Monday, December 27, 2010

Unfair study fees - prove me wrong

(Update 28/12)
Latest: Does anyone how many foreign students get the subsidy vs the local students?

The MOE website (click here) states that the subsidy is S$2,400 for both foreign and local students. But the initial entry school fee is different, ie local pays S$3,600 while a foreign student pays S$7,200.

In essence a local student has a significant lower school fee. This is a very encouraging perk being a Singaporean citizen. Well done, MOE. It killed the niggling doubt in my mind and put it to rest.

PS. Thanks to those who have responded. I am glad it was clarified. :)

(Update 27/12)
From a reader's response, the table is a portray of the types of category a student falls under. By default a student is categorised in one of Cat A, B, or C depending on his nationality.

Based on the type of scholarship, he is then required to pay the amount stipulated in the category he falls under, ie a Cat D local student pays S$1,200. The S$1,200 is NOT the subsidy amount but the actual fee.

Is my understanding correct? If it is so, then kudos to the MOE for giving the locals a substantial subsidy. Well done!

Can anyone clarify with a response?

I happened to chance upon a categorised table of school fees paid by Singaporean locals, PRs and locals for a well-established school. Unless someone can prove me wrong, I believe Singaporean locals are sorely disadvantaged.

I could hardly believe my eyes even though I always had niggling suspicions about how the school fees are heavily subsidised towards foreigners.

At a glance under the 'Per Annum' column, it seems like a Singaporean student pays only S$3,600 per year while a foreigner pays S$7,200 for the same year.

But don't rejoice too early thinking locals are heavily subsidised. Read again, I urge.

Just say a local falls under Category D. That means he effectively pays S$2,400 (S$3,600 - S$1,200 of subsidy award). There is only one kind of subsidy. From what I gather, a foreigner usually falls under Category E (which most of the students are categorised) and he pays S$2,400 (S$7,200 - S$4,800 of SMA subsidy award) too!

So what is the difference? Absolutely NOTHING! I think we have been hoodwinked thinking we are heavily subsidised. That goes for the students categorised under the MEP programme. It's still the same amount!

Another peeve is why are subsidies for locals (S$1,200) different from foreigners (S$4,800)? I do not know if this is called marginalisation but it sure fits the bill. Should not subsidies be based on performance and a student's result instead of nationalities? Why is there a distinction - are locals less deserving?

The school fees seemed twice the amount on paper but there is actually no difference in the net school fees paid. How can that be? I am bemused by the recent 'citizens come first' promised by the PM. Are these words easily forgotten or are they just airy-fairy words that are used to 'tickle our b*lls' to gain an election victory?

Someone had better give me an explanation because I am fuming mad.

Prove me wrong.


Anonymous said...

You are reading the chart wrong.

The local in category D pays $1,200 so his subsidy is $2,400

The foreigner is category E pays $4,800 , so his subsidy is $2,400

They get the same subsidy. Percentage-wise the Singaporean gets a bigger subsidy.

Kaffein said...

@Anon 2:32PM,
Ahh... I see what you are saying: Local students who are in Cat D pays only S$1,200 while a foreigner pays S$4,800.

Can anyone confirm it?


Anonymous said...

cat D to G are subsidies not fees paid.
maybe the reader ( 2.32pm ) can read more carefully.
table clearly shows no difference in fees paid by locals and foreigners.

Joyce said...

Anon 2.32 is right.

Take a look at this:

It states clearly that the subsidy for foreigners is $2400, the same amount as given to locals.

Wang said...

Both Joyce and Anon 2:32 are correct and the details refers to the school fees payable as the title of the information states.


Anonymous said...

Question is, how many LOCAL students are awarded the scholarship/award subsidy?? And how many FOREIGN students are awarded the scholarship/award subsidy?


Anonymous said...

excellent article. But I need more written