Every year, many Malaysians go over to Singapore to study (under the ASEAN scholarship programme) after secondary school. Most would choose to be in Junior Colleges (JCs) to study A-Level rather than studying in polytechnics for a diploma. Fortunately, this mindset is slowly changing as more top students, local and foreign alike, choose to study in polytechnics.
A diploma programme at a polytechnic here takes 3 years unlike A-Level which only takes up 2 years. Yet, this route is preferred by many due to its hands-on approach unlike in Junior Colleges. I'll go in depth on one of the five polytechnics available here which is Temasek Polytechnic.
Temasek Polytechnic (TP) was established in April 1990 and is located at the east side of the island. Situated at Tampines Avenue 1, the 30-hectare campus faces the scenic Bedok Reservoir. I'm currently studying for a diploma in Biomedical Informatics Engineering (BIE) in the School of Engineering.
The fees for AY 2007/2008 is approximately SGD $2300 with Tuition Grant (TG). You might ask, "What is a Tuition Grant?", well, it's sort of like a form of discount in fees given by the government provided you work in Singapore for 3 years after completing your studies. That doesn't mean you could only study until diploma and forced to work for 3 years. You are able to apply for TG again if you gain admission to one of the 3 universities (NUS, NTU, SMU) and complete the bond of 3 years after you graduated. (Note : The 3 years bond for the diploma TG runs simultaneously with the degree TG, therefore you'll only work for 3 years in Singapore for 2 TGs)
Life in a polytechnic is quite similar to a life in a university as both are conducted by modules. Classes consist of lectures, tutorials and practical sessions. Lectures are conducted in lecture theaters with a class size of up to 120 students. Tutorials are conducted in classrooms where more attention are given to a smaller class size of about 20 students. Practical sessions are held in laboratories.
Students are continuously assessed and the final grade do not rely on the final examinations' marks alone. Certain subjects are assessed based on a 60/40 formula (60 percent comes from the final examinations' marks, 40 from continuous assessments such as quizzes, assignments, practical tests, term tests) and some are assessed based on a 40/60 formula.
Life in TP isn't just about academics; many co-curricular activities (CCAs) are offered. Among them are water polo, dragon boat, Chinese orchestra, and many more. Each diploma also has a club formed by the seniors in year 2 and 3 to care for the welfare of the freshmen. For international students like myself, many activities were organized during the orientation period and the first month of the semester to help us to cope with life in Singapore.
That said, Singapore polytechnics are another option for Malaysians students after completing their SPM. The fees are quite affordable with TG but the living costs here is very high. But you can work part-time (even for international students) to help lessen the burden of your parents. Wish me luck, and hope I'll get into the Director's List. =] Liked this post? Subscribe now to read more post like this one! Tweet