SINGAPORE: Polytechnic graduates applying to the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) from 2020 will no longer have their O-Level grades be considered for admission, except for certain courses.
This comes with the Ministry of Education (MOE) removing an existing requirement for an applicant’s O-Level results to comprise 20 per cent of his University Admissions Score (UAS).
The UAS is a framework adopted by the six autonomous universities to benchmark and rank applicants’ academic abilities for admission to university.
Making the announcement on Thursday (Nov 8), Second Minister for Education Indranee Rajah said the polytechnic GPA provides a “better and more current reflection” of the knowledge and skills students have gained during their polytechnic education.
“This, along with other initiatives such as discretionary admissions, is in line with the other changes we have made to our education system to allow students with different learning styles to be evaluated more holistically,” she said.
“It also better recognises late bloomers, and creates more opportunities for those who flourish after discovering their interest when they are older.”
Of the six autonomous universities, only NUS and NTU compute applicants’ UAS by putting an 80 per cent weightage on their polytechnic GPA and 20 per cent on their O-Level results.
The other four – the Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore Institute of Technology and Singapore University of Social Sciences – do not “hardcode” O-Level results when evaluating polytechnic applicants, said MOE. This means that they consider factors such as polytechnic GPA, aptitude tests and interview performance in assessing an applicant, and take into account O-Level results only where relevant.
Polytechnic graduates who do not have O-Level certificates are currently assessed for admission based only on their GPA. MOE said students without O-Level qualifications make up close to a quarter of those who enter polytechnics.
However, MOE said polytechnic students can continue to submit their O-Level results as additional information to support their applications if they wish to.
This year, about 16 per cent and 37 per cent of the student intake at NUS and NTU respectively are polytechnic graduates.
In addition, the universities can continue to impose subject-specific pre-requisites to ascertain an applicant’s suitability, MOE added. For example, a polytechnic student who wishes to apply to a computer science course at NUS would need at least a B3 in O-Level Additional Mathematics.
More details on the changes to the application process for polytechnic students will be released by NUS and NTU closer to their admissions exercise for Academic Year 2020.