Corporate Information

  • The National Institute of Education (NIE), Singapore, is Singapore’s national teacher education institute and we are proud to be an integral part of the nation’s education service.

    The Singapore education system has been referred to as being one of the most successful in the world. This is, in part, due to the sound educational policies and impactful research in shaping the curriculum and management practices for schools. More importantly, much of this success is owed to the passion and perseverance of the 30,000 committed teachers and education professionals contributing in our system.

    We are proud to be able to call this community our colleagues and to work alongside them to improve the quality of our education system. Thus, NIE is committed to our vision to be an institute of distinction and our mission to create a world-class institute renowned for its excellence in teacher education and educational research.

    We look forward to welcoming you to NIE, Singapore.

    Director, National Institute of Education, Singapore

    Professor Tan Oon Seng

  • Vision

    An Institute of Distinction.


    To Excel in Teacher Education and Educational Research.

    Core Values

    (a) Giving our Best Professionally
    (b) Being People-centred and Collegial
    (c) Upholding Integrity
    (d) Appreciating Diversity of Backgrounds and Strengths
    (e) Embracing Change

    NIE Moving Forward : Towards 2017

    The “NIE Moving Forward: Towards 2017” Strategic Roadmap charts the Institute’s broad strategic directions from 2014 to 2017. This roadmap is shaped like a ship to signify that “Education is a journey, not a destination.” It is upheld by three main pillars: (i) Knowledge Capital, (ii) Partnership, and (iii) Institutional Capacity Building and Corporate Professionalism. At the base of the ship lies a firm anchor encapsulating the core values of NIE. As NIE journeys forward, we will be firmly anchored in our core values, which will drive our corporate culture and help us to achieve our institutional goals.

    NIE-Strategic-RoadMap-A3-(14-Sep-2015)Click image for the PDF version

  • Structure of NIE

    The NIE is organised on a programme-driven matrix system with 12 Academic Groups.

    Academic Staff 

    There are approximately 354 academic staff members; 83% of NIE academic staff holds PhDs, 15% Master's degree holders and 2% Bachelor's degree holders or holders of professional qualifications (as at Aug 2016).

    Student Population

    NIE student enrolment for undergraduate, higher degrees and leadership programmes stands at 3,579 (as at Sep 2016)

    Teacher Education and Undergraduate Studies

    NIE programmes provide academic and professional development for students to become effective beginning teachers in schools. Our programmes include:

    Click here to learn more about Teacher Education and Undergraduate Studies at NIE

    Graduate Studies and Professional Learning

    In addition to offering programmes for beginning teachers in schools, NIE also caters to teachers who wish to enhance their competence and knowledge as they strive to meet the new and changing demands of their career through the following programmes:

    Click here to learn more about Graduate Studies and Professional Learning at NIE

    Office of Education Research

    The Office of Education Research (OER) was established in 2008 to lead efforts to spearhead programmes grounded in the principles of advancing research, development and innovation at NIE. OER provides the expertise, resources and support systems needed to produce high-quality education research that has impact on policy and practice. 

    It oversees the governance, monitoring, quality assurance and dissemination of education research in NIE.

    OER is also dedicated to serving faculty interests by providing grant opportunities for faculty members. It administers the Education Research Funding Programme (ERFP), a pool of research funds supported by the Ministry of Education (MOE), Singapore.

  • NIE Heritage: A Walk Down Memory Lane

    History of Teacher Education and NIE's Evolution and Progress

    Up to the beginning of the Second World War, the provision of teacher education in Singapore was on a small and ad hoc basis. It developed in spurts in response to short-term manpower needs.



    With the expansion in school enrolment at the end of the War, an unprecedented need for teachers was created. The training of teachers on a long-term and organised basis was imperative. This led to the establishment of the Teachers' Training College (TTC) in 1950, which conducted certificate courses in Education for non-graduates.

    A School of Education was established in the same year at the then University of Malaya (which later became the University of Singapore) to train graduates for teaching on a full-time basis. Those who completed this training were awarded a Diploma in Education.



    In December 1971, the School of Education was closed and TTC became the only institution responsible for teacher training. It entered into a new relationship with the University of Singapore, whereby besides certificate courses, it also prepared graduate students for both the professional Diploma in Education as well as postgraduate degrees in Education.


    On 1 April 1973, the Institute of Education (IE) was established from the TTC. Besides the 2-year full-time Certificate in Education programme for non-graduates, IE offered a 1-year full-time Diploma in Education programme for graduates. In addition, a part-time teaching cadetship scheme was launched. This teaching cadetship offered a 18-month Diploma in Education and a 3-year Certificate in Education. Students on this scheme juggled their time between teaching in schools and studying.




