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You will be directed to the website of the institution / community-based organisation that is conducting that course. Do note that:
Successful course registration is not a guarantee of a place in the course. Please read the registration instructions carefully or contact the learning provider to confirm. While registration for some courses may be on a first-come-first serve basis, other institutions / organisations may want to review the background of all applicants before offering places to successful candidates.
Course Pre-requisites: Some courses may have pre-requisites, for instance, they may need you to know how to use basic computing software. These would be stated in the course description.
Additional course fees: Some courses may require students to pay an additional fee on top of the course fees. Such fees could be for the purchase of materials or field trips. Prospective students are advised to clarify such fees with the institutions / organisations before registering for the courses.
What is the National Silver Academy (NSA)?
It is a network of post-secondary education institutions (PSEIs) and community-based organisations offering a wide range of learning opportunities to seniors.
How many course providers are there under the NSA and who are they?
As at March 2018, there are 38 NSA course providers and they are:
Post-Secondary Education Institutions (PSEIs)
Institute of Technical Education (ITE)
LASALLE College of the Arts
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA)
Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP)
Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
National University of Singapore (NUS)
Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP)
Republic Polytechnic (RP)
Singapore Management University (SMU)
Singapore Polytechnic (SP)
Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)
Temasek Polytechnic (TP)
Alzheimer’s Disease Association
Centre For Seniors
En Community Services Society (ECSS)
Kampung Senang Charity and Education Foundation
National University of Singapore Society (NUSS)
Primary Care Academy
Singapore Association for Continuing Education (SACE)
Singapore Institute of Directors (SID)
Society for WINGS (WINGS)
Sustainable Living Lab
The Photographic Society of Singapore (PSS)
Institute for Financial Literacy
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital
Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC)
Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH)
What are the types of courses offered under the NSA?
The NSA offers three main types of programmes for seniors (defined as those aged 50 and above):
Short courses in areas which are both life-skills and work-skills oriented;
Exam-free modules that are drawn from existing full-qualification programmes such as certificate / diploma / degree programmes offered by ITE, the polytechnics, Autonomous Universities (AUs) and UniSIM that seniors can pursue without having to undertake course assessments. Seniors can attend selected modules alongside other students who take these modules for credit (i.e. with assessments); and
Ad-hoc learning opportunities such as the Intergenerational Learning Programme which pairs students with senior learners to learn about various topics and helps promote inter-generational bonding. Other programmes include short talks offered by community-based organisations which are targeted at seniors.
What subject areas do these courses cover?
The three types of programmes cover a wide range of topics such as Health & Wellness, Humanities, Media, Arts & Design, Ageing & Life Skills, Information Technology & Science, and Finance & Business.
The NSA courses were selected based on the relevance and interest to the seniors. The courses can be work-skills-oriented or life-skills-focused. The various categories are as follows:
Health & Wellness
This includes topics such as healthy ageing, counselling, self-management.
This includes subjects like sociology, psychology and philosophy, amongst others.
Media, Arts & Design
Examples include digital imaging, ceramic art and fashion design.
Ageing & Life Skills
This includes topics which seniors might find useful to know for their everyday life or planning of their later years. Examples include interior design, plumbing, electrical maintenance, and appreciation of the ageing process.
IT & Science
This includes technology-related courses such as using social media, smart phones, programming, database management and security technology.
Finance & Business
Topics covered include those which enable seniors to start, manage or work towards supporting a business set up or function; examples include finance, organisational psychology, human resource, crisis communication and writing for the professional setting.
Are the courses meant only for seniors?
Some short courses are open to the public even as some are specially tailored for seniors.
Who is eligible to apply for courses under the NSA?
For short courses, anyone aged 50 and above can sign up for them.
For exam-free modules, only Singaporean seniors can apply.
For ad-hoc learning opportunities, kindly refer to the specific courses for the eligibility criteria.
Are there subsidies and if so, how much?
Singaporeans will receive a subsidy of 50% off course fee (capped at $500 per course) excluding GST which would be fully borne by the senior.
