ITE, poly fees going up for new students

Students helping visitors attending the polytechnic’s open house play a cyber security game.
Students helping visitors attending the polytechnic’s open house play a cyber security game. PHOTO: ST FILE

Those entering next year will pay between 1.2% and about 8% more; govt aid available

Students entering the polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) next year will have to pay more than those currently there.

Tuition fees at these institutions have been raised by between 1.2 per cent and about 8 per cent.

The revised fees, which were posted on the schools' websites yesterday, apply only to the new batch of students joining them in the 2016 academic year.

The polytechnics' term starts in April, while some ITE courses start in January.

At the polytechnics, citizens will pay $2,600 next year, up from the current $2,500. Permanent residents will pay $200 more and foreigners, $700 more.

Earlier this year, the Government also provided a top-up of up to $500 to the Post-Secondary Education Account of all Singaporeans aged 17 to 20 to help families save for tertiary education.

For those entering ITE next year, citizens will pay $10 more for the Nitec and Higher Nitec courses, while permanent residents and foreigners will pay between $150 and $1,350 more.

A spokesman for the polytechnics and ITE said the fees are reviewed annually and "adjusted if necessary to meet the rising cost of quality education".

The adjustment "also takes into account the prevailing economic situation", she said, adding: "Where possible, it is preferable to have regular, but small, fee increases than a significant hike in any one year."

Tuition fees for polytechnics and the ITE have been going up in the last few years, but the spokesman stressed that the Government continues to subsidise heavily the cost of education at these institutions, even after the fee increases.

For instance, it extended bursaries to families with a per capita monthly household income of $1,900 last year, up from $1,700, allowing more students from lower and middle-income households to benefit.

Earlier this year, the Government also provided a top-up of up to $500 to the Post-Secondary Education Account of all Singaporeans aged 17 to 20 to help families save for tertiary education.

The spokesman also said that students can apply for a wide range of financial aid through bursaries, scholarships, loans and work-study schemes to cover their tuition fees.

Ms Ho Sheng Yue, who hopes to enter Temasek Polytechnic's leisure and events management course next year, intends to apply for financial aid.

"It's OK for tuition fees to increase, but it must maintain at an affordable amount," said the 17-year-old, whose father is a taxi driver and mother works as a canteen helper.

"But I do think that with help from the polytechnics or the Government, it will definitely not be a concern anymore."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 09, 2015, with the headline 'ITE, poly fees going up for new students'. Print Edition | Subscribe