Singapore university fees to go up by $50 for most courses; more scholarships, financial aid on offer

Tuition fees for the new intake of Singapore citizens will go up by $50 for the bulk of undergraduate programmes at NUS, NTU, SMU and SUSS.
Tuition fees for the new intake of Singapore citizens will go up by $50 for the bulk of undergraduate programmes at NUS, NTU, SMU and SUSS.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - All six local universities here will be raising their tuition fees for the new academic year, which begins in August.

Some of them also intend to bump up scholarships and financial aid.

Tuition fees for the new intake of Singapore citizens will go up by $50 a year - or about 0.4 per cent to 0.6 per cent - for the bulk of undergraduate programmes at four universities, according to the Ministry of Education (MOE).

These are the National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Management University (SMU) and Singapore University of Social Sciences.

At the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), fees for Singapore citizens will increase by $150, or 1 per cent, a year.

The Straits Times understands that the Singapore Institute of Technology will also raise its fees, and details will be released later.

Permanent residents and international students will have to pay $50 to $350 more a year for most undergraduate programmes. MOE said the percentage fee increases for them are similar to those for Singaporeans.

Tuition fees for most postgraduate programmes will rise by $50 to $500 - or 0.5 per cent to 5 per cent - for Singapore citizens.

The bigger fee hikes for NUS undergraduates are for medicine and dentistry programmes, and programmes at the Yale-NUS College and Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music.

Singapore citizens who study medicine and dentistry have to pay $28,400 in tuition fees a year, an increase of $1,000, or 3.6 per cent, from last year.

Those who enrol at Yale-NUS College and Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music will have to bear an increase of $500, a rise of between 2.6 per cent and 3.9 per cent.

These fee increases affect only the new intake. Earlier intakes will pay the same fees made known to them at the point of admission, said MOE.

Since 2010, university fees have largely gone up every year. The fee hikes for local undergraduates for previous years ranged from 0.6 per cent to 8 per cent.

University fees are determined by the universities, which are autonomous, in close consultation with the Education Ministry, the MOE spokesman said.

The universities review their fees each academic year, taking into account factors such as rising costs due to inflation and enhancements to the quality of teaching, said the ministry.

To help students financially, some of the universities said they have been increasing the number of scholarships and the amount of financial aid over the years.

A spokesman for SMU said its total financial aid available to needy students this new academic year will amount to nearly $6.2 million, up from $6 million last year.

Its freshman can apply for its 255 scholarships, compared with 200 last year. This means that on average, one in eight freshmen in the new intake stands a chance at a scholarship.

NUS senior deputy president and provost Ho Teck Hua said: "In the new academic year, NUS will offer an additional 200 bond-free scholarships to talented and deserving undergraduates, bringing the total number of NUS scholarships to 430 per year."

SUTD said it has enhanced the value and coverage of many of its scholarships "to account for the increase in tuition fees and to provide other benefits".

However, it was unable to provide figures on how much its support measures have been beefed up.