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Special educational needs support at Institutes of Higher Learning

Learn about how the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnics, autonomous universities and arts institutions support students with special educational needs.

All Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) seek to enable students with special educational needs to:
  • Have a holistic education experience.
  • Attain independent living skills.
  • Be equipped with access to meaningful employment upon graduation.
Thus, provision of support is usually needs-based as the IHLs adopt an approach of self-advocacy, supporting students as they take charge of their own learning needs.
Special educational needs (SEN) support at the IHLs

IHLs have SEN Support Offices or coordinators that provide support to students with special educational needs, from pre-enrolment to graduation. Examples of support include:

  • Working with course managers to provide course counselling for prospective students.
  • Working with lecturers to provide in-class learning assistance and access arrangements for current students.
  • Administering SEN-related funding support such as the MOE SEN Fund.
  • Collaborating with social service agencies (SSAs) to provide additional support.
MOE SEN Fund for polytechnic and ITE students
The MOE SEN Fund supports full-time Singapore Citizen polytechnic and ITE students with physical or visual impairment (PI/VI), hearing loss (HL) or learning and behavioural (L&B) difficulties to purchase Assistive Technology (AT) devices or support services, if they are professionally certified to require AT devices or support services for their education. This allows students with special educational needs conditions to have equal access to their institutions’ programmes and services, and learn to be independent learners and workers.

Under the current scheme, eligible students with PI or L&B conditions may tap on the SEN Fund to purchase necessary AT devices for their education, up to a cap of $5,000. Eligible students with VI or HL may tap on up to $25,000 to purchase necessary AT devices and services, such as signing interpretation and Braille printing.

Students with HL will also have access to a full subsidy cap of $70,000 under the High Needs category, if they have been assessed by a relevant professional to require Communication Access Services (CAS) such as note-taking and sign-language interpretation services.

Students with PI/VI will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to determine their subsidy amount (up to $70,000) based on the student’s assessed needs.

Students with special educational needs from the autonomous universities and arts institutions also have access to similar financial support in their respective institutions for AT devices and support services.


Prospective students who are keen to find out more about SEN support services in the IHLs or courses that may be more suitable for their strengths and needs, can refer to the web pages of the institutions' SEN Support Offices listed below, or contact the relevant officers in charge for course guidance. 



Autonomous universities

Arts institutions