Students who enroll in polytechnics and Institutes of Technical Education (ITEs) will have to pay more as the tuition fee will raise in the next academic year.
This will be at least the sixth consecutive increase (beginning from 2013) for polytechnics. Singapore citizens will see the fee increased by S$100 to S$2,800 while Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) will see the increase by S$200 to S$5,600 and international students will see S$400 increase, which means full-year fees will hit S$10,000.
The five polytechnics schools include Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic.
ITE students enrolling next year in a Nitec course will see the fees go up by S$20, to S$370 a year for Singapore citizens; by S$300, to S$4,950 for PRs; and by S$900, to S$13,350 for international students.
However, there will be no change in fees for those enrolling in a Higher Nitec course in 2018 — fees for citizens, PRs, and international students, will remain at S$590, S$7,760 and S$20,360, respectively.
In polytechnics, the academic year commence in April. Meanwhile, the ITEs have two intakes: One in January, and another in April. Students will be informed of the increased fees prior to enrollment.
According to the Ministry of Education, tuition fees are reviewed annually and adjusted when necessary to defray the increased cost of quality education, saying, "Where possible, it is preferable to have regular but small fee increases than a significant hike in any one year."
It then noted that even after the increases, the Government continues to heavily subsidise about 85 percent of the cost of a polytechnic education and over 90 per cent of the cost of an ITE education for Singapore citizens.
A spokesperson for the polytechnics and ITEs stated that financial assistance would be available for needy students.
The spokesperson said that the polytechnics and ITEs adopt a cohort-based fee structure, which means that a student’s fees will remain constant throughout his/her time in school, adding, "This fee structure will provide greater certainty regarding tuition fees and help students to better plan the financing of their studies."
The spokesperson then said that the ITE and the polytechnics will continue to receive a substantial subsidy from the Government to cover the bulk of the costs.