All six autonomous universities will freeze tuition fee hikes for Singaporeans enrolled in government-subsidised undergraduate and postgraduate programmes for the academic year 2020, even as the coronavirus situation develops.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) and tertiary institutes said yesterday that as key national institutions with a public mission, the institutions are committed to ensuring the affordability of higher education for Singaporeans, especially during challenging times.
They said the move is in line with the one-year deferment of government fee increases announced under the Resilience Budget, delivered by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat last month to help the population cope with the economic downturn during the coronavirus outbreak.
The six universities - the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore Institute of Technology and the Singapore University of Social Sciences - will also step up efforts to reach out to students in financial need.
This will take place through a combination of government assistance and financial aid provided by the universities, they said.
Under the fee hike freeze, Singaporean undergraduates who enrolled in academic year 2019 or earlier will continue to pay what they paid during the 2019 academic year for the remaining duration of their course.
New Singaporean undergraduate students starting university in academic year 2020 will also pay the same fees as those who enrolled in academic year 2019, and this will likewise apply to the whole period of their undergraduate studies in university.
This also applies to current and new postgraduate students, but the deferment in fee hikes will apply for only one academic year.
The MOE and the six universities will review their fee schedules again before the start of the next academic year.
Foreigners and permanent residents are not covered by the fee hike deferment and will have to pay the expected increase in fees. More details will be released on the universities' websites by tomorrow.
Earlier, the Government said it has frozen all government fees and charges for the year, beginning in April and ending on March 31 next year. It has also suspended all loan repayment and interest charges for graduates who have taken government loans for university and polytechnic studies, starting from June and ending in May next year.