SINGAPORE: Out of about 46,500 students enrolled in international schools as of January, 36,900 (79 per cent) were foreigners, said Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling in Parliament on Monday (Apr 4).
Responding to a question by Member of Parliament Gan Thiam Poh (Ang Mo Kio GRC), Ms Low said the remainder of international school students comprised permanent residents (16 per cent) and Singapore citizens (5 per cent).
The schools, which cater primarily to the children of international executives based in Singapore, form an important part of the infrastructure necessary for Singapore to remain an attractive operating base and investment destination for international companies, Ms Low added.
According to the Parliamentary Secretary, the Economic Development Board annually reviews the current and projected demand for international school places to ensure there are sufficient school places to meet the needs of international families.
With regard to the role of the private education industry in Singapore's economic growth, Ms Low pointed out that the sector was diverse, varying in quality in courses and providers, and was subject to market forces.
International Enterprise Singapore has facilitated the efforts of some private education companies keen on internationalisation, such as Crestar and EtonHouse, she said.