PM Lee: Polytechnics a jewel in Singapore's education system

Getting a degree is not the only option for polytechnic students after they graduate, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Working for a few years or even starting their own business can offer important life lessons and help them go further in life, he said today as Ngee Ann Polytechnic celebrated its 50th anniversary.

"You will gain experience and understand yourself better and then be better able to decide what the next step will be. These life lessons will complement your polytechnic education and help you to go further in life," he said.

Mr Lee praised the polytechnic education system calling it "a jewel in our educational system" that offers a first rate tertiary education to about 50 per cent of each cohort of students.

He said that international investors say polytechnics give Singapore a competitive advantage especially in manufacturing, and education experts have also come to study the polytechnic model.

On the same day, Ngee Ann Polytechnic also announced its fourth 10-year strategic plan that will see it forge closer ties with companies and introduce more overseas programmes for students.

PM Lee said the Government would give polytechnics its fullest support.

The Government is investing $7 billion in the polytechnic sector over the next five years to expand existing campuses, build new facilities, introduce new courses and improve the quality of technical education, he added.

"Thus it will ensure our polytechnic a continue to produce graduates with a wide range of skills and strengths which complement workers emerging from other educational pathways," he said.