Republic Polytechnic

Republic Polytechnic

Republic Polytechnic (RP) ( _zh. 共和理工学院) is the fifth and most environmentally friendly tertiary institution in Singapore. From its award-winning architecture to its paperless culture, RP encompasses the ideal futuristic campus. It was established on 1 August 2002 and commenced its operations from July 2003. It started with 800 students in 2003. In 2008, it has more than 10,000 students. The stabilised enrollment is expected to be about 13,000. Currently, it has over 1000 staff. RP has dedicated staff and small class size. Its student to facilitator ratio is 1:25. Students take four Understanding Tests (UTs) per semester and are graded daily for their work done in class.

Curricula and academic work

A key focus of the Republic Polytechnic is the creation of a learning environment as opposed to a structure designed for instruction. This learning environment is one where subject knowledge is learned while using and developing process skills in the context of applications. This approach is termed Problem Based Learning (PBL). In the PBL approach, students solve problems by working in groups of five under the supervision of their facilitators. Each group will present their solution to the problem to their classmates. At the end of the class, the facilitator will present the ideal solution with inputs from the students. By learning through research, analysis, and evaluation, students will be able to understand better and be equipped with knowledge not found on text books.

To graduate with a diploma, a student needs to complete 30 modules in 3 years, at an average of 5 modules per semester. Each module would typically have about 4 contact hours weekly during which students ( in groups of 5 ) would meet in classrooms ( about 25 students ) with one facilitator for goal setting, knowledge sharing and presentations. Each student is expected to spend 20 hours of scheduled contact time with facilitators per week over a 16-week semester. Students are assessed regularly based on their process skills in problem solving, and four Understanding Tests ( UT ).

To ensure that students are equipped with foundational and other generic skills required for further learning and specialized knowledge, the three main programmes are supported by various learning centres in " softer " areas such as language, culture, enterprise development, personal development and technical communication. These " common " modules are generally taken in the first year.

Academic schools and departments

Republic Polytechnic has 6 schools offering the following diploma programmes:

*School of Applied Science (SAS)
** [] Diploma in Biomedical Sciences
** [] Diploma in Biotechnology
** [] Diploma in Materials Science
** [] Diploma in Pharmaceutical Sciences
** [] Diploma in Environmental Science

*School of Engineering (SEG)
** [] Diploma in Biomedical Electronics
** [] Diploma in Industrial & Operations Management
** [] Diploma in Aerospace Avionics
** [] Diploma in Supply Chain Management
** [] Diploma in Micro & Nanotechnology
** [] Diploma in Digital Entertainment Electronics
** [] Diploma in Civil Aviation
** [] Diploma in Aerospace Engineering (Quality Systems)

*School of Information and Communications Technology (SIT)
** [] Diploma in Business Applications
** [] Diploma in Business Information Systems
** [] Diploma in Information Technology
** [] Diploma in Information Technology Service Management
** [] Diploma in Interactive & Digital Media

*School of Technology for the Arts (STA)
** [] Diploma in New Media
** [] Diploma in Sonic Arts
** [] Diploma in Technology and Arts Management
** [] Diploma in Design for Interactivity
** [] Diploma in Game Design (Offers from 2008)

*School of Sports, Health and Leisure (SHL)
** [] Diploma in Sports & Exercise Sciences
** [] Diploma in Sports & Leisure Management
** [] Diploma in Outdoor & Adventure Learning

*School of Hospitality (SOH) in collaboration with Raffles Hotels & Resorts
** [] Diploma in Integrated Events Management
** [] Diploma in Customer Relationship and Service Management
** [] Diploma in Hotel and Hospitality Management

In addition, there are four learning centres offering the following diploma programmes:

*Centre for Culture and Communication (CCC)
** [] Diploma in Communication and Information Design

*Centre for Educational Development (CED)

*Centre for Innovation and Enterprise (CIE)

*Centre for Science and Mathematics (CSM)

We also offer post-diploma and short courses.

*Post-Diploma Course
** [] International Programme in Biomedical Sciences
** [] Advanced Diploma in Pharmacy Practice

*Continuing Education & Training
** [] Short Courses

Other notable departments
*Republic Polytechnic Library
** [] It is the most unconventional library where students, staff and public can play X-box, Wii and pianos openly. Quiet rooms are available for those who wants to study.

*The Republic Cultural Centre
** [] It is the leading Cultural Centre for youths. It has hosted interesting events such as Arts Festival, IGNITE and Momentum.

*Student and Graduate Affairs
** [] It is the most active department with five divisions - student wellness, adventure learning, graduate services, service-learning, and sports development.

Republic Polytechnic's learning approach

One of the distinguishing features of Republic Polytechnic’s education system is its unique adaptation of Problem Based Learning.


Republic Polytechnic’s key objective is to add value to each student’s intellectual make-up in terms of problem-solving process skills, life-long learning attitude and ready-to-use knowledge, as the student progresses to become a diploma holder. Graduates will be knowledgeable team players who have acquired skills necessary to handle situations, tackle problems and complete tasks in a knowledge-driven environment.

