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Part-time students in undergraduate and diploma courses to get more financial help from MOE

SINGAPORE — From the next academic year, part-time students enrolled in undergraduate and diploma courses at publicly funded institutions will receive more in financial aid from the Government’s bursary fund.

About 2,100 Singaporean part-time undergraduates and diploma students are expected to benefit from the bursary enhancements.

About 2,100 Singaporean part-time undergraduates and diploma students are expected to benefit from the bursary enhancements.

SINGAPORE — From the next academic year, part-time students enrolled in undergraduate and diploma courses at publicly funded institutions will receive more in financial aid from the Government’s bursary fund.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) on Tuesday (Dec 17) said that in a bid to strengthen support for students from lower-income families, it will be investing S$2.8 million next year to the bursary, up from the S$1.8 million this year. 

The bursary will also be renamed, from MOE Bursary to Higher Education Bursary, to better reflect its intended purpose.

ENHANCEMENTS

A key change to the bursary is the division of the lowest income eligibility tier into two.

Students from households where the gross monthly household income is equal to or lower than S$6,900 will be divided into two tiers — a lower tier and a mid tier. 

Students who are from households in the lower tier will receive up to S$1,150 more from the bursary.

Students who are from households in the lower tier will receive up to S$1,150 more from the bursary. Infographic: MOE

EASING FINANCIAL STRESS

About 2,100 Singaporean part-time undergraduates and diploma students are expected to benefit from the bursary enhancements. 

This year, 1,900 out of about 19,000 part-time students who were enrolled in post-secondary education institutions were awarded the bursary, MOE said.

Two recipients told TODAY that the bursary has helped lighten the load.

One of them was 46-year-old Tan Ling Ling, an administrative officer who is pursuing a diploma in business practice at Nanyang Polytechnic.

Ms Tan put on hold her plans to take up a full-time diploma course after her 14-year-old son was diagnosed with late-stage lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, in September 2017.

The mother of four said that her son’s medical bills took a toll on her family’s finances. 

“I wanted to pursue my studies but I also didn’t want to take the money away from my family just to pursue my studies,” she said.

A year after her son’s recovery, she took up a part-time diploma in Nanyang Polytechnic instead and applied for the bursary.

“Sometimes, after I pay my course fees and I have a bit of money left, I save it for the next semester,” she said.

Another part-time diploma student in the same course, Ms Shahira Harun, 42, said that even though the course fees are highly subsidised, there are still miscellaneous fees to pay.

The public relations officer in a construction company is the sole breadwinner and caregiver to her 85-year-old mother who suffered a stroke.

Ms Shahira, who is a single mother to two teenagers aged 15 and 16, said: “It’s a bit of a struggle now, but I know it will give me better job prospects once I have a diploma.”

“At least with the bursary money, I don’t have to worry so much about taking money out of my pocket for school.”  

Related topics

MOE bursary education diploma financial aid money low income

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