Republic Polytechnic (Abbreviation: RP) is a tertiary institution located in Singapore. It was the first school system in Singapore to use Problem-based learning (PBL) pedagogy for all its diplomas. As an industry-oriented alternative to a broader based high school education, polytechnic graduates in Singapore are sought after for work or many continue to complete university degrees. In contrast to polytechnics in the United States and UK, polytechnics in Singapore admit majority of their students after middle school (secondary school), which is after 10 years of formal education. Diplomas in a specialized area of study, for example Biomedical Science, are awarded after completing 3 years of studies.
RP's project team began operating in the premises of Data Storage Institute, National University of Singapore in January 2002. On 1 July 2002, it shifted into Tanglin Campus which was previously occupied by the Ministry of Education, Singapore. It opened its doors to the first intake of students in 2003 before moving to the current Woodlands campus in 2007.
On 31 July 2007, RP's Woodlands campus was officially opened by Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The campus was designed by Japanese architect, Fumihiko Maki and DP Architects. Completed in 2006, the new campus is able to cater 13,000 students. It is conceived as a campus with a central nucleus which contains 11 learning Pods (8-9 storeys high) which are unified by 2 elliptical decks of common facilities, namely The Lawn and The Agora.
Also known as a Paperless Campus, RP's Woodlands campus is backed by IT-supported network for both academic and administrative functions. It employs state-of-the-art technology, through its solid wireless IT infrastructure supported by a comprehensive hardware-software system. In line with its green approach, environmentally friendly features such as fritted glasses, flooring made from recycled nylon and tyres, and sunshade louvres were integrated in the building design. Replacing the conventional air-conditioning system, the campus is equipped with tanks containing chilled water, which are recharged at night using low tariff electricity. This significantly reduces overall electric consumption.
In 2008, RP earned the ASEAN Best Practices for Energy Efficient Buildings Competition under the New and Existing Buildings category. While in November 2009, RP was awarded the Green Office Label under Project Eco-Office by the Singapore Environment Council. The Green Office Label (2001-2011) reaffirms RP as an environmentally friendly work place. RP was later honoured with the President*s Design Award in 2010. The campus was also the first to win the First-ever Singapore Green Mark Plantinum award for its eco friendly design.
Schools and centresEdit
RP partners with local and overseas universities for advanced standing arrangements for its diploma programmes. Graduates who are interested in continuing their education overseas typically can obtain up to 1.0 - 1.5 years exemptions from a degree programme. As of 2015, RP has 7 schools and 2 academic centres and offers 42 full-time diplomas that train its students to be industry-ready upon graduation:
- School of Applied Science (SAS)
- School of Engineering (SEG)
- School of Hospitality (SOH)
- School of Infocomm (SOI)
- School of Sports, Health and Leisure (SHL)
- School of Technology for the Arts (STA)
- School of Management and Communication (SMC)
- Academy for Continuing Education @RP (Continuing Education and Training)
- Centre for Educational Development (CED)
RP believes in maximising students’ learning experience and has designed its curriculum to inculcate critical thinking, communications and problem-solving skills through its Problem-based Learning (PBL) pedagogy. Students are given problem statements in class, which are often presented in real world contexts related to their modules or their diploma programmes. Working in teams, students will explore, analyse, and develop a solution or a response to the problem statement. In the process, RP students need to draw on their prior knowledge, integrate new knowledge and skills and apply their collective know-how in order to meet the requirements of the problem statement to tackle the issues. Such highly contextualised and authentic learning experience therefore enables students to acquire and internalise a range of cognitive competencies and industry-ready skills, and stand them in good stead when they transit to the workforce upon graduation.
RP regularly review the breadth and depth of its curriculum to keep abreast of industry developments. With effect from Academic Year 2016, RP will be introducing the following new diploma - Diploma in Engineering Design with Business, School of Engineering
- RP School of Applied Science partnered National University of Singapore in 2009 to launch a revolutionary project that "coaxes silkworms to spin high-strength silk fibres" that are stronger than kevlar
- A team of Diploma in Biomedical Engineering students from School of Engineering developed possibly the world's first iPhone-based portable brain control system
- The team which developed the iPhone based portable brain control system won the Institution of Engineers Singapore (IES) Design 2011 Gold Award. They will represent Singapore in the 5th International Convention on Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology (I-CREATe) in Bangkok, Thailand.
- RP School of Hospitality opened a $2 million restaurant training laboratory, Oliva, which is fully manned by RP's hospitality students.
- RP School of Sports Health and Leisure developed a high-tech test of balance and stability
- RP School of Engineering clinched medals from three categories in the 17th Singapore Robotic Games.
On 26 January 2011, RP partnered with the integrated resort, Resorts World Sentosa (RWS). Top performers from RP School of Hospitality will be selected to participate in a specialisation track in Theme Park and Attraction Management.
RP and EON Reality, on 16 November 2010, signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The collaboration aims to expand the Interactive Digital Media (IDM) industry through student internship programmes, academic module development, laboratory research and more.
On 27 July 2010, International Business Machines (IBM) and RP, signed an agreement that makes the institution the first IBM Authorised Training Partner in ASEAN to offer professional certification and training on mainframe technology in Singapore and the region.
To facilitate and support the growth of the sports industry, and to enhance the capability and professionalism of stakeholders in the industry, RP signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Singapore Sports Council on 13 May 2010.
- Tabitha Nauser - 2nd Runner-up, Singapore Idol (Season 3, 2009)
- Michelle S. Ng - 1st Runner-up, The Amazing Race Asia (Season 4, 2010)
- Benjamin Kheng - Member of The Sam Willows pop band
- Reflections on PBL (Problem-based Learning)
- Office of Student and Graduate Affairs Newsletter
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