The younger autonomous universities (AUs) receive twice as much funding in matching grants from the Government as their older counterparts, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim.
He told the House yesterday that the Government gives newer institutions, namely the Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore Institute of Technology and Singapore University of Social Sciences, a grant of three times the amount of donations they get.
This is on top of "sizeable seed monies to start up their endowment fund", he said.
Since 2010, the other three universities - the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University - have received a government grant of 11/2 times the amount they raise.
This is an increase from previous dollar-for-dollar matching grants, which the Government started in 1991 to encourage donations to tertiary education, said Dr Faishal.
He was responding to Nominated MP Walter Theseira, who asked if the larger endowment funds held by the more established universities result in differences in educational resources for students.
Associate Professor Theseira also asked if the Ministry of Education (MOE) would consider measures to help the newer institutions build their endowments to provide students and faculty with comparable resources, as well as ensure that differences in endowments do not affect the quality of education and research across the universities.
Dr Faishal said: "The sizes of endowment funds across the AUs differ today. They depend on the ability of AUs to raise donations, investment returns and, of course, how long the AU has been in existence."
Government funding continues to be the main source of funding for university education, he noted.
He added that Singaporean students receive a subsidy of around 75 per cent of costs, regardless of which autonomous university they are enrolled in.
There is also an array of funding initiatives from MOE and other government agencies that the universities can tap to support projects and research, he said.
"The Government will continue to support every AU - both financially and otherwise - to provide the best education experience for their students."
Correction note: This story has been edited for clarity