February 29, 2024

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Singapore Government aims to develop lifelong learners in preparation for dynamic future

Singapore Government aims to develop lifelong learners in preparation for dynamic future

During the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Singapore Committee
of Supply (COS) Debate on March 5, it was revealed
that the MOE will expand reskilling and upskilling opportunities, through
industry-relevant and bite-sized modular courses.

Late last year, the SkillsFuture Series of training
programmes was introduced focusing on eight priority and emerging skills areas,
drawing reference from the Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) and feedback
from industry partners: Data Analytics; Finance; Tech-Enabled Services; Digital
Media; Cybersecurity; Entrepreneurship; Urban Solutions; and Advanced
Manufacturing.

Since then, the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) have
taken the lead to offer modular courses in these emerging and critical areas.
There are currently around 800 courses, and over 4,900 individuals have signed
up for them as at February 2018.

These courses are funded at up to 70% upfront. Many of them will
be structured as Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs),
with more generous funding. The PCPs aim to support mid-career switchers, to
undergo skills conversion and move into new occupations or sectors that have
good prospects and opportunities for progression.

As of February 2018, more than 4,900 adult learners have
enrolled in SkillsFuture Series courses.

The ultimate objective is to transform the education system
to promote lifelong learning.

Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills), Mr Ong
Ye Kung, said,
“SkillsFuture is not just about the Credit. Neither is it just about getting
IHLs to deliver training programmes for adults. It requires a transformation of
the education system as we know it; it requires our young to uncover their
interests and passions and commit to learning their whole life; it requires employers,
private training providers, and IHLs to all do their part for lifelong
learning; and it requires society to celebrate and recognise a broad range of
success.”

He announced that the annual funding of IHL lifelong
learning programmes is expected to be increased by S$100 million from S$210
million today. Due to budget constraints savings of S$25 million annually from
a review of subsidies for full-qualification Postgraduate degree by Coursework programmes
(International Students will not be subsidised, while they will be reduced for Permanent
Residents) will be channelled towards the expansion of modular courses at both
the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

To further support lifelong learning, the Autonomous
Universities (AUs) are also expanding the range of micro-credentials. These
micro-credentials are awarded to provide recognition of an individual’s
learning achievements in a focused, industry-relevant niche, without the need
to undertake a full degree programme. The AUs will progressively roll these out
in the coming years.

In line with the Government’s policy objective of developing lifelong learners, the National University of Singapore (NUS) is expanding
its lifelong learning initiative which was launched in May 2017, allowing all
alumni to take up to two modules for free over a three-year period. There was
an overwhelming response with more than 8,000 applications for 404 places in 79
courses received during the pilot phase.

Consequently, NUS is expanding it into a programme called NUS
Lifelong Learners
.  NUS will recognise
every NUS student enrolment as valid for a period of 20 years from point of
undergraduate admission.

Upon graduation, all current and future NUS students would
therefore have ready access to a curated catalogue of publicly available
skills-based, industry-relevant Continuing Education and Training (CET) courses
for upskilling or reskilling, and remaining competitive in the future economy.
Similarly, all 288,600 NUS alumni would be automatically eligible for these
courses. The University will offer virtual vouchers that offset the cost of one
NUS CET course to alumni who are new to lifelong learning at NUS.

CET courses under NUS Lifelong Learning Programme will match
the eight areas identified under the SkillsFuture Series. Beyond the publicly
available courses, they will include courses currently offered to NUS students,
as well as those designed specifically for adult learners.

More Common Entry Programmes
at polytechnics in Business, and Information & Digital Technologies (IDT)
clusters

The polytechnics in Singapore will introduce more Common
Entry Programmes (CEPs) in the Business, and Information & Digital
Technologies (IDT) clusters. This will account for about 30% of intakes in
those clusters from Academic Year (AY) 2019 onwards.

CEPs provide students with the opportunity to learn
foundational skills and be exposed to different specialisations within their
chosen discipline, before they decide on one that suits their interests and
strengths at the end of their first or second semesters. For instance, a
student in the Information and Digital Technologies cluster will take
foundational courses in Computing Mathematics, Introduction to Programming, and
Networking Fundamentals during his/ her first year. From their second year, they
decide on their specialization

Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills), Mr Ong
Ye Kung, said, “In tandem with the introduction of more foundational skills
through CEPs, the polytechnics will also streamline the number of courses they
offer. By simplifying course offerings and avoiding over-specificity, the
polytechnics will better prepare students to be more versatile in the face of
fast-changing sectoral needs.”

MOE will work with the polytechnics to reduce the number of
courses by around 20% over the next two to three years.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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