SINGAPORE: Students enrolled in part-time undergraduate and diploma courses subsidised by the Government will receive more financial help starting from the next academic year.
An additional income tier will be added to the MOE Bursary, which provides financial assistance to Singaporean students from lower-income families. The bursary’s annual quanta will also be increased to help students defray school costs, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced on Tuesday (Dec 17).
Currently, students qualify for the bursary under two income tiers – those with a gross household income of up to S$6,900 a month, or a per capita income of S$1,725; and those with a gross household income of S$6,901 to S$9,000, or a per capita income of S$1,726 to S$2,250.
A new gross household income tier of up to S$4,000 or per capita income of up to S$1,000 will be added.
This means that there will be three income tiers, with students from the lowest income tier receiving the highest bursary quanta.
Part-time undergraduate students who qualify for the highest bursary tier will receive S$2,500 per year, up from the previous S$1,350. Part-time diploma students who qualify for the same tier will receive S$800, up from S$600.
About 2,100 Singaporean part-time students are expected to benefit from the enhanced bursary.
“This is part of MOE’s efforts to enhance the affordability of higher education for part-time students studying at publicly-funded post-secondary education institutions,” said the ministry.
These institutions include the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore University of Social Sciences, polytechnics and the National Institute of Early Childhood Development.
Additionally, the bursary will be renamed the Higher Education Bursary to “better reflect its intended purpose”, MOE said.
The Government will invest an estimated S$2.8 million in the part-time bursaries a year, an increase from the current S$1.8 million.
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The enhancements, along with those for full-time students, were announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at this year’s National Day Rally.
Bursary enhancements for full-time students were announced in August, with about 55,000 students set to benefit.