For instance, if the full course fee for a short course is $400 and the course subsidy is 50%, the net fee payable by the senior post-subsidy is: ($400 x 50%) [Course Fee Balance] + ($400 x 7%) [7% GST] = $228
Exam-free Modules Drawn from Full Qualification Programmes:
Only Singaporean seniors are eligible to sign up for these modules and they will pay a token fee which to partially cover the administrative cost. As the token fee is deliberately kept affordable, there are no further subsidies for these modules.
Ad-hoc Learning Opportunities:
The short talks and Intergenerational Learning Programme are typically free, but registrants are encouraged to confirm this with the course provider.
Who are eligible for the subsidies?
Short Courses run by PSEIs: Only Singaporean seniors.
Short courses run by the community-based organisations: Singaporean and PR seniors.
Applicants should check with the respective course providers to find out whether one qualifies for the subsidies.
Are there any minimum entry requirements for NSA courses?
The minimum entry requirements can vary across courses and course providers. Such requirements can range from having a basic level of proficiency in English to having basic technical knowledge in a specific topic. Applicants are advised to read the course details or check with the respective course providers for the exact requirements.
How can I register for a course?
A full list of courses is available at www.nsa.org.sg. For more details on the course registration process, applicants are advised to read the course details or check with the course providers. Click here to find out more about registering for courses.
Is there a limit to how many courses I can register for?
There is no limit to the total number of short courses one can register for under the NSA. However, a senior is eligible to receive subsidies for no more than three short courses per institution per calendar year. This helps to ensure a more even distribution of opportunities for seniors to receive subsidies to participate in courses under the NSA.
Exam-free Modules Drawn from Full Qualification Programmes:
There is no cap on the number of such modules each Singaporean senior can enrol for. These modules are open to seniors’ participation without having to undertake course assessments.
Ad-hoc Learning Opportunities:
There is no cap on the number of ad-hoc learning opportunities one can enrol for.
Will I be eligible for a refund if I cancel my registration after having secured a place?
Different course providers have different cancellation and refund policies. Applicants are advised to approach the course providers for more details on these policies at the point of registration.
What happens if the course provider cancels a course after I have registered for it?
Applicants are advised to approach the course providers for more details on these policies at the point of registration.
Where and when are the courses conducted?
They are typically conducted at the premises of the course provider. However, some courses may also be offered at community venues. Course timings vary. Please check the course details at www.nsa.org.sg for specific information on the course.
How can I pay for my course?
Applicants may contact the respective course providers to enquire about the mode of payment. Some of them accept online payment while others may require payment in the form of cash or cheque.
Can SkillsFuture Credit be used to offset the course fees including the GST?
SkillsFuture Credit can be used on top of existing government course subsidies to pay for approved skills-related courses under the NSA. SkillsFuture Credit can be used to cover both the course fees payable and GST imposed on the course fees.
If I am enrolled in a module that does not require me to undertake course assessments, can I switch to credit mode (i.e. take the assessment) midway through the course?
Applicants are advised to approach the respective course provider for more information on whether the option to switch to credit mode is available.
When can I start applying for courses under the NSA?
Registration for selected NSA courses will start from 4 May 2016.
When will the NSA courses start?
The NSA courses will start from 1 June 2016.
Are the courses only in English?
Selected courses will be offered in different languages other than English.
What does it mean to participate in a module without having to undertake assessments? What should I expect?
Seniors can expect to participate in tutorials, seminars and/or lectures and have access to course materials alongside other students who are pursuing the course as part of their full qualification programme.
Depending on the nature of the course, seniors may also be involved in classroom discussions, or selected group projects. Seniors will be exempt from formal assessments and will not receive any certification for having taken the module.
I have further questions about the NSA, who can I contact?
For more assistance, you can email the Council for Third Age, C3A at: email@example.com or call the NSA hotline: 6478 5029.
The hotline is open from Monday to Friday (except public holidays), 9am - 5pm.
Alternatively, you may contact the respective course providers for more information on the registration process and course availability of the course of your choice.
I need help with registering for the courses and claiming SkillsFuture Credit, who can I approach?
For course registration, you may contact the course providers directly. For the claiming of SkillsFuture Credit, you may contact the SkillsFuture Credit hotline at: 6883 5885 or go to the website at: www.skillsfuture.sg/credit.
FAQ is updated as at 29 September 2016.