New mega campus set to change public's view of ITE

SINGAPORE - Some people may think that Institute of Technical Education (ITE) campuses comprise dingy workshops or were converted from old schools.

But, with the new ITE College Central mega campus, which is located in Ang Mo Kio and covers 10.61ha, ITE chief executive Bruce Poh hopes the public's perception of the vocational institute will change.

The sprawling campus boasts an Olympic-sized pool, retail shops and even a hanger with a Boeing 737 plane.

College Central is the last of the three campuses under ITE's plan, after College East and College West were opened in 2005 and 2010, respectively.

At a media conference held at College Central yesterday, Mr Poh said each of the three mega campuses is built to "wow the public, even from the outside".

"ITE education has come a long way from the past, from old workshops to what you see today, an aerospace (hangar) and immersive 3-D technologies."

Students and staff from five existing ITE campuses - Yishun, Bishan, Tampines, MacPherson and Balestier - will relocate to College Central at the start of next year.

The site will be able to take 10,400 students, and also house ITE Headquarters, presently located in Dover.

The college will offer 53 courses, including four new courses such as a Nitec course in floristry and a Higher Nitec course in film-making.

Students will be able to gain work experience at a childcare centre and retail shops on the campus grounds. These amenities are open to the public.

The campus' Boeing 737 aircraft - a decommissioned plane that cost around $900,000 to purchase, transport and retrofit - has already created a buzz among students.

Mr Jeremy Lau, 18, who is taking a Nitec course in aerospace technology, said: "Previously, we could work only on smaller aircraft. I'm excited about getting hands-on experience on the huge Boeing and exploring its instrumental parts. It will certainly help in our training."

nggwen@sph.com.sg


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