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Changes to Admissions Requirements for ITE Upgraders Applying to Singapore Polytechnics from AY2027

August 07, 2023

Original Article:

To expand opportunities for Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students to upgrade to a polytechnic diploma, Higher Nitec students who meet a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.5 will be guaranteed admission to a polytechnic course mapped to their Higher Nitec course from AY2027.

2. This is part of a broader set of changes to the admissions requirements to ITE and the polytechnics, which aims to support students' aspirations and enhance opportunities and outcomes. They include:

For ITE graduates entering polytechnics from the AY2027 polytechnic intake:

Extension of polytechnic progression guarantee to all Higher Nitec students who attain raw GPA of 3.5 or more; and

Changes in Minimum Entry Requirements for Higher Nitec students progressing to polytechnics.

For secondary school leavers entering ITE from AY2028 ITE intake: Changes in admission requirements for direct entry into Year 2 of Higher Nitec.

Extension of polytechnic progression guarantee

3. The Direct-Entry Scheme to Polytechnic Programme (DPP) currently allows Normal (Academic) stream students to be admitted directly into a 2-year Higher Nitec programme at ITE without having to sit for the O-Level examinations or undergo a Nitec programme. DPP students who meet the qualifying GPA are guaranteed a place in a mapped polytechnic course.

4. From the AY2027 polytechnic intake, polytechnic admission will be guaranteed to all Higher Nitec students with a minimum raw GPA of 3.5. This is expected to benefit the top 10% of Higher Nitec graduates, or around 1,000 students across all Higher Nitec courses. Currently, around 900 DPP graduates per year across all 18 DPP courses qualify for the polytechnic progression guarantee. With the removal of stream labels under Full Subject-Based Banding (Full SBB), the DPP pathway will cease from the AY2028 ITE intake.

Minimum Entry Requirements for ITE upgraders to progress to polytechnics

5. Today, most Higher Nitec students who progress to polytechnics attain a net GPA of 2.5 and above. To ensure students can better cope with the academic rigour of a polytechnic education, the minimum entry requirements (MERs) for ITE upgraders to progress to polytechnics will be raised from net GPA 2.0 to net GPA 2.5 from the AY2027 polytechnic intake.

6. In addition to the polytechnic diploma, all Higher Nitec graduates can continue to upgrade via the Work-Study Diploma (WSDip) and Technical Diploma (TD) pathways, which offer valuable hands-on, apprenticeship-based training and ensure students are equipped with industry-relevant skills. Today, 1,400 places are offered across both WSDip and TD pathways. This will grow to 1,800 places by 2025. ITE will continue to expand its WSDip and TD offerings to provide more upgrading opportunities to ITE graduates.

Admission requirements for direct entry to Year 2 of Higher Nitec from AY2028 ITE intake

7. ITE is on track to transit all Nitec courses to the enhanced three-year curricular structure leading directly to a Higher Nitec certification by AY2026. Today, the Higher Nitec pathway is accessible to O-Level students, a limited number of Normal (Academic) stream students via the DPP, and Nitec upgraders.

8. With the removal of stream labels under Full SBB, admission requirements for direct entry into Year 2 for all Higher Nitec courses will be set at G2 from AY2028. Students taking a combination of G3 and G2 subjects can apply for direct entry into Year 2 of Higher Nitec, as long as they obtain an ELMAB3 aggregate score of 19 points or better1. G3 subjects will be mapped to G2 for the computation of the aggregate score2.

9. Taken together, the revised admissions requirements to post-secondary pathways will expand access to upgrading opportunities, provide more flexibility and better recognise students' strengths and interests, while ensuring academic rigour and students' ability to cope with the curriculum. Secondary schools, ITE and the polytechnics will also continue to provide Education and Career Guidance (ECG) to support students. Students who require more targeted ECG support can continue to approach their teachers and lecturers for advice, or approach ECG counsellors for individual or group counselling.


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