Drop-out rates at Polytechnics

Published Date: 03 July 2017 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Ms K Thanaletchimi, Nominated Member of Parliament


To ask the Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) (a) how many polytechnic students dropped out of their course over the last five years; (b) whether the polytechnics provide a second chance for these dropouts to either take on other diploma programmes which they are more passionate about or resume the course which they have stopped and, if so, whether there have been any success cases; and (c) whether the polytechnics will allow more opportunities for those dropouts who are keen to continue their polytechnic studies.


1. Over the last 5 years, an average of 5% of each polytechnic cohort have withdrawn from their course. Should these students like to return to their course of study, polytechnics adopt a case-by-case approach to understand the student’s situation and reasons for course withdrawal before evaluating each case.

2. For students who wish to pursue another course of study, they may do so via the Polytechnics’ Direct Admissions Exercise. On average over the past 5 years, around 950 students who had formally withdrawn from their courses apply for re-admission to the polytechnics through this route every year. About 40% of these students are successful. As part of the admission process, polytechnics assess these students on their aptitude and interests, allowing them to gain admission by demonstrating their commitment to their new chosen fields.

3. Apart from providing opportunities for students to return to study, we recognise that students do well and stay engaged when they understand their own interests and aptitudes, and pursue courses that they are passionate about. Besides enhancing education and career guidance to help students understand their strengths and aspirations, the polytechnics have also expanded aptitude-based admissions to assess students beyond their academic scores.

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