Marketing and business administration students turn to private education to get degrees earlier.


SHE would have earned her degree earlier by taking the private education route.

Miss Ngo Meng Si, 21, enrolled in ITE College East at Simei in 2010, a year after her N levels, and graduated in March 2012 with a National ITE Certificate in Electronics – Wireless Local Area Networks (LAN).

The former student of Jurong West Secondary School said: “I enrolled in ITE College East in 2010, when I was 18. At that point in time, I was rather committed to playing basketball and wanted to have the freedom to do so.

“I considered between enrolling at the ITE and a private institution, however my parents were worried that I might not have the discipline to do well enough at a PEI.”

After receiving her N-level results, Miss Ngo’s sister told her about Kaplan and the courses held there.

Before that, she vaguely knew that most of the courses at PEIs had a shorter completion time compared to local schools, but she did not how good some of the PEIs’ partner universities were.

Miss Ngo said: “My sister encouraged me to enrol in Kaplan instead of going to ITE. I researched and read about the courses at Kaplan and realised that they offered many options for people of different education backgrounds. But I still opted for ITE.”

After graduating from ITE, Miss Ngo enrolled at Kaplan to further her studies. She completed the eight-month long Diploma in Commerce (Marketing Management) and is now pursuing an 18-month long Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Marketing programme awarded by University College Dublin, Ireland.

She will graduate next year. Miss Ngo said: “I chose to pursue a Diploma in Commerce (Marketing Management) because it allowed me to enter the second year of University College Dublin’s Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Marketing right after completion. This advantage will help to put me ahead of my peers.

“My course at Kaplan has fewer practical sessions and more classroom learning, which provides information in a structured manner. The course duration is also shorter.

“If I had enrolled in Kaplan instead of ITE after my N levels, I could have been a degree holder and joined the workforce by the time I turned 21!”

Thanks to the condensed learning structure at Kaplan, N- and O-level holders can essentially graduate with a degree awarded by Kaplan’s university partners within two and a half years.

She said: “My parents are now relieved that I am here at Kaplan and progressing well. My advice to N and O-level students is: If your results are good enough, consider junior college or polytechnic studies. But don’t lose heart if your results are not good enough.

“Private institutions like Kaplan Singapore offer a shorter route to obtaining your degree from some of the world’s top universities.”

Like Miss Ngo, O-level graduate Ian Teo Yijie, 20, will also get a US-based degree at a lower cost and in a shorter time than his peers.

Mr Teo, who is currently serving his national service as a naval diver, enrolled in SIM Global Education (SIM GE) in 2010 to pursue a Bachelor of Science (Business Administration) awarded by University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, US (UB). The US News and World Report ranks the UB School of Management as one of the country’s best Undergraduate Business Programmes in the 2014 edition of “America’s Best Colleges’’.

He said: “Although I was accepted for the Business Administration course at Singapore Polytechnic after my O levels, my father encouraged me to take up the SIM GE course as I would be able to get a US degree and a US-based education within the comforts of Singapore and at a lower cost. I could also graduate with a degree earlier than my peers who have just completed polytechnic or junior college, and enter the workforce two or three years earlier compared to them.”

Mr Teo’s studies at SIM GE were disrupted in 2012 as he had to serve his national service. He will resume his course after he finishes his NS this month, and is scheduled to graduate next year.


Source: The New Paper GO Guide, 13 January 2014 © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission. Click to view PDF