MOE’s Indian scholars arriving in SG in Dec-Jan; Ong says won’t save much if all foreign scholars are sent back

According to the Ministry of Education (MOE)’s website, Indian scholars from 2 scholarships administered through MOE will be arriving in Singapore this month and next month.

One of them is the A*STAR Youth Scholarship, which is tenable for 4 years leading to the award of the GCE ‘A’-Level or equivalent certificate, the website said.

This scholarship is for studies in selected Singapore schools from Secondary 3 to Pre-University 2. Application for the scholarship was opened from 24 Jun to 28 Jul this year. A selection test was conducted in Delhi in Sep followed by interviews in Oct. Scholarships have been awarded to individuals last month and they are expected to arrive in Singapore early this month Dec. The scholars would start their school at Secondary 3 next year.

The scholarship is specifically targeted at Indian nationals:

Benefits include:

Another scholarship listed on MOE website is the SIA Youth Scholarship. It is tenable for 2 years leading to the award of the GCE ‘A’-Level or equivalent certificate.

The scholarship is for 2 years of Pre-University studies in selected Singapore Junior Colleges. Application was also opened in the same period as in the A*STAR Youth Scholarship. Similarly, a selection test was conducted in Delhi in Sep followed by interviews in Oct. Scholarships have been awarded to individuals last month and they are expected to arrive in Singapore early next month Jan. The scholars would start their Pre-University 1 education in 2020.

This scholarship is also meant for Indian nationals and its benefits are the same as the previous scholarship:

In both scholarships, no bonds were mentioned.

Education Minister says won’t save much if all foreign scholars were sent back

With Singaporeans beginning to question the funding of scholarships for foreign students, NCMP Leon Perera asks the Education Minister about Govt’s spending on foreign students in Parliament on 5 Aug this year.

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung revealed that MOE spends about S$238 million a year on scholarships and tuition grants for foreign students studying here. He assured that foreign students are admitted into institutes of higher learning on more stringent requirements only after “all Singaporean students who meet the standards have been admitted”.

“No Singaporean is ever displaced from institutes of higher learning because of an international student,” he added.

Out of the S$238 million, S$108 million are spent on tuition grants. The rest of the S$130 million are on scholarships. NCMP Perera however, noted that the S$238 million amounts to about 1.8 per cent of the ministry’s annual budget of S$13 billion, a proportion that he opined “was on the high side”.

But Minister Ong then said MOE’s budget is “overwhelmingly spent on local students” in the form of government subsidies and financial aid, which are only for Singapore citizens. He added that the amount of government spending on scholarships and tuition grants for foreign students has also fallen by about 50 per cent over the past 10 years, in an attempt to brush off NCMP Perera’s concerns of utilizing nearly 2% of the education budget on foreign students.

In the exchange with NCMP Perera in Parliament, Minister Ong finally said that even if Singapore sends back all the foreign students on scholarships, it is not going to save much on the education budget because overhead costs such as buildings, laboratories, equipment and so forth will still be incurred. Those are of course sunk-in fixed asset costs the Minister was referring to.

 

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