NUS should explain why it needs billion-dollar reserves

A sign at the National University of Singapore.
A sign at the National University of Singapore.PHOTO: ST FILE

The National University of Singapore's (NUS) reply to Mr Ivan Goh Sian Lung did not address the question Mr Goh raised in his letter (2019 academic year: No tuition fee hike for most NUS undergrad courses, Aug 17).

NUS focused only on the fact that most undergraduates experienced no increase in fees this year and that many schemes exist to help students.

I share Mr Goh's concern about the university's huge reserves which could have been used to address the increasing cost of tertiary education.

May I suggest that NUS channel some of its money to needy organisations or causes such as the financing of early intervention programmes for pre-schoolers with special needs?

The gold standard for non-profit organisations is to accumulate two years of reserves.

I share Mr Goh's concern about the university's huge reserves which could have been used to address the increasing cost of tertiary education.

Is there no limit to the amount of reserves that an institution like NUS should keep?

I strongly advocate a moratorium on NUS raising funds until the reserves are reduced to a specific level.

NUS owes the public an explanation as to why it needs to accumulate $9.5 billion in its reserves and the purpose for such huge reserves.

Tan Boon Huat

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2019, with the headline 'NUS should explain why it needs billion-dollar reserves'. Print Edition | Subscribe