On Social Engineering in the local Universities

June 12, 2007 at 3:16 pm Leave a comment

June 12, 2007
LAB VERSUS NON-LAB COURSES

Single fee to develop science/technology talent

I REFER to Ms Clara Ethel Lim Li Rong’s letter, ‘Lower varsity fees for non-lab-based courses’ (ST, June 4).The single-fee policy for lab- and non-lab-based courses has been in place since 1997. The Government provides a higher amount of subsidy for lab-based courses, so that students do not face higher fees. This is aimed at avoiding a financial disincentive for students to pursue Engineering or Science courses.

The policy encourages students to take these courses, and helps ensure that we have an adequate pool of science and technology talent for an advanced, knowledge-based economy with a significant manufacturing sector. A single-fee policy between lab and non-lab courses is not uncommon among reputable universities abroad.

The Ministry of Education and the universities will continue to review the fee policy in future, so that it stays relevant to the needs of the economy.

Ms Lim also made a useful suggestion for NUS and NTU to adopt a lock-in tuition-fee scheme, similar to what is implemented by SMU. Both NUS and NTU are currently considering the introduction of a tuition-fee schedule from Academic Year 2008 aimed at giving students assurance of the cost of their education over the entire course of study, upon entry to the university.

Perry Lim
Director, Higher Education
Ministry of Education

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Entry filed under: college, education, Singapore.

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