Breakdown of foreigners and permanent residents attending public schools in Singapore

Published Date: 19 January 2015 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Png Eng Huat, Hougang SMC


To ask the Minister for Education for each of the years from 2012 to 2014, what is the number and percentage of foreigners and permanent residents attending our public schools, broken down by primary school, secondary school, ITE, junior college and tertiary institution.


The vast majority of students across our publicly-funded schools and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) are Singaporeans.

Having international students (IS) benefits Singaporeans. First, the diversity of students from different backgrounds adds vibrancy to the campus, and enhances global awareness and cross-cultural skills that prepares Singaporean students for the global market place of the future, where such soft skills will matter. Second, by augmenting our labour force, we ease the shortage in our labour market and make it easier for companies to continue to invest in Singapore to create good jobs for Singaporeans. Third, the reservoir of goodwill, friendship and trust generated among those who study here enable Singaporeans to form strong ties with them and expand opportunities for Singaporeans in the future.

Out of the total enrolment in our national schools (Primary Schools, Secondary Schools and Junior Colleges), around 9% are PRs and another 5% are IS.

At the tertiary level, in each year, IS make up around 1% of the Institute of Technical Education’s (ITE) intake, around 10% of the Polytechnics’ intake, and around 15% of the Autonomous Universities’ (AUs) intake. PRs make up another 3-5% of the cohort.

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