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'Some flexibility' for autonomous universities to admit more students amid COVID-19: Chan Chun Sing

'Some flexibility' for autonomous universities to admit more students amid COVID-19: Chan Chun Sing

NUS Business School graduates at their commencement ceremony. (File photo: TODAY)

SINGAPORE: Singapore's autonomous universities will be given "some flexibility" to admit more students this year in view of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, said Education Minister Chan Chun Sing on Monday (May 24). 

In a Facebook post, Mr Chan said he understands "the challenges that our students who wish to study in foreign universities are facing", with COVID-19 disrupting some of their plans.

"As in 2020, we will similarly give our local autonomous universities some flexibility to admit more students this year," he added.

The autonomous universities comprise Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore, Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Social Sciences, and Singapore University of Technology and Design.

The six universities "will continue to uphold admission standards, and ensure a high quality of education", said the minister.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) "will continue to monitor the global COVID-19 situation" and work closely with the autonomous universities "to support our students", he added.

READ: NUS suspends exchange programme for inbound students after COVID-19 situation worsens

READ: COVID-19 vaccinations offered to staff members and students staying in university hostels

Applications for admission to the schools closed in March this year, followed by the option to appeal the outcome.

Last year, the application window was extended by two months from March to mid-May to accommodate fresh school-leavers who had planned to study overseas.

More enrolment places - around 2,000 offers - were also set aside in the academic year starting in 2020, according to MOE.

Responding to CNA queries, the Ministry of Education said it is working closely with all six autonomous universities to “size the appropriate number of places” by “monitoring applicant quality and student demand” in the ongoing admissions exercise for the 2021 academic year. 

“The allocation of additional places across the universities and courses will take into account relevant factors such as the quality of the applicant pool, areas or disciplines with strong student interest and employment prospects, and the AUs’ capacity to take in more students,” said a MOE spokesperson. 

Source: CNA/jt(ta)

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