Demand for Engineering

Published Date: 05 April 2016 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Er Dr Lee Bee Wah, Nee Soon GRC

Question

To ask the Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) (a) what is the Ministry doing to (i) cope with the demand for more engineers and (ii) get more students interested in taking up engineering in our universities and polytechnics; and (b) how many students will be graduating from our universities with engineering degrees this year.

Response

Every year, MOE works in close consultation with various economic agencies to ensure that the supply of engineering training places in the Institute of Technical Education, polytechnics and the Autonomous Universities (AUs) is aligned with the demand for manpower by the industry.

As the demand for engineers has increased, the number of full-time engineering graduates from our AUs has also risen, from about 3,700 graduates in 2012 to 4,400 graduates projected this year.

We have initiatives at various levels to interest students to take up engineering as a course of study.

In secondary schools, the Applied Learning Programmes (ALP) in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) enable students to apply their knowledge and skills in authentic situations, to address real-world problems, and offer opportunities to interact with engineering professionals. More than 50% of our secondary schools offer ALP in STEM areas.

We have partnered Science Centre Singapore to set up STEM Inc., a new unit within Science Centre Singapore, to support schools starting ALP in STEM areas. Currently, STEM Inc. supports 64 schools.

The polytechnics regularly organise activities and events such as engineering competitions and seminars offering education and career guidance. These events raise awareness amongst students of the progression opportunities of a polytechnic education in engineering.

At the university level, we have introduced more options for the study of engineering to attract a wider pool of students:

  1. For example, we have new degree programmes in Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering and Telematics by the Singapore Institute of Technology, which are targeted at meeting our transport engineering needs.
  2. In recognition of students’ interest in multi-disciplinary learning opportunities, we have created new programmes such as the Dual Degree Programme in Technology and Management jointly offered by the Singapore University of Technology and Design and Singapore Management University.
  3. To groom top engineering talent, we established the Singapore University of Technology and Design as an engineering- and design-centric research university.

NUS and NTU have also launched premium engineering programmes such as the Global Engineering Programme and the Renaissance Engineering Programme respectively, attracting the very best students.

With greater exposure upstream and a variety of engineering programmes, more students will be able to develop an interest in engineering and pursue it at the tertiary level.

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