Singapore Budget 2015: Universities, polytechnics to offer 300 short courses from mid-2015

SINGAPORE - In the second half of this year, Singaporeans can choose from a range of 200 bite-sized, modular courses offered by the universities and another 100 run by the five polytechnics.

Among the courses are digital forensics by Singapore Polytechnic and counselling and coaching by Republic Polytechnic. Nanyang Technological University will run a course on naval architecture and marine engineering, while SIM University will offer one on functional genomics, which is the study of genes and how they affect the working of the body.

The courses will be taught using a blended learning approach in which students will learn online as well as attend classes at the universities and polytechnics.

Participants, aged 40 and above, will receive government subsidies that cover at least 90 per cent of the cost of courses funded by the Ministry of Education (MOE) at universities, polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education.

The national training body, Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), will pay up to 90 per cent of skills upgrading course fees.

They can use their SkillsFuture Credits - the cash grants that Singaporeans aged 25 and above will receive from next year - to offset the remaining fees.

Workers can take up standalone modules to gain particular skills, or take several and "stack" them to attain a diploma or degree.

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat gave these details on the upgrading opportunities for adults this afternoon during the debate on his ministry's budget in Parliament.

Revamped training programmes along with the higher subsidies and study awards are part of the government's SkillsFuture initiatives to encourage workers to develop the deep skills needed to take Singapore's economy to the next level.

sandra@sph.com.sg