Institute of Technical Education: Asia Pacific Public-Private Partnership Deal of the Year

Member Spotlight

Every year, Project Finance International (PFI), along with other renowned financial publications, surveys ssuccessfully closed deals globally across various sectors. Amongst the closed deals, they select the best transactions that demonstrate attributes like the use of innovative financing techniques and ground-breaking and pathfinding transactions. Project Finance International is a leading source of global project financial intelligence, which reports on the entire life cycles of deals, from initial hearsay to analysis after completion.

That ITE College West PPP, a partnership between the Singapore government, ITE, and Gammon Capital, won the PFI Asia Pacific Awards 2008 PPP Deal of the Year is recognition that it is indeed a pathfinder project in Singapore's nascent PPP market. The ITE College West PPP is the first education project in Asia structured with an availability payment mechanism. It will provide technical education and training for 7,200 full-time students and 8,100 part-time students. The project involved consolidation of five current campuses into one mega campus. It requires a 27-year PPP contract, with full facilities management services to be provided upon construction completion in June 2010.

The ITE College West PPP was selected because it achieved a robust financial package that recognised the credit strength of ITE and the Singapore Government, thus offering greatest value for money to ITE. The project has also achieved the longest interest rate swap of 26.5 years in Singapore. The gearing level (ratio used to determine the percentage of a firm's capital that is financed by debt and long-term finance) of 90 percent achieved for this project is also unprecedented in the Singapore market.

The awards presentation and dinner were held on January 21, 2009, at the Hilton Parklane Hotel in London. Mr Bruce Poh, Director & CEO of ITE, received the Award on behalf of ITE.

One ITE System, Three Colleges. The New ITE College West is part of ITE's consolidation and expansion plan under the One ITE System, Three Colleges governance and education model. The model builds on the ITE brand name and identity under a One ITE System to deliver consistent standards, quality programmes, and successful graduates. Under this system, while ITE headquarters oversees system and policy changes and ensures standards under One ITE System, the institution's three colleges are empowered to develop niche areas of excellence that will enhance the attractiveness of ITE Education and responsiveness to industry and student needs.

To realise this model, ITE built and opened its first comprehensive regional campus with a capacity for more than 7,000 students - ITE College East - at Simei Avenue in January 2005. The other two colleges, which currently operate with five smaller campuses each, will be consolidated into two regional campuses. The new ITE College West is planned for completion in 2010, while the new ITE College Central is targeted for completion by 2012.

ITE College West is envisioned to be "An ITE College of Excellence for Service Quality," operating three key schools: School of Business and Services; School of Electronics and Info-Communications Technology; and School of Engineering.

The Institute of Technical Education (ITE) was established as a postsecondary institution in 1992, taking over the functions of the former Vocational and Industrial Training Board (VITB). ITE is a principal provider of technical education in Singapore, and the principal authority in developing national occupational skills certification and standards to enhance Singapore's workforce competitiveness, locally and globally. Through international collaboration, ITE seeks to deepen its linkages for learning, sharing, and exchange programmes with institutions in both the advanced and developing countries. It has established strong partnerships and MOUs with counterparts in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA.