44.4% of all post-secondary students are needy students, after the bursaries’ criteria was revised – last revision was in 2018?


“About 78,500 students to benefit from increase in tuition fee bursaries” (ST, Feb 3)

“About 78,500 post-secondary students will receive financial help to pursue their studies, as a result of government bursaries for tuition fees increasing and eligibility criteria widening to include more students, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Friday.

The move will take place from academic year (AY) 2023, with diploma and degree students from lower-income families receiving the highest increase in subsidies.

The annual Higher Education Community Bursary amount for full-time diploma students will be increased from $2,750 to $2,950, while the amount for undergraduates will go up from $6,200 to $6,300. The Higher Education Community Bursary provides financial assistance to students from lower-income groups.

Under the Higher Education Bursary, full-time diploma students will see an increase from $1,900 to $2,000, and undergraduates from $3,200 to $3,250.

The enhanced Higher Education Bursary amount for part-time diploma students will increase from $800 to $850, and for undergraduates, from $2,500 to $2,550.

The enhancements follow a revision in income eligibility criteria for MOE financial assistance schemes and increase in government bursaries for full-time Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students, announced in October 2022.

With the revised income criteria, about 78,500 students are expected to benefit from the enhanced bursaries, up from 74,000 now.

The income eligibility criteria were last revised in 2018.

Full-time diploma students from lower-income families can expect to benefit from bursaries valued at about 95 per cent of their subsidised fees, while full-time undergraduates who qualify for the highest bursary tier can expect bursaries valued at some 75 per cent of their subsidised fees, said MOE.

No changes will be made to bursaries for medicine and dentistry courses, which command significantly higher fees, but those who are eligible for the highest bursary tier, along with university aid, will need to pay only about $5,000 a year out of pocket, compared with $20,000 to $24,000 for those in the lowest bursary tier.”


As the total enrollment of all the post-secondary institutions was 176,803, in 2020 – does it mean that about 44.4% (78,500 divided by 176,803) were needy students?


Is this figure a lot, compared to other developed countries?

This figure seems to be even worse than the “1 in 3 NTU students struggling financially”?https://www.facebook.com/laoliang/posts/pfbid02WypySNyZrWFk2Ftm9Ycrw3FE19xbg1kyfkrmHpQiVBLSHxYi65bDYmxhytJTDAJAl



About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.