Parliamentary Replies

November 21, 2011

International Students and Permanent Residents in Local Universities

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Gan Thiam Poh, MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC


To ask the Minister for Education:

  • if he will provide the number of foreigners who have been enrolled in our universities in the last ten years to date and the breakdown by PRs and international students; and
  • of these, how many have been self-funded and how many have received scholarships.

Number of IS in AUs

For the past ten years, the Ministry of Education has capped the number of International Student (IS) at 20% of the total intake, while Permanent Residents (PRs) form only a small proportion. For example, in AY2011, IS comprised 18% while PRs were 4% of undergraduate intake. The vast majority of university places have gone to Singaporeans.

Number of IS who are self-funded and on scholarships

Almost all PRs and IS are in receipt of MOE’s Tuition Grant (TG) scheme, which provides for a lower tuition fee in return for a service obligation to work in Singapore for 3 years after graduation. PRs and IS holding a tuition grant pay higher fees than Singaporeans - 25% and 70% higher respectively. These PR/IS complement Singaporeans in contributing to the local economy.

MOE also supports the efforts of the corporate sector to offer scholarships to quality IS who are admitted to our AUs. These are restricted to IS in Science and Engineering courses, which have been relatively less sought after by the Singaporean students. In addition, IS from the ASEAN countries are offered scholarships by MOE to promote mutual understanding and goodwill in the region. Currently, some 35% of IS are recipients of some form of scholarship.