Higher fees for new poly and ITE students

This article is more than 12 months old

But MOE says no student will be denied an education due to financial difficulties

Tuition fees for students entering polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) next year will go up by between 3 per cent and 7 per cent.

The new fees, posted on the institutions' websites yesterday, apply only to newcomers in the 2018 academic year.

Tuition fees for polytechnics and ITE have been rising yearly in the past few years and, as with previous hikes, the increase will be bigger for permanent residents (PRs) and foreigners.

The Education Ministry told The Straits Times the Government continues to heavily subsidise polytechnic and ITE education for Singaporeans - at about 85 per cent and over 90 per cent respectively.

Its spokesman said the higher fees are "to allow the polytechnics and ITE to continue to deliver a high-quality education to Singaporeans".

Singaporeans entering the five polytechnics next year will pay an annual tuition fee of $2,800, a rise from the $2,700 their seniors paid.

The polytechnic fees for PRs and international students will climb to $5,600 and $10,000 respectively, up by $200 and $400.

Fees for full-time ITE Nitec courses will go up by $20 for Singaporeans, while PRs and foreign students will pay $300 and $900 more respectively.

Fees for the higher Nitec courses remain unchanged.

The ministry's spokesman said students who need help can approach the financial aid offices in the institutions.

She also said the ministry, with the institutions, "will ensure that financial assistance is available to students who need it, and that no deserving student is denied a polytechnic or ITE education due to financial difficulties".

Financial aid to help students defray their cost of living is also available, she added.

Government bursary amounts were raised this year. Polytechnic and ITE students can get up to $2,350 and $1,400 a year respectively, depending on household income.

Parents and students interviewed said the fees are still affordable despite the hike, although they hope for more financial aid.

Mr Yong Kian Fatt, 56, said: "It wouldn't have too much impact on my family. My wife and I are still working. The fees are heavily subsidised compared to what foreign students pay."

The manager in facility management, who has a son in Secondary 4, added: "I believe the Government and self-help groups will provide bursaries, especially for needy families."

Sec 4 student Charlotte Lee, 16, who wants to study marine science and aquaculture at Republic Polytechnic next year, said the rise is "rather okay".