NYP Launches New Teaching Model
Published on 09 Jun 2020

Teaching and learning at NYP fundamentally reimagined.
A model co-developed by industry leaders, featuring just-in-time learning.


SINGAPORE, 9 June 2020 – Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) will launch a new teaching model which moves away from the usual subject-based approach to one that is structured around workplace competencies. Co-created with IT industry leaders, the NYP Professional Competency Model (NYP-PCM), is the first-of-its-kind in Singapore and will be introduced in NYP’s Diploma in Business Intelligence & Analytics (DBA) commencing from the Academic Year (AY) 2021 intake.

The model was developed in close collaboration with IT industry leaders. Google Cloud, Microsoft, Oracle Academy and SAS partner NYP in the delivery of the new model through contribution of content material and in some cases, in the teaching of some components of the DBA. This collaboration will enable diploma holders from NYP’s DBA to gain an understanding of the needs of the IT sector from the onset, and to be agile in responding to the rapidly evolving pace of this sector.

“The PCM breaks the current mould in IHL teaching. I personally think it is a little overdue, but it is never too late, and am grateful that NYP took this bold step. In many ways, PCM results in courses that are more challenging, because a student will need to acquire foundational skills, pick up industry competencies across different fields, and synergise them. It is more reflective of how the real world works, and our IHLs must promise real world learning, so that our students will be nimble, versatile and future-ready.” said Minister for Education, Mr Ong Ye Kung.   

NYP Principal & CEO Jeanne Liew explains: “While polytechnics have been doing a good job in preparing our students for the workplace, we asked ourselves if the student experience could be enhanced – and more importantly, whether we would need to make big changes to deal with a world where the scale and pace of change are unprecedented.”

The traditional polytechnic route involves organising what students need to learn into distinct modules along subject lines. For instance, students are expected to apply knowledge learnt from Year 1, to a problem set in Year 3. However, the knowledge recall and synthesis may be a challenge for some students.

The uniqueness of the new model lies in its delivery. For example, knowledge and skills are no longer taught discretely by subjects like maths, communication studies and software engineering. Instead, multiple disciplines are integrated and taught concurrently, with a just-in-time approach, in what we call a “Competency Unit” (CU).

To illustrate, in the “Data Visualisation” CU, a student is taught communication skills, statistics, data wrangling and the use of specific IT tools and languages in an integrated manner so that students can see how these disciplines work together holistically to deliver the final work task: presenting a data story. This will mean that in some CUs, for example, a communications lecturer will work with an IT lecturer to deliver the class.

A key differentiator of the NYP-PCM is the contribution of proprietary material from top companies, and the co-teaching of some CUs alongside NYP’s lecturers. Students from this diploma will then graduate with additional industry certifications that can help kickstart their career. When industry needs change, the CUs can also be adapted accordingly.

Ms Liew notes that the NYP-PCM is testament to NYP’s heritage as an industry-focused institution, and the close relationships built with industry partners over the last 30 years. She notes: “Our strong nexus of industry partners has worked with us to rebuild this curriculum and model. Our graduates will have the inside track on new changes and be ahead of the curve.”

The diploma is recognised by all the Autonomous Universities for the purpose of admission.

Industry Partners in the DBA

“As one of NYP’s key tech partners, Google Cloud has been working closely with the Polytechnic to train and enable its students. We are delighted to be among the first to jointly develop and deliver this new Diploma model and progressive Cloud-centric curriculum with NYP. The strong focus on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning training by Google Cloud and NYP will also play a role in grooming the next generation of cloud-ready talent in Singapore and advance the government's national AI strategy." – Angela Koh, Head of Public Sector Sales for Southeast Asia, Google Cloud.

“As employer organisations continue to accelerate their digital transformation, the skills that they require of their workforce have also evolved. In addition to on-the-job reskilling, there is definitely an opportunity for educators to better prepare for new generations of workforce with futureproofed skills. One such example is the NYP-PCM, which Microsoft is excited to support with access to our student and educator learning resources, training and certification. By working with their faculty to integrate these into the Competency Units, we hope that the graduating cohorts will enter the workforce ready to contribute to their employers and economy.” – Ng Puay San, Education and Skills Lead, Microsoft Singapore.

“Oracle Academy is delighted to support NYP’s curriculum innovations in their Information Technology school. This programme gives students the opportunity to acquire industry-standard and in-demand competencies and practices as they learn, forming an excellent foundation for their development when they enter the workforce. The curriculum assets offered via the Oracle Academy Cloud provide an opportunity to help prepare the next generation of IT tech leaders who are not only conversant in technology but understand the business practices of the working world.” – Damian Haas, Regional Director for Asia Pacific, Oracle Academy.

“We’ve co-built competency development elements in the course, and our SAS subject matter experts will be co-teaching alongside NYP academics. Students will graduate with a joint certificate in “Predictive Analytics in Data Science” certifying them as having met the standards and expectations of our programme credential. Students graduating from this course will be in great demand within the Big Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) community, bringing value to the workforce with their competency.” - Randy Goh, Singapore Country Manager, SAS.