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HR & EDUCATION | Jason Oliver, Singapore
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Foreign students biggest losers as government puts citizens first

All Polytechnics in Singapore announced the fee for local students will rise by $50 this year whilst PR's will pay up to $800 more and foreigners up to $1070.

Singapore's Polytechnics have enacted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's policy platform that "government will, over time, sharpen the differentiation between SCs, Permanent Residents (PRs) and foreigners to reflect the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship."

Here are the details:

1. For the new academic year (AY) 2010, the polytechnics will increase their tuition fees for diploma courses by $50 for Singapore Citizen (SC) students, from $2,100 to $2,150 per year. Singapore Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Nanyang Polytechnic will also increase the fees for their existing Polytechnic-Foreign Specialised Institution (Poly-FSI) degree courses by 3 percent in AY2010. SC students pursuing Poly-FSI degree courses will pay fees ranging between $4,830 and $8,040 per year. The new tuition fees will be applied to new and existing students.

2. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in a speech delivered at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Students’ Union Ministerial Forum on 15 Sep 2009, said that the Government will, over time, sharpen the differentiation between SCs, Permanent Residents (PRs) and foreigners to reflect the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship.

3. To achieve a sharper differentiation by citizenship, fees for new PR students will increase by between $480 and $800, while those for new International Students (IS) will increase by between $480 and $1,070 from AY2010. Existing PRs and IS admitted prior to AY2010 will also pay higher fees, but computed using the existing fee framework.

4. Fees for PRs and IS remain competitive as compared to those charged by international and private schools to allow Singapore to continue to attract quality students and add diversity in the educational environment.

5. The polytechnics will ensure that there are sufficient financial assistance schemes in place so that no student admitted will be denied the opportunity of a tertiary education because of financial difficulties.

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