Free tuition for SUSS students from households with per capita income of $690 or less

SUSS president Cheong Hee Kiat said the initiative can help about 260 full-time students each year. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Financially disadvantaged local students from the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) will have their tuition fees fully covered from July 2023, the university announced on Friday.

Launched with a seed fund of $2.6 million, the grant will benefit around 260 Singaporean full-time undergraduates pursuing their bachelor's degree at SUSS, located in Clementi Road.

It applies to students whose household monthly per capita income is no more than $690 and who live in a four-room housing board flat or smaller.

To qualify for the grant, the applicant's family cannot own any private property, said SUSS in a statement.

Each award covers a maximum of four academic years. Recipients remain eligible for scholarships, bursaries and grants from other donors and the Government.

The initiative will help financially needy students gain access to education in an autonomous university, said SUSS.

The grant is part of the SUSS Education Access Initiative and is funded by the Quantedge Foundation Singapore, a registered charity focused on supporting children and the youth from low-income backgrounds.

SUSS president Cheong Hee Kiat said the initiative can help about 260 full-time students each year. The university is home to some 17,000 students, of whom around 4,000 study full-time, he said in his speech.

Many full-time students take on part-time jobs to shoulder the financial burden of their tuition fees, said Prof Cheong. Some are sole breadwinners for their families, while others come from households with disruptions to income due to illness or retrenchment.

Prof Cheong encouraged other donors to contribute to the initiative, which supports needy students in their tuition fees, living expenses and learning opportunities.

He said: "To every student in need, financial aid is a hope, an encouragement, an expression of care, and a sharing of the burden. And completion of their studies provides hope for a better future for themselves and their families."

Quantedge Foundation Singapore CEO Xie Yao Quan said the fund marks an important milestone in its effort to work with universities to guarantee full grants for students with financial needs.

It has similar initiatives with other universities here as part of its mission to enhance social mobility in Singapore.

President Halimah Yacob, who attended the launch ceremony on Friday, said on Facebook: "Such partnerships illustrate how corporate organisations can take the lead in giving back to the community. I encourage Quantedge Foundation to continue its good work."

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