The Fox predicts that the reply from the MOE to his early enquiry will look something like this:
Forum Topic: Reducing Tuition Grants for Foreign Students
1. I refer to the Straits Times Forum letter “Cut tuition grants to foreign students” (Edmund Lin Weixiong, 13/12, pH11).
2. Unlike Singapore citizens, foreign students pay 10% more tuition fees and are bonded to work in Singapore for 3 years after graduation in return for the tuition grant they receive. The tuition fee increase is necessary for our universities to recover costs. This is especially important as fees have not been increased since 2001 while universities' expenditures have risen annually.
3. Reducing tuition grants for foreign students is neither sufficient nor a good measure to "tide things over and avoid a fee hike" as suggested by Mr Edmund Lin Weixiong. Our universities will continue to attract and enrol foreign students from different countries and background. This will help enhance the vibrancy of the learning environment in our universities.
4. Local students can also benefit from the exchanges with these foreign students and establish a network of contacts. Having studied and worked in Singapore, foreign students may decide to continue to live in Singapore even after they have completed their bond.
Lim Chee Hwee
Director, Higher Education Division
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION