SINGAPORE: A record 13,900 applicants have applied to study at polytechnics next year under the Early Admissions Exercise (EAE), with the more popular courses being early childhood, nursing and hospitality, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung revealed on Wednesday (Oct 3).
Speaking at the Singapore International Technical and Vocational Education and Training Conference, Mr Ong said that the number of EAE applicants for admission year 2019 represents a 13 per cent increase over the previous year.
The EAE is an aptitude-based admissions exercise that allows students to apply for and receive conditional offers for admission to polytechnics before they get their final grades.
Mr Ong added that under the EAE, the polytechnics also made 6,250 offers to students for next year's admission – which at 14 per cent higher year-on-year is also another record.
The expected final enrolment through EAE is about 4,600, which is close to 20 per cent of the total admissions for polytechnics.
“This is an encouraging development in our efforts to match interest, talent and course of study,” he said.
Currently, polytechnics can take in up to 15 per cent of its students through the EAE, but there is some room for manoeuvring.
“Polytechnics have the discretion to use the guideline by looking at the quality of applicants and how well they match with the courses, and exercise their discretion while observing the guideline,” Mr Ong said.
“As it turns out, I think we will exceed the guideline, and certainly we will review to see whether this guideline ought to gradually float up,” he added.
“I think it’s a dynamic situation ... We have to see what the demand is, how we administer (it) and over time look at it year by year," he said.