Learning approach for the 21st century

Republic Polytechnic’s pedagogical approach is based on the ideal of “learning by doing” which in recent decades is considered by many to be the way forward for a progressive education system. To a varying extent, PBL as a way of “learning by doing” is adopted by a growing number of institutions of higher learning.

Faculty at RP agree that PBL is a viable and credible alternative to more conventional approaches to education. Ideas behind PBL are well-supported by findings in scientific domains of human cognition and learning. There are many teachers and major higher learning institutes in the world that have adopted PBL as their mode of providing education. Educators have been showing increasing interest in PBL over the recent decades.

A central tenet of PBL is knowledge integration, facilitating long-term retention and easy association of knowledge components with applications. Students learn to integrate knowledge through struggling with problems. The basic skills set of problem solving process skills and teamwork, developed through the daily practice of small-group collaboration during self-directed PBL sessions, will be of immense value at the workplace of a knowledge-based economy.

In PBL, teachers recognise that students may already know some facets of any subject at any point in time and encourage students to take advantage of such knowledge. PBL also allows students to capitalise on whatever capabilities they have as individuals. Accordingly, a PBL system gives students the opportunity to develop intellectually in ways that suit them best personally.

PBL encourages students to know the impact of their inquiry, work and learning. PBL addresses the question, “Why do we need to learn this?’. Students discern both the context and relevance of what and how they learn. Students develop and practice higher-order thinking when engaged in PBL activities because they are required to formulate their own answers and not try to guess, “What’s the right answer the teacher wants me to find?”. Most important of all, students will learn how to learn through regular practice of developing strategies for information gathering, data analysis, drawing conclusions and evaluating the quality of their solutions to problems.

Adapting PBL

RP’s implementation of “learning by doing” has no known counterpart in the world. This may raise the question of why RP persists in using the term ‘PBL’ in its official communication on pedagogy. This is due to the widespread currency which the term ‘PBL’ enjoys. Saying that RP has adapted PBL does not in fact do full justice to the sophisticated system of education that it has implemented. RP continues to use the term ‘PBL’ for want of a more exact term that facilitates academic discourse among its supporters and critics as well as provides a convenient term of reference for the general public.

A salient feature of RP’s pedagogy is learning on a daily basis and in groups of no more than 25. This daily activity is driven by a problem-trigger which can be an issue that needs to be resolved, a challenge that has to be met, a happening that deserves an explanation or a deeper consideration.

In RP’s learning environment, students focus on issues related to the given problem-trigger to identify relevant content, gather information and study the associated orgnanised knowledge. Students are not expected to find a pre-determined “right answer” to the problem-trigger. Instead, they grapple with the complexity of the issue and decide for themselves what information they need to handle and thus direct their own learning.

The curriculum incorporates a sequence of learning objectives which are essentially issue-based, not method-based or procedure-driven as in the conventional curriculum. As students advance in their diploma programme, they choose increasingly specialised modules that will allow them to explore selected subjects in greater depth.

In short, by adapting PBL, RP offers students a different way of intellectual advancement and skill development. By doing so, RP adds diversity to the local education scene. Through its bold adaptation of PBL, RP is steadily gaining international recognition for its contribution to education.

Campus within the community @ Woodlands

The campus is located at Woodlands Ave 9.

It will be the hub of the north, a vibrant campus that is friendly and welcoming to students, staff, visitors, industry partners and the community at large. Giving Republic Polytechnic an air of " a campus in the park " are the scenic grouds of a nature park at its doorstep.

The following are several unique characteristics of Republic Polytechnic's Woodlands campus:

*Wireless Learning Hub
*Learning Pods
*Integration with Nature
*Sports facilities

Awards and accreditations

Republic Polytechnic strives for excellence by achieving various national and international accreditations, including People Developer Standards, ISO9001, ISO14001,OHSAS18001, Singapore Quality Class, Singapore Innovation Class, and the Singapore Health Awards ( Gold ).

With much fanfare, Republic Polytechnic was officially opened by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Republic Cultural Centre (TRCC). Speaking at the official launch of Republic Polytechnic's new campus on 31 July 2007, PM Lee urged polytechnics to keep improving in order to produce innovative students. Polytechnics are evolving and will become key nodes in Singapore's innovation efforts.

PM Lee praised Republic Polytechnic for its pervasive use of Problem-Based Learning approach. He said: "RP's PBL approach is a first in the polytechnics and in Singapore. Every day, students work in teams to look at problems from multiple perspectives. The students also hone their communication and presentation skills as they present, debate and defend their findings." []

Republic Polytechnic's fenceless feature reflects its open invitation to residents in Woodlands to be part of its campus life.


External links

* [ Republic Polytechic website]
* [ MyRP Student Portal]
* [ PBL system in RP]

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