Aspire committee report: More structured internships, more Higher Nitec places at ITE

Visitors watching a demonstration for the Food & Beverage Business diploma course at Nanyang Polytechnic Open House 2014. -- PHOTO: NANYANG POLYTECHNIC
Visitors watching a demonstration for the Food & Beverage Business diploma course at Nanyang Polytechnic Open House 2014. -- PHOTO: NANYANG POLYTECHNIC

SINGAPORE - Students at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and polytechnics will be able to have improved internships that are more structured.

The ITE will also take in more students into its more advanced courses. This is aimed at encouraging more Nitec students to continue studying at the Higher Nitec level. 

These measures were aimed at strengthening the training at the polys and ITE, and were laid out in a 61-page report by the Applied Study in Polytechnics and ITE Review (Aspire) committee on Monday. The 35-man committee chaired by Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah aims to better connect classroom learning to the working world.

For a start, the polytechnics and ITE will enhance internships in the built environment sector, marine and offshore engineering, and early childhood education within the next three years. This includes the institutions developing a more structured internship curriculum with the industry partners, having clear learning outcomes, and ensuring that the students’ job scopes contribute to these goals. Internship durations may be lengthened to make the experience more meaningful for students.

From 2015, ITE will also up the number of places in its Higher Nitec courses by 100 for a start, focusing first on its engineering and infocommunications technology courses. Currently, about one in three Nitec students progress to Higher Nitec. The Education Ministry hopes to push the figure up to one in two. 

The Aspire committee said some industry sectors felt that having students go through a longer duration of training at the ITE would better prepare them for work in those sectors.