Parliamentary Replies

January 20, 2014

International Students Receiving Tuition Grant

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Png Eng Huat, Hougang


To ask the Minister for Education in each of the years from 2010 to date (a) what is the number and percentage of international students who receive tuition grants in the 13 approved institutions, grouped by polytechnics, universities, and others; (b) what is the total tuition grant given to international students; and (c) what is the number of international students who default on their agreement to work for Singapore-based companies for three years upon their graduation.


The number of international students who receive tuition grant in each of the matriculation cohorts has decreased over the last few years from 2010. Currently, international students who receive tuition grant in each matriculation cohort comprise about 6% or 1,700 in the polytechnics, down from 9% in 2010. In the publicly-funded universities, they make up 13% or 2,200, compared to 18% in 2010.

International students in our tertiary institutions pay higher fees than Singaporean students. The tuition grants for international students total about $210 million per year, which is less than 10% of the total annual subsidies to our tertiary institutions.

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. Most of the grant recipients have been working and are contributing to our economy, while some did not start work immediately as they had deferred their bonds to pursue further studies. Actions will be taken against those who default on their obligations.