    In 1980, the teaching cadetship scheme was replaced by the full-time teacher-in-training scheme. IE moved from its Paterson Road grounds to its Bukit Timah Campus in 1981. The College of Physical Education (CPE) was set up in July 1984 at IE to train specialist teachers in physical education. It functioned as an autonomous college and conducted a 2-year Diploma in Physical Education programme for both graduates and non-graduates.



    In 1990, in preparation for the formation of the present NIE, the certificate and diploma programmes at IE and CPE were upgraded to diploma and postgraduate diploma levels for non-graduates and graduates respectively. Also for the first time, training of graduates to teach in primary schools was introduced through a 1-year Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Primary) (PGDE) programme.

    On 1 July 1991, both IE and CPE were merged to form NIE. NIE was also established as an institute of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) when it was reconstituted from the former Nanyang Technological Institute on the same day. As part of the University, new 4-year degree courses were offered to matriculated students. These courses, Bachelor of Arts with Diploma in Education and Bachelor of Science with Diploma in Education, imparted both knowledge and skills in Arts, Science or Physical Education to trainee teachers as well as pedagogy.

    NIE opened with the School of Arts, School of Science, School of Education, School of Physical Education and a Centre for Applied Research in Education (CARE). The 4-term academic year structure was first changed to the 3-term structure adopted by NTU. Then modularisation of the pre-service and full-time in-service programmes was initiated. At the same time, courses in the degree programme were validated by specialist advisors from British universities.

    In July 1992, the Teaching of Computing and the Teaching of Computer Applications were added for the PGDE programme and NIE started to offer postgraduate programmes leading to the award of Master's and PhD degrees.


    In 1993, a pilot "Programme for National Awareness" (PNA) was mounted. The Postgraduate Diploma of Teaching in Higher Education programme and a Mentoring scheme in the Diploma in Educational Administration (DEA) programme were also introduced. In the same year, the School of Physical Education was appointed to run the Singapore Olympic Academy, and also as a centre for conducting international certification of Health and Fitness courses for the American College of Sports Medicine. In 1994, NIE switched to the Academic Unit System comprising two semesters.

    The degree programme was modified to prepare secondary school teachers from July 1995. At the same time, 2 types of Honours courses were offered: the fifth-year honours and the twin track fourth-year honours. CARE was reorganised and renamed the NIE Centre for Educational Research (NIECER) and the Principals' Executive Centre was established.

    Several new courses were introduced in 1996 and early 1997: the Diploma in Home Economics and Diploma in Art Education courses, and the Master of Arts in Applied Psychology and Educational Management courses. In June 1997, PNA was replaced by a new, compulsory "Programme for National Education" for all trainee teachers.

    With rapid advances in the area of information technology (IT), NIE upgraded its computer network. NIE was also in the Ministry of Education's Information Technology Steering Committee and NIE staff were involved in other initiatives of the Ministry. NIE had also drawn up its own masterplan for the effective infusion and integration of IT into the institute's curricula. In the long run, NIE aims not only to offer courses that teach the integration of IT in the school curriculum subjects but also to conduct courses in an IT-integrated teaching and learning environment, and to undertake research to develop more effective IT incorporated teaching-learning models.


    In view of the emphasis on creativity and critical thinking skills, NIE hosted the 7th International Conference on Thinking in June 1997. In the same month, the Dean of School of Education visited the United Kingdom with a Ministry of Education study team to study British efforts to reform teacher education. Then in September 1997, Director, NIE and the Deans of the Schools visited Canada and USA to look at recent developments in teacher education and noted that NIE's major directions were consistent with those of major American and Canadian institutions. In some areas, NIE's programmes were more advanced.

    A Special Training Programme (Mother Tongue) to train 'O' level holders was introduced in July 1997. In December 1997, the degree programme was revised to offer separate tracks to prepare teachers for primary and secondary teaching with effect from Academic Year 1998/99.


    NIE regards the initial teacher training and in-service training as part of a continuum covering different stages of a teacher's career. There are formal programmes leading to advanced professional qualifications as well as a cluster of modules which allows teachers to work towards the award of an in-service diploma (e.g. Pastoral Care and Career Guidance, Learning Support Co-coordinators and Physics Teaching).

    From July 1998, NIE introduced two new courses: Supervisory and Curriculum Management Skills for Subject and Level Heads, and Mentoring and Developmental Supervision for Senior Teachers.

    In June 1998, the Singapore Centre for Teaching Thinking was established. The Centre aims to provide and support high quality teaching, research and consultancy services to schools and other educational institutions in Singapore and the region, on projects and research related to infusing the teaching of creative and critical thinking into content instruction.


