deepen their skills or pick up new specialisations through SIT’s micro-credentials.
These are modular courses which deliver job-related skills in areas such as Computer Networks and Software Engineering.
Individuals can also stack these micro-credentials towards the Applied Computing degree.
42-Singapore programme in computing at SUTD
Alternatively, those who prefer a more skills-based upgrading pathway can sign up for the 42-Singapore programme in computing, a collaboration between the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Ecole 42, a Paris-based IT training provider.
According to SUTD's official website, the programme will offer modules in the fields of computer programming, coding, cybersecurity, network infrastructure, data science, and more.
The programme also has no academic prerequisites, and students will undergo industry-relevant training centred on project-based and peer-to-peer learning.
Top image via Mothership