How many international students in polytechnics and universities have not fulfilled their scholarship bonds each year

Published Date: 15 August 2016 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Png Eng Huat, Hougang

Question

To ask the Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) (a) from 2010 to 2015, how many international students in polytechnics and universities have not fulfilled their scholarship bonds each year; (b) when did the Ministry put in place additional measures to track these students; and (c) what improvements in default rates have there been since the Ministry enhanced its efforts to track scholarship recipients.

Response

There are no MOE scholarships given to international students in the polytechnics.

MOE takes a serious view towards the fulfilment of bond obligations by scholars. Over the past few years, MOE has progressively stepped up our enforcement measures to track and ensure that these scholars fulfil their bond obligations. For example, we have enhanced our data interfaces with partner agencies such as MOM and ICA from 2014, to better allow us to ascertain the employment status of our scholars.

The proportion of defaulters is about 1%. We are also in the process of contacting another 4% to determine their bond service status. The rest – 95% – are serving their bonds, have applied for deferment, or are unable to serve their bond obligations due to reasons like illnesses.

While MOE works closely with the universities and other agencies to track the bond obligations of our international scholars, the default rate might fluctuate slightly due to a number of factors, including economic climate.

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