    In January 1999, 3 new Master's degree programmes were introduced. They were the Master of Arts in Instructional Design and Technology, Master of Education in Mathematics Education and Master of Science in Exercise and Sports Studies. A new Diploma in Early Years Teaching programme was also launched. This programme is specifically designed to train teachers of nursery and kindergarten children to be competent as decision-makers with the responsibility for independently planning and implementing programmes of relevant activities in pre-school centres.

    A corporate review and planning process was instituted in NIE in 1999 to undertake a comprehensive study of its role in the provision of foundation training for trainee teachers and professional upgrading and continual training for serving teachers, and to adapt its overall corporate support system to create the necessary environment for it to deliver quality programmes, research and consultancy services to schools.


    From Academic Year 2000/2001, a revised organisational structure, based on a 'matrix' model, was adopted in NIE. The new structure is 'programme-driven'. Instead of being organised into faculties/schools along the lines of the traditional structure in other institutions of higher learning, NIE is organised according to the types of programmes it provides.

    The four major thrusts of NIE under the new structure are Initial Teacher Preparation Programmes, Graduate Programmes and Research, Academic Computing and Information Services and Corporate Planning and Development. Deans have been appointed to look after the Initial Teacher Preparation Programmes and Graduate Programmes and Research areas of responsibility. Academic Computing and Information Services and Corporate Planning and Development are headed by Divisional Directors. The teaching staff of NIE are organised into Academic Groups, each reflecting a major area of study which may be inter- or multi-disciplinary in scope, undertaken by the Institute. A Dean (Academic) has been appointed to assist the Director in overseeing the operations of these Academic Groups.


    NIE has developed a framework for continual education to facilitate and encourage professional upgrading at all levels within the teaching profession. This framework would guide NIE on the implementation of the various in-service programmes which will not only update and upgrade teachers in pedagogy and content but also provide them with the opportunity to gain higher educational qualifications through an accreditation system.

    A Brief History of the Old Bukit Timah Campus


    NIE was formally located in the posh district of Bukit Timah in central Singapore, about 20 km from the main NTU campus at Yunnan Gardens in Jurong. Bukit Timah Campus is the cradle of tertiary education in Singapore. It started out as Raffles College, a college of Arts and Science, in 1929.


    Before the battle for Singapore in February 1942, thousands of refugees from mainland Malaya were billeted in hastily constructed dormitories. When the British forces surrendered, the Japanese moved their headquarters from the Ford Works Factory here. It was used by the Japanese from 1942 to 1945. The British forces returned after the Japanese surrender and Raffles College was reopened in October 1946.

    In October 1949, Raffles College and King Edward VII College of Medicine merged to form the University of Malaya. When Malaya achieved its independence in August 1957, it was renamed as University of Malaya (Singapore Division) while its sister campus in the capital of Malaya was renamed as University of Malaya (Kuala Lumpur Division). In 1960, the Governments of Singapore and Malaya decided that the Singapore Division and Kuala Lumpur Division of University of Malaya should separate to form national universities in their respective countries.

    In January 1962, the University of Singapore was established. In August 1980, the campus became the joint campus for the National University of Singapore (NUS) following the merger of the University of Singapore and Nanyang University. NUS moved to Kent Ridge in 1981.

    IE moved into the campus in 1982.


    Yunnan Garden Campus

    In December 2000, NIE shifted into its new, state-of-the-art, S$400 million campus on the NTU grounds.

  • The Logo


    The dynamic lion's head with its flowing mane symbolises the waves of change, and a purposeful, forward movement in the direction of change and the future. The solid, stable blue background of the shield symbolises our awareness, at the same time, of heritage and tradition.

    The lion, besides being Singapore's national symbol, represents not only those qualities traditionally associated with this noble creature, but also our status as the national institute of education, while both the lion and the shield connect us symbolically with our parent university, the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

    The visually vibrant primary colours of blue, red and golden yellow reflect the red and gold of the NTU logo, connect the new with the blue and red of our old NIE logo and the red of our national flag.

    The three flowing waves of the lion's mane also represent the tripartite relationship that NIE has with the Ministry of Education (and thus also with the nation's schools) and the University in our shared pursuit of educational excellence for Singapore, which for us means achievement of distinction in teacher education in the three areas of teaching, learning and research.

    Learn more about our corporate identity.

