16 Republic Polytechnic (RP) students, who received their acceptance letter to the institution of higher learning months prior, were devastated when they turned up for their first day at school yesterday and were told that their places at the polytechnic had been revoked.

RP later admitted that these students did not meet the grades cut off point required for admission and were sent acceptance letters due to administration errors.

One of these students, Miss Hou, told the Chinese daily that she received the acceptance letter two months ago, in February. Miss Hou had gone through the entire enrolment process, including medical check-ups, and had even received her RP student card more than one month ago.

However, her hopes and dreams of undertaking the Human Resource Management with Psychology course at the polytechnic in Woodlands came crashing down when she was summoned to the staff office on her first day of school and told that her place was revoked since her O-Level scores did not meet the course’s cut off point.

When contacted by reporters, RP’s registrar Shanmugasundar W said:

“We apologise to Ms Hou for the mistake we made in evaluating her application to Republic Polytechnic (RP), which resulted in her placement in the polytechnic being withdrawn on her first day of school.
RP has worked with Ms Hou to secure her a place in ITE. She has since matriculated into ITE College West’s Higher Nitec in Accounting course. We wish her all the best in her studies.”

Unfortunately, Ms Hou was not the only student affected by RP’s mistake. 15 other students from various other courses were subjected to the same shock of their places being revoked yesterday.

Shanmugasundar acknowledged that RP discovered “discrepancies in the submitted and actual examination / CCA grades of 15 other students during verification checks before the semester started”. He revealed that revoking their places was done out of “fairness to other unsuccessful applicants”.

The registrar added that 9 out of the 16 affected students have accepted alternative placements, with assistance from RP. The rest are either pending acceptance or planning to retake their O-Levels. The school has also reportedly refunded enrolment fees paid by the students.

Shanmugasundar promised that RP will “improve processes to ensure that similar errors would not recur” but declined to answer whether the mistake was made by staff or technological systems. He also declined to answer what measures the school will initiate to ensure that such errors would not re-occur.

Family members of the affected students have been understandably incensed by the incident. Parents and siblings of the affected students have revealed on social media that the affected students were inconsolable that they would not get to study at RP after they had been excited to start their journey at the school, having gone through the enrolment process and orientation:

Netizens also chimed in, angered at the “unkind and ungracious” manner RP chose to handle the matter, especially when young teenagers are the ones affected: