Parliamentary Replies

February 21, 2014

International Students - Tuition Grant Defaulters

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Png Eng Huat, Hougang

Question

To ask the Minister for Education from 2010 to 2013 (a) what is the total amount of tuition grants given to international students in the polytechnics and publicly-funded universities who defaulted on their agreement to work in a Singapore-based company for three years upon graduation; and (b) what actions are taken to recover the tuition grants.

Response

International students who receive tuition grants are required to work in a Singapore-based company for three years upon graduation to supplement our labour force.

For those who graduated between 2010 and 2013, about 8 in 10 international students who received tuition grants in our polytechnics and autonomous universities had either started serving their tuition grant bonds promptly upon graduation and contribute immediately to Singapore’s economy, or have been granted approval by MOE to defer their service obligation to pursue further studies. This does not mean that the remaining international students are in default. Some did not start work immediately upon graduation as they have gone overseas for further study but did not seek deferment approval from MOE, some are in the midst of seeking deferment approval, and some are still seeking employment.

MOE has in place bond tracking and enforcement measures to track tuition grant recipients for bond fulfilment. MOE has been enhancing tracking efforts to facilitate more immediate and closer tracking of tuition grant recipients who had not yet started work upon graduation, or who have not sought formal approval for deferment. As the work is in progress, the final figures are not currently available.

Action will be taken against those who default on their service obligations by pursuing liquidated damages from these individuals. Where liquidated damages cannot be recovered, their status as bond defaulters will be taken into consideration should they subsequently apply to work or reside in Singapore.