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Covid-19: Singapore’s autonomous universities freeze tuition-fee increases for new academic year

SINGAPORE — All six autonomous universities here will freeze tuition-fee increases for Singaporeans enrolled in the new academic year from August.

Singapore's autonomous universities will step up outreach efforts to students in need who can tap government help and financial aid from the varsities.

Singapore's autonomous universities will step up outreach efforts to students in need who can tap government help and financial aid from the varsities.

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SINGAPORE — All six autonomous universities here will freeze tuition-fee increases for Singaporeans enrolled in the new academic year from August.

The universities will also step up outreach efforts to students in need who can tap government help and financial aid from the varsities, the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the six universities announced in a joint statement on Wednesday (April 1).

The freeze on fee increases does not apply to Singapore permanent residents and international students.

The move comes less than a week after Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat unveiled a S$48 billion stimulus package to help workers, businesses and households cope with the Covid-19 pandemic. 

MOE and the universities said that the freeze is in line with the one-year postponement of all government-fee increases announced by Mr Heng.

It will apply to undergraduates and postgraduates pursuing government-subsidised courses at the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS).

Undergraduates in full-time general courses at SIT and SUSS will not be covered because their tuition fees would already be cut from about S$8,000 to S$7,500 in the 2020 academic year, as announced in August last year after a review of tertiary-education fees and grants.

STUDENTS TO PAY SAME FEES AS 2019 INTAKE

The freeze means that Singaporean undergraduates in the coming intake will pay the same fees as last year’s intake for the duration of their course.

Undergraduates in the 2019 intake or earlier will continue to pay the same fees communicated to them during admission and for the remainder of their courses. This is in step with the cohort-based fee system that usually applies to undergraduate studies, MOE and the universities said. 

Separately, Singaporean postgraduates in the 2020 intake will pay the same fees as the 2019 intake in their first year of study. The universities and MOE will review the fee schedule for the remaining course duration for this intake, before the start of the 2021 academic year.

Postgraduate tuition fees follow a schedule set during the year of admission, with planned yearly increases for the remainder of the course.

The universities will release details of undergraduate and postgraduate course fees on their websites by Friday.

MOE and the universities said that as key national institutions with a public mission, Singapore's varsities are committed to ensuring the affordability of higher education for Singaporeans, especially during challenging times.

They added: “The autonomous universities and MOE will monitor the situation closely and support our Singaporean students during this challenging time.”

This story has been updated following clarifications from MOE.

Related topics

universities tuition fee Covid-19 coronavirus MOE

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