SIT is Officially Singapore’s New Autonomous University

The Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) has been officially awarded the status of an autonomous university by the Singapore Government with effect from 28 March 2014. SIT, whose main objective is to provide industry-focused education in Singapore, will thus have the same status and flexibility as that accorded to the existing four autonomous universities, namely, the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University, and Singapore University of Technology and Design.

The SIT Act will grant SIT the right to confer and award degrees, diplomas and certificates. The SIT Act will also ensure that SIT is governed by an Act of Parliament to safeguard public interests and the use of public funds.

As an autonomous university, SIT will begin to award degrees in its own name. For the first time, SIT is offering its own applied degree programmes in the areas of Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering, Information & Communications Technology, and Accountancy. These applied degree programmes were launched last year after close consultation with the industry and will feature industry-relevant curricula designed to meet industry needs. For instance, SIT has invited prominent industry leaders to be part of an Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) for each degree programme, to provide relevant input and advice to help shape the degree curricula. SIT has also launched the groundbreaking and innovative Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP) as a core component of its new degrees. True to SIT’s industry-focused nature of applied learning, the IWSP will be tailored to complement work cycles in the different industries.

SIT’s mission is to develop individuals who build on their interests and talents to impact society by providing a nurturing environment that is uniquely enriched by world-class partners. As Singapore’s new autonomous university, SIT envisions that it will grow to become the leader in innovative university education by integrating learning with industry and community perspectives and needs. SIT is expected to expand its intake to 2,000 students annually by 2015. The five SIT@Poly buildings will be fully operational by the end of this year. SIT is also in the process of locating a permanent campus to accommodate its growing number of students.


Since 2009, when SIT was first established by the Ministry of Education, SIT has attracted much attention for its specialised degree offerings that cater primarily to polytechnic graduates. With a strong emphasis on practice-oriented education, SIT actively consults leading industry partners and government bodies to ensure the industry-relevance of its degree programmes that are offered in partnership with reputable overseas universities.

The Government is increasing the number of publicly-funded full-time university places. By 2020, publicly-funded degree places will be available for 40 per cent of each Primary One cohort, up from 27 per cent in 2012. As Singapore’s fifth autonomous university, SIT will play a major role in this expansion plan.

At the second reading of the SIT Bill in Parliament on 17 February 2014, Minister for Education Mr Heng Swee Keat said in support of the Bill that SIT is well-placed to pioneer the applied degree pathway. He said, “The applied degree pathway can better meet the broad range of learning preferences, strengths and interests that our young Singaporeans possess. By fostering a strong nexus with industry, it will enable our graduates to seize new and diverse job opportunities. This enriched university landscape will meet the individual learning needs of our youths, and in so doing, help them fulfil their potential to the fullest. By integrating a strong theoretical foundation with real life applications, and by combining hard skills and a range of soft skills such as communications, problem solving and teamwork, graduates from the applied degree pathway can distinguish themselves.”

Professor Tan Thiam Soon, President, SIT, said, “This is an epochal moment for SIT and Singapore’s higher education landscape. SIT has steadily built a reputation for specialist, industry-focused education. The establishment of SIT as Singapore’s fifth autonomous university will enable us to better serve our students and ultimately contribute more to our economy and nation. I am very proud of my staff, who have worked hard to reach this historic and significant milestone. I am confident that our graduates, imbued with the unique SIT DNA of being ‘thinking tinkerers’, will play a pivotal part in Singapore’s continuing success in the years ahead.”

About Singapore Institute of Technology

Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) is Singapore’s new autonomous university of applied learning. It aims to be a leader in innovative university education by integrating learning, industry and community.

SIT offers industry-focused degree programmes targeted at growth sectors of the economy. As a new university, SIT offers its own applied degree programmes with a unique pedagogy that integrates work and study. It also offers specialised degree programmes in partnership with world-class universities and the five local polytechnics.