Parliamentary Replies

July 08, 2019

Scholarships and other forms of financial aid given to foreign students

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Leon Perera, Non-Constituency Member of Parliament

Question

To ask the Minister for Education in each of the past five years, what is the total Government spending on scholarships and other forms of financial aid given to foreign students studying in Singapore schools and universities.

Response

1. In general, international students receive less funding than local students, and most of MOE's spending goes to supporting the education of Singapore Citizens. Government-funded financial assistance at our schools and government-funded bursaries at our post-secondary education institutions are for Singapore Citizens only.

2. The Government does give out a small number of scholarships for international students in our schools and Autonomous Universities. The total Government spending for this group of international students comes up to around $130 million a year, which is 1% of MOE’s annual budget of $13 billion. For those international students on scholarships, their academic performance is closely monitored every semester, and the scholarship would be withdrawn if the scholar’s performance is not satisfactory. Additionally, international students on scholarships at the Autonomous Universities are also obliged to work in a Singapore entity for up to six years after graduation. Some of these international students eventually apply for and are granted Permanent Residency, and some may also take up citizenship.

3. Every education system in the world will provide some support to international students, and Singaporeans are also benefitting from foreign sponsorships for their studies. This is the norm amongst the international network of education systems.