SINGAPORE, 21 February 2017 – The Committee for Private Education (CPE) has released the enhanced EduTrust Certification Scheme (EduTrust) standards today. As announced in October 2016, these standards will take effect from 1 June 2017 for all Private Education Institutions (PEIs) that are applying for or renewing their EduTrust certification from that date onwards. The enhanced EduTrust standards form part of CPE’s new measures to strengthen the protection of students in the private education sector and increase information transparency for prospective students, and accordingly place greater emphasis on academic processes and student outcomes.
2. Existing PEIs that currently offer External Degree Programmes (EDPs) will need to submit an application for EduTrust certification by 1 June 2017 in order to obtain the certification by the deadline of 1 June 2018. PEIs which do not obtain EduTrust certification would have to cease offering their EDPs.
3. EduTrust is a quality assurance scheme to recognise PEIs that are able to consistently maintain high standards in key areas of management and in the provision of education services. Currently, PEIs are assessed based on the following six EduTrust criteria:
i. management commitment and responsibilities;
ii. corporate governance and administration;
iii. external recruitment agents;
iv. student protection and support services;
v. academic processes and assessment of students and
vi. quality assurance, monitoring, and results.
Only PEIs that have at least a 4-year Enhanced Registration Framework registration period are able to apply for EduTrust certification.
4. The key enhancement to EduTrust is the introduction of a seventh criterion – Achievement of Student and Graduate Outcomes – to assess student and graduate outcomes. This criterion, which forms 15 per cent of the total possible score of 1,000, will measure how PEIs track, review, and improve the performance and outcomes achieved by their students. For PEIs that offer EDPs, the outcomes from their Graduate Employment Surveys (GES) will be considered under this criterion. Hence, a PEI with a higher graduate employment rate will score higher for this criterion than a PEI with a lower employment rate. With the addition of this new criterion, the overall weightage for the set of criteria relating to academic processes and student outcomes, has been increased to a total of 40 per cent, reflecting the greater emphasis placed on these aspects. Please refer to the Annex for details of the enhancements.
5. The abovementioned enhanced standards are listed in the revised EduTrust Guidance Document Version 3 (GD3) for PEIs’ reference, and which is now available on the CPE website. CPE will also conduct a series of workshops from March 2017, to help PEIs understand the enhanced standards. PEIs are strongly encouraged to sign up for these workshops when they receive the e-mail invitation today.
6. Mr Brandon Lee, Director-General (Private Education), SkillsFuture Singapore said, “One key change in the EduTrust standards is the enhanced focus on student outcomes. This is even more important considering the results of the pilot Private Education Institutions’ Graduate Employment Survey, where only 58% of fresh PEI degree graduates who graduated in 2014 were able to secure full-time permanent employment within six months with median gross monthly salaries of $2,700. This contrasts with 83% of autonomous university graduates, who graduated in 2014, securing full-time permanent employment and obtaining a median gross monthly salary of $3,200. PEIs should focus more attention on the outcomes of their graduates and see what needs to be done to improve them. We also encourage prospective students to research their options carefully before deciding if they should pursue a degree with a private education institution.”
For more information on the Enhanced Registration Framework, please go to: https://www.cpe.gov.sg/for-peis/enhanced-registration-framework-erf/enhanced-registration-framework-erf