Tuition fees at polys, ITE and universities to go up

Potential Republic Polytechnic students attend the school's course counselling sessions. -- ST FILE PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN 
Potential Republic Polytechnic students attend the school's course counselling sessions. -- ST FILE PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN 

Hikes range from 0.5% to 8%; only new students are affected

Tuition fees at Singapore's government-funded universities, polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) have been raised for the 2014 academic year.

Unlike previous years, the fee hike will not affect all students at the polytechnics and ITE. Only those enrolling in the institutions this year have to pay 2.3 per cent to 4 per cent more in fees. Existing students are not affected under a new cohort-based fee structure to ensure that polytechnic and ITE students' tuition fees stay the same for their course of study.

Local students entering the polytechnics this year will pay $2,400 in tuition fees, up from the $2,300 their seniors paid. Permanent residents will pay $200 more, and foreign students $350 more, compared with last year.

At ITE, the fee hike affects only the incoming Higher Nitec students, who will have to pay about 2 per cent to 2.5 per cent more, with local students paying $14 more. Course fees for Nitec programmes remain unchanged.

Tuition fees for male students who applied for places before national service will be pegged to their date of application.

The fixed-fee model introduced by the polytechnics and ITE is already in place at universities, with Singapore Management University (SMU) implementing it first in 2006.

Except for 2009, university fees have gone up almost yearly. The fee hikes this year for the universities are from 0.5 per cent to 8 per cent, similar to previous years.

At the National University of Singapore (NUS), most of its course fees have gone up by about 2.5 per cent to 5 per cent. But freshmen at its law and music faculties will pay 8 per cent, or about $800, more each year than their seniors.

An NUS spokesman said the institution has to continue attracting and retaining "top academic talents", while enhancing its teaching pedagogies and facilities.

Course fees at Nanyang Technological University have risen by $100 to $250 for most courses. But its medical course now costs $31,500 for local students, 5 per cent more than in the previous academic year.

At SMU, all new students will pay about 2 per cent more, with local students paying between $200 and $250 more.

Local students starting at the Singapore University of Technology and Design will pay $450 more, a rise of about 4 per cent from the previous year.

Fees at the Singapore Institute of Technology have gone up by 2 per cent to 7.3 per cent, with its culinary arts management course seeing the greatest increase, at $800, for local students.

The hike comes after enhancements to bursaries for polytechnic, ITE and university students were announced ear-lier.

Suleiman Mohamed Raffi, 18, who starts at Temasek Polytechnic next month, said the hike is unlikely to affect him as he intends to apply for financial aid. "I think they will cover the increase in school fees," he said.

Said a Ministry of Education spokesman: "The increased bursary quanta will more than cover the fee increases for polytechnic and ITE courses, as well as the general undergraduate courses."

leepearl@sph.com.sg

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