Ensure tertiary education remains affordable

Minister for Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam holds a dialogue with tertiary students from NTU and mingling with students at reception following the dialogue.
Minister for Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam holds a dialogue with tertiary students from NTU and mingling with students at reception following the dialogue. PHOTO: ST FILE

Obtaining a degree or diploma from universities and polytechnics respectively in Singapore should remain affordable ("Getting a degree in Singapore set to become costlier: Study"; last Monday).

More can be done in terms of assisting students who have difficulty paying their tuition fees.

Singaporean students should get priority over foreign students when applying for scholarships, bursaries and subsidies for further education.

The Government should work closely with the local educational institutes to find ways to provide better assistance to students, in terms of joint scholarship ventures or financial schemes.

Another option is to increase the top-ups in the Post-Secondary Education Account to help relieve some of the financial burden on students and their families.

It is important for the Government to provide help for students who wish to pursue their passion and interests in their chosen field of study.

The rising university fees are inevitable, but more local undergraduates should benefit from scholarships and bursary programmes.

This will in turn motivate local students to contribute their skills and innovations to their field of interest upon their graduation, which will help build a more vibrant and robust society.

Darren Chan Keng Leong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 30, 2016, with the headline 'Ensure tertiary education remains affordable'. Print Edition | Subscribe