Singaporean graduates from autonomous universities and private universities in Singapore

Published Date: 06 January 2020 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Ang Wei Neng, Jurong GRC


To ask the Minister for Education (a) how many Singaporeans have obtained their first degree from the local public universities as opposed to private universities in Singapore in the past five years; and (b) what is the median starting pay of graduates, excluding medical and dental school graduates, from public and private universities in Singapore.


1. MOE has been monitoring the number of students in private education institutions (PEIs) offering external degree programmes closely. This is because unlike Autonomous Universities and publicly-funded degree courses, we do not have direct oversight of the institutions and their programmes. However, we do regulate them to ensure that systems and processes are in place to protect students' interest.

2. Over the years, we have tightened the regulations on these PEIs. One of the new requirements introduced two years ago was to conduct graduate employment surveys and make results public so students can make more informed choices. The latest survey results showed that the median starting salary for graduates of private universities is $2,650, compared to $3,500 for Autonomous Universities, and $2,501 for Polytechnic graduates who have completed their National Service.

3. Over the past five years, the number of Singaporeans who were admitted into PEIs undergoing full-time degree programmes have decreased from 8,200 to 6,100.

4. This is partly because of the tighter regulations and transparency in graduate outcomes. More importantly, between 2014 and 2018, the cohort participation rate was raised from 32% to close to 40%. The annual number of Singaporeans admitted into full-time undergraduate programmes in our AUs increased from 14,800 to 17,100 over the same period, even while cohort sizes have fallen.

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