The history of TP began in June 1989 when Dr Tony Tan, then Minister of Education, praised the value of a polytechnic education in a speech, and announced that a third polytechnic was being seriously considered.
Barely two years later, in July 1990, TP was a reality with an initial enrolment of 735 students.
With its permanent premises yet to be built, TP was granted use of the Baharuddin Vocational Institute’s premises at Stirling Road and the vacated premises of Raffles Institution at Grange Road. By 1995, due to increased enrolment and new courses, TP had acquired three more campuses at Kim Seng, Bukit Merah and Portsdown Road. Finally, in September 1995, it moved to its permanent location in Tampines - a state-of-the-art 30-hectare campus set in picturesque surroundings beside the serene Bedok Reservoir in the east of Singapore.
TP’s very first prospectus saw it offering four diploma courses in graphic design, product design, interior design and business.
The first three were programmes originally conducted at BVI which had already established a solid reputation as a forerunner in design education in Singapore. A new course leading to a Diploma in Business was created from scratch together with a new School of Business.
In its second year, TP introduced new courses in electronics, information technology, mechatronics, tourism management and logistics & operations management. It was clear that the new polytechnic was carving a strategy to find new niches and pre-empt new market demands - a practice it continues till today.
Within just five years, the number of first-choice applicants in 1995 increased by an overwhelming 116 percent over the 1994 figure to 3,159 applicants. Enrolment had increased from 735 in 1990 to 5,443 in 1995. Today, TP’s student population stands at over 15,000.
By being fast on its feet and swift to start new and imaginative courses, TP has managed to meet both the changing needs in Singapore’s industries as well as the areas of interest of students. Not surprisingly, it stands today as a forerunner in technical education in Singapore.
Funding Type Public
No of Students15000
Year of Establishment 1990
Bringing Education To Life and Life to Education