How much did we subsidise tertiary education?

In my article yesterday, the British universities are charging EU and their own citizens a flat fee of 3,290 pounds and international students at 21,400 pounds. In our case, we charge our citizens $7000 against $11,000 for international students. Two points to make from this comparison. The cost of education in British universities are much cheaper than ours as relatively their cost of living are higher. The second point is that they make international students pay 7 times what their citizens paid. This means that if the cost of education is double what their citizens are paying, guessing only, then each international students could be subsidizing 50% of the tuition fee of 5 UK/EU students. It is a case of looking after their citizens first. Let's take a look at the tuition cost and subsidies as published by the NUS website. For an Arts and Social Science course, the grant or subsidy is $19,000. This plus the $7,000 fee the students are paying will make up the full tuition cost, ie $26,000. And if we apply the same formula for the cost of education in the UK, the British are actually charging international students the full fees, with practically no subsidies. What about our international students. If the full cost is $26,000 and our international students are paying $11,000, then they should be receiving a subsidy of $15,000. According to the NUS website, the full fee for international students is $30,000 and they too get a $19,000 grant. I am not going to quibble why the full fee between citizen and non citizen has a $4,000 difference. But why do we need to offer international students a $19,000 grant? Could we charge international students a little more to subsidise our local students like what the British are doing? Of course we can't charge them the same 21,400 pounds or about $42,800 pa. We may also be world class but no foreigners will want to pay the same for a Singapore education if they could get a British one. Still we could raise it to maybe $15,000 or $20,000 if our education is really world class, and at a 50% discount to what the British universities are charging, it must still be a bargain. We could then charge our citizens much lesser, subsidised by international students instead of the govt subsidising international students to a tune of $19,000.


Anonymous said...

Why subsidize Singaporeans when the MM said most Singaporeans are middle class and above years ago.

To the Minister Mentor and his Cabinet Members most Singaporeans are rich.

Me thinks they see nothing in their ivory towers and know little about their citizens.


Anonymous said...

Singaporeans have been relegated to third class citizens long ago.

Foreigners are a class above, so they deserve more subsidies, not less, than Singaporeans. You must think like our Government!

Anonymous said...

The education system in Singapore has been hailed as one of the best in the world. The ST has often highlighted this and they claim that most Singaporean graduates are a cut above those from China and India. However, Singaporean graduates are too mollycoddled and always expect too much, hence they are often sidelined by those from PRC and India who are hungrier and leaner and would expect less from employers. Furthermore they are prepared to work harder. Even your MM said that Singaporeans need the spur in the hide, and I suppose that goes for the Singaporean graduates. Therefore I believe the subsidies given to the foreign students are money very very well spent. Singapore needs graduates from foreign countries because Singaporean graduates are too fussy and expect too much. More foreign students means better future for Singapore, right???

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

A foreign talent comes here to make his fortune and to return home rich. A Singaporean needs to foot the bills for all the material comforts he works for.

Take the case of a doctor. By the time he graduated his parents would have paid more than a million to be what he is. And he needs a reasonable place to stay and a place to practise. His home is going to cost him a couple of millions. His car, and the huge rental that he has to pay the landlord.

In his few years of practice, he needs double quick time to make his millions to pay his parents and the material comforts, and the landlords.

This example is applicable to other professions as well. The cost is too high and all this must be made in a short time. Now you may wonder why high cost of properties and rentals are good for you.

My article is more about why the British could bill their citizens so cheaply for a good education and we can't. The second part is about the cost computation of tuition fee which the people accept as reasonable and logical.

And why do we have such a big responsibility to give such a big grant to foreigners who don't contribute anything to the country? Their occupations here are duly rewarded on a willing buyer willing seller basis. No one needs to be grateful to the other.

Anonymous said...

Me would wish that our doctors will honour the Hippocratic Oath when they qualified to practice.

All doctors are said and expected to be life savers and if me may adds, their greatest contributions to fellow mankinds are to reduce pains and sufferings of the patients and their families.

Doctor, whose focus is to enrich oneself will not be able to fulfill the divine role ascribe and aspire by the Hippocratic Pledge.

Yes, there is needs for new medical practitioners to repay their loans to whoever and make comfortable livings.

However, that does not mean going about it with no qualm and conscience. Example; charging unreasonable fees, being haphazard and perfunctory in doing his/her duty. And the worst are those who sell drugs that are not needed by patients and drug addicts.


this shall applies to all other professions and vocations.