Regulation to protect private students, help them make informed choices

We thank Mr Michael Lum (Raise quality of private education; April 11) and Dr Tng Cheong Sing (Better gauge of private school grads' progress is social mobility; April 7) for their views on private education in Singapore.

Private education institutions (PEIs) are commercial businesses regulated by the Committee for Private Education (CPE), and the focus has been consumer protection. Hence, the CPE has stipulated standards on corporate governance, administration and information transparency, and fee protection.

The CPE does not directly review or endorse the content of individual PEI programmes for academic quality and industry relevance.

To further promote information transparency, the CPE has stipulated that PEIs must participate in the annual Graduate Employment Survey (GES). The results are published to help prospective students make informed decisions on their further education and career choices. The methodology is standardised to that for autonomous universities and polytechnics.

The CPE enhanced the standards for EduTrust last year. One of the enhancements was to include GES results into the criteria for attaining EduTrust.

The changes that the CPE has implemented have raised public awareness of the graduate employment outcomes of PEI programmes and the need for PEIs to equip their students with industry-relevant skills.

The CPE will continue to encourage PEIs to engage employers and industry stakeholders to improve the relevance of their programmes.

PEIs, on their part, have to review their course offerings and curriculum, as well as improve employment and career advice to their students.

Patricia Woo (Ms)

Director

Corporate and Marketing Communications Division

SkillsFuture Singapore

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 16, 2018, with the headline 'Regulation to protect private students, help them make informed choices'. Print Edition | Subscribe