I refer to the article “How much more the 2014-15 university intake will pay” (Today, Mar 21).
University fees up as much as 7.9%?
It states that “(university) Fee increases will range between 2.6 per cent and 7.9 per cent.”
Spending per university student?
According to the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) Education Digest 2013 – Government recurrent expenditure on education per university student in 2012/2013 was $20,978.
According to the Department of Statistics’ (DOS) Singapore 2005 Statistical Highlights – the above was $13,420 in 1985.
Spending declined by 7% last 27 years?
So, it has increased by about 56% or about 1.7% per annum, in the last 27 years or so. However, inflation increased by about 63% from 1985 (CPI 69.3) to 2012 (CPI 113.1).
Does this mean that in real terms, it declined by about 7% over the last 27 years or so?
Tuition fees increased 300%?
In contrast, I understand that tuition fees have increased by more than 300%, or more than 5% per annum, during the same period.
In this connection, GDP growth was about 457% from 1985 ($54.8 billion) to 2012 ($305.2 billion), or about 6.6% per annum.
Spending was 464% less than GDP growth?
Does this mean that relative to GDP growth, real education spending per university student was about 464% less than GDP growth?
In other words, GDP growth was 6.6% per annum and real education spending growth was about minus 0.25%, against tuition fee growth of about 5 plus % per annum.
In this connection, I understand that most countries historically, would spend more on education growth, relative to GDP growth.
Are there any countries in the world that has such a dismal record of education spending relative to GDP growth?
Leong Sze Hian