Measures to Ensure Students are Relevant to Future Economy on Graduation

Published Date: 03 July 2017 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Christopher de Souza, Holland-Bukit Timah GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) what is being done to ensure that our students will be relevant to the future economy when they graduate.

Response

1. Across the post-secondary education institutions (PSEIs), graduate employment outcomes continue to be strong, with around 9 in 10 graduates securing employment within 6 months of their graduation. This is because MOE and the PSEIs work closely with industries to regularly update curriculum and pedagogy, to ensure that students are equipped with relevant knowledge and skills when they enter the workforce.

2. In terms of curriculum, PSEIs frequently engage industry representatives to stay abreast with latest development in industries. PSEIs engage industry practitioners to undertake a good part of the teaching. They are also involved in the work of the Sectoral Tripartite Committees, which drive the development and implementation of Industry Transformation Maps.

3. In terms of pedagogy, there is an increased emphasis to balance acquisition of academic knowledge and practical skills, especially through learning by doing. For instance, a large majority of PSEI students already go for internships. We have also rolled out the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme and the Work Study Degree Programmes, which are modelled upon work-learn apprenticeship programmes in countries like Germany and Switzerland.

4. The employability of students is very much related to their competence, which in turns reflects their aptitude and enthusiasm for the discipline they have chosen. The PSEIs have also strengthened education and career guidance (ECG) efforts to support students in making informed decisions on their career aspirations. Students have access to a wide range of resources such as information on industries and growth prospects, as well as ECG counsellors or career coaches to guide students on career preparation and skills upgrading opportunities. PSEIs are also increasingly moving towards aptitude based admission that takes into account the students strengths and interests.

5. MOE also requires all our PSEIs to measure employment outcomes of their graduates annually and publish the results. This helps students make informed choices, and focus the PSEIs on the industry relevance of their courses. From this year, the requirement will be extended to private education institutions offering degree qualifications.

6. Students are also encouraged to continually upgrade their skills even after graduation, to stay responsive to a rapidly changing workplace. The PSEIs are expanding the range of short, skills-based courses they offer. Together with the programmes offered by private training providers, these broaden the learning opportunities for working adults to upgrade and deepen their skills.

7. Collectively, these initiatives contribute to an education and training system that is responsive to industry needs and ensure that individuals remain relevant to the future economy.

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