Course choice for top-performing students

Published Date: 06 August 2018 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Dr Chia Shi-Lu, Tanjong Pagar GRC


To ask the Minister for Education among the students who perform in the top 10% tier for GCE "O" and "A" levels (a) what is the proportion who opt to pursue studies related to information technology and engineering fields in each of the last three years; (b) how do these figures compare to those who opt to study medicine and law; and (c) what measures are in place to encourage more of our best and brightest to consider pursuing their studies in engineering, computer sciences, information technology, artificial intelligence and robotics in order to build a strong Singaporean core in these fields.


1. Among the top 10% of students in the GCE A-Level exam between 2012 and 2014, 14% entered courses in engineering or information and digital technologies, while 22% entered medicine or law courses at the local Autonomous Universities (AUs). It is not meaningful to compare the numbers for those who take O-Level exams because not all students sit for the O-Level exams, such as those in the Integrated Programme (IP).

2. MOE encourages and enables our students to discover their interests and strengths through the curriculum taught in our schools and a variety of programmes and experiences, supported by strengthened education and career guidance at all levels. For example, to expose students to STEM, 60% of our secondary schools offer Applied Learning Programmes (ALPs) in STEM domains. MOE also organises Science enrichment and mentor-ship programmes for secondary school and junior college students. The Science Centre Singapore also conducts a range of science-related activi-ties and enrichment programmes to encourage interest in STEM among the public, including students.

3. The polytechnics pool their efforts to promote engineering diploma programmes to secondary school students. They hold talks featuring in-dustry practitioners who share why they chose engineering as a career. They also reach out to school teachers and involve them in industry learn-ing journeys and workshops.

4. Our AUs also offer unique programmes tailored to attract good students with the interest and aptitude in STEM. For example, NTU offers the Renaissance Engineering Programme, and NUS the Global Engineering Programme. SUTD infuses technology and design into every aspect of a student’s learning experience.

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