Foreign students should be welcome in Singapore as part of the effort to make the Republic’s educational landscape a richer one, but “never at the expense of young Singaporeans”, said People’s Voice Party.
In a video posted on Sun (28 Jul) by founding chief Lim Tean on YouTube of a community visit made by “Shadow Cabinet Member” Cheang Kok Ming and a team of volunteers, it was pointed out that the Singapore government has set aside a whopping “S$130 million” in “scholarships for foreign students to go to university”.
An additional S$210 million has also been set aside for tuition grants for foreign students, according to Cheang.
“So all in all, the government is actually is spending about S$340 million a year to educate foreign students in Singapore’s educational institutions,” he stressed.
“Now in the polytechnic cohort, approximately five to 10 per cent of the students can get a place in the universities. The rest may not be able to enter the university.
“What is the government’s policy towards university education for Singapore students?” He questioned.
Cheang also highlighted the government’s move to downsize junior colleges in January last year from eight to four, which means fewer ‘A’-level students will graduate for admission to university.
“I know that some of the schools’ principals and even form teachers have advised their ‘O’ level students either in the Express class or in the Normal stream to opt for polytechnics instead of JC’s,” he said, adding that it would mean fewer “Singaporean boys and girls” will have a university degree.
“Then what should they do? Can they compete with foreign employees – foreign workers in Singapore who enter Singapore with all the qualifications they have?
“Is the government actively promoting university education for our students, or is the government actually trying to bring down the number of university graduates among our boys and girls?” Cheang questioned.
The Singapore government attracts international students to study in local schools and public universities by offering scholarships, as well as permanent residency or even citizenship.