  • A Teacher Education Model for the 21st Century (TE21)

    A Teacher Education Model for the 21st Century” is a strategic report published by NIE in October 2009.  In reviewing the fundamentals of what we teach, how we teach and how we assess, six key recommendations have been proposed, aimed at strengthening and enhancing the delivery of teacher education at NIE.  The “TE21” Report re-affirms NIE’s strategy for building a stronger teaching force by putting the 21st century learner at the heart of our teacher education goals.

    View Full Report here

    View Executive Summary here

    Corporate Reports & Publications

    NIE Moving Forward: Towards 2017

    The “NIE Moving Forward: Towards 2017” Strategic Roadmap charts the Institute’s broad strategic directions from 2014 to 2017. This roadmap is shaped like a ship to signify that “Education is a journey, not a destination.” It is upheld by three main pillars: (i) Knowledge Capital, (ii) Partnership, and (iii) Institutional Capacity Building and Corporate Professionalism. At the base of the ship lies a firm anchor encapsulating the core values of NIE. As NIE journeys forward, we will be firmly anchored in our core values, which will drive our corporate culture and help us to achieve our institutional goals.

    3:3:3 Roadmap

    The  “3:3:3 Roadmap” was the name given to NIE’s first five-year strategic plan (2007-2012).  “3:3:3” represented the 3 pillars articulating our aspirations; the 3 core strategies propelling us forward; and the 3 enablers fundamental to our future success.

    3:3:3 Roadmap (2007- 2012)

  • Group Endeavours in Service Learning (GESL)


    Group Endeavours in Service Learning (GESL) is a service-learning community outreach programme of NIE. Student teachers through their networking and support groups will perform the service-learning projects facilitated by an academic facilitator.

    The type of community projects undertaken will be decided by the GESL groups through their own decision-making process and resources. Each group will perform a needs analysis with an organisation or community to ascertain the scope of the project. Service and learning objectives will be determined before the group start on their project. Completed projects are showcased within the NIE campus, or through other communication channels.

    GESL is undertaken by all student teachers in NIE's initial teacher education programmes since 2005.

    NIE Director's Race

    logo-dirraceThe NIE Director's Race is an annual fund-raising charity run, started in 2006, that brings together the NIE community including staff, student teachers and partners to raise funds for an appointed charity organisation.

    The charity drive by NIE is indeed a win-win effort as it is an integral part of teacher education to inculcate values in helping the less fortunate whilst the funds raised will go a long way to bring some cheer to the needy.

    NIE has truly made a difference in the community!

    Year 2010: Beneficiary: Society for the Physically Disabled - Education Programme's Tuition Subsidy Fund
    Year 2008: Beneficiary: Singapore Children's Society
    Year 2007: Beneficiary: MINDS Jurong Gardens School
    Year 2006: Beneficiary: Singapore Heart Foundation

  • NIE TE21 is the outcome of the Programme Review and Enhancement (PRE) initiative which was launched in 2008. In September 2009, NIE published the final report on the review initiative entitled "A Teacher Education Model for the 21st Century (TE21).

    Please visit the Teacher Education 21 website for more information.

  • The NIE Council is the governing body of the Institute. Its responsibilities are to:

    • Set objectives and provide direction for the Institute;
    • Review, evaluate and approve current programmes and facilities provided by the Institute and to suggest future developments;
    • Assist in the liaison with outside bodies including organisations which have an interest in the Institute;
    • Approve operating and budgetary plans of the Institute; and
    • Appoint working committees or panels to assist the Council in charting out the directions of the Institute.

    The Council is chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and comprises distinguished members from the public and private sectors:

    Composition of the NIE Council (1 Jan 2018 to 31 Dec 2020)


    Ms Chan Lai Fung
    Permanent Secretary (Education)
    Ministry of Education

    Deputy Chairperson

    Ms Ho Peng
    Ministry of Education


    Prof Tan Oon Seng (Ex-Officio)
    National Institute of Education 

    Prof Tan Ooi Kiang
    Associate Provost (Undergraduate Education)
    Nanyang Technological University

    Prof Cheong Hee Kiat
    Office of the President
    Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)

    Ms Jacqueline Poh
    Chief Executive 
    Government Technology Agency of Singapore

    Mdm Rahayu Buang
    Chief Executive Officer
    Yayasan Mendaki

    Ms Liew Wei Li
    Deputy Director-General of Education (Schools)/
    Director, Schools
    Ministry of Education

    Mr Clarence Tang
    Divisional Director
    HR Solutions and Capabilities
    Ministry of Education

    Mrs Chua-Lim Yen Ching
    Deputy Director-General of Education (Professional Development) and Executive Director,Academy of Singapore Teachers
    Ministry of Education 

    Mr Lim Teck Yin
    Sport Singapore