MOE spent S$130 million on foreign student scholarships & funding each year over past 5 years

This is 1 per cent of their annual budget of S$13 billion.

Matthias Ang | July 9, 02:07 pm


In the past five years, Singapore’s government spent about S$130 million per year on international students studying in local schools and autonomous universities.

This, said Education Minister Ong Ye Kung in a Parliamentary written answer, represents about one per cent of MOE’s annual budget of S$13 billion.

Ong was responding to a question filed by Workers’ Party non-constituency MP Leon Perera, who enquired about total government spending on scholarships and other forms of financial aid given to foreign students over the past five years.

International students receive less funding than local students

Ong said that in general, international students received less funding than local students, as most of MOE’s spending is for supporting the education of Singaporeans.

As an example, Ong highlighted that government-funded financial assistance at local schools, and government-funded bursaries at post-secondary education institutions are for the benefit of Singapore citizens.

Scholarships given out to international students

Ong added that “a small number” of scholarships are given out to international students in schools and autonomous universities, whose academic performances are closely monitored each semester.

Should their performance prove to be unsatisfactory, these scholarships are withdrawn.

Additionally, international students on scholarship at autonomous universities are also obliged to work in a Singapore entity for up to six years after their graduation.

In such cases, Ong further added, these students may eventually apply for and receive Permanent Residency, while others also choose to take up citizenship.

Providing support to international students is the norm

Ong also noted that providing support to foreign students is a practice in every nation’s education system.

“Every education system in the world will provide some support to international students, and Singaporeans are also benefiting from foreign sponsorships for their studies. This is the norm amongst the international network of education systems.”

Top image from Ong Ye Kung’s Facebook page.

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