Higher fees for foreign students a norm abroad

Contrary to Ms Jolene Tan Siyu's opinion that there is no functional reason for increasing school fees for foreigners and permanent residents (PRs) ("School fee hike may have divisive implications"; last Saturday), I stand by the Ministry of Education's (MOE) point that it is meant to "further differentiate fees by citizenship" ("Fee hike for international students and PRs attending local schools"; Oct 1).

When Singaporean students study overseas, they are regarded as foreigners, usually paying more than the country's citizens.

Likewise, here in Singapore, Singaporean students should be entitled to highly subsidised fees.

The move is not about making life harder and more expensive for PRs and foreigners here. When one moves abroad and experiences a whole new culture, there must be a price to pay. Are we going to say that other countries, such as the United States and Britain, are out to make life harder for international students too, by demanding high school fees?

Access to education will not be affected. Everyone here receives compulsory education up to Primary 6.

There are top-notch services and facilities here provided by the MOE. The right of children to study has not been denied, as there are schools in all regions of Singapore.

Jong Ching Yee (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2015, with the headline 'Higher fees for foreign students a norm abroad'. Print Edition | Subscribe