To provide an industry-focused university education in partnership with local polytechnics and reputable overseas universities to produce highly desired graduates for growth sectors of the economy.
In 2005, the Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE) introduced the Polytechnic-Foreign Specialised Institutions (Poly-FSI) initiative. Its aim was to encourage polytechnics to partner with overseas universities and offer degree programmes in niche areas. Through this initiative, students would enjoy a more enriching learning experience in areas that also supported Singapore’s economic development.
In 2007, a key recommendation of the Committee on the Expansion of the University Sector (CEUS) was to further develop the Poly-FSI programme. Such a move would not only increase opportunities for obtaining recognised, industry-focused degrees, but also ensure that polytechnic education remained relevant in today’s dynamic world. To this end, the Task Force on Expanding Upgrading Opportunities for Polytechnic Graduates was formed.
Comprising polytechnic principals and representatives from MOE, Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Economic Development Board (EDB), the Task Force studied how a new model that was both scalable and sustainable could be implemented. The Task Force visited selected universities and specialised institutions in USA, UK and Australia and also held focus group discussions with polytechnic students, graduates and their parents, economic agencies and industry players as part of its feasibility study for this new model.
In April 2009, the concept of the Singapore Institute of Applied Technology (SIAT) was first mooted by the Task Force to MOE. About a month later, in May 2009, the establishment of the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) was announced by Dr Ng Eng Hen, then Minister for Education and Second Minister for Defence.
SIT represents the centre of a unique tripartite collaborative model, responsible for planning, managing and implementing degree programmes offered by reputable overseas universities in partnership with the five local polytechnics. In addition to providing more government-subsidised university places, the SIT model also offers students significantly greater choices in learning at tertiary levels.