Singapore vs the UK: Why One of “Asian Tigers” Invests $200M a Year to Support its Education?

3 years ago



While the United States government is tightening the screws on student loan forgiveness, and the UK government is revising tuition fees, Singapore is doing completely the opposite! One of the Asian Dragons, maintaining high growth rates, Singapore chooses to invest in its educational initiatives and make them accessible to the middle-income families.   

On February, 20 the Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat confirmed the allocation of funds to support primary and secondary school students. These student categories will get $30 and $50 more, for their Edusave accounts starting January 2019. As a result, the Singapore government intends to allocate approximately $200 million a year to support several schemes.

Student Bursaries to Increase in Singapore

The Singapore government intends to raise the Edusave Merit Bursary for students from lower-income families.

● The primary school students will get an increase in the yearly contribution to their Edusave accounts up to $230; the secondary school students will get an increase of up to $290.

● To become eligible for the bursary, the students must be listed among the top 25% in academic performance in their course.

● The Edusave bursaries can help pay for school-based enrichment programmes or miscellaneous fees. 

● The Ministry of Education (MOE) will increase the gross monthly household income criterion from $6,000 to $6,900.

● The yearly bursary quantum from $750 to $900 for pre-university students offered by Millennia Institute, under the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS).  

EU Countries & the US: Are First World Countries Neglecting Education?

In the light of Singapore educational policies, the experience of the UK and the U.S. looks bleak. The revision of tuition fees in the UK might lead to education becoming unavailable for students from middle-income and low-income families. Meanwhile, limiting student loan forgiveness programs in the US will cause student loan debt increase.

The trend for making education available to more privileged students is flourishing in the EU as well. For instance, Finland has been accused of social inequality, racism, and discrimination which reflect in the country’s educational system. After the PM of Finland had scaled back the funding allocated to education and social welfare state, very little was doubt left.  

The world countries are taking different paths as to how they treat education and make it available to students irrespective of their income. It’s becoming more evident that Singapore has chosen a more progressive approach which positively reflects on the country’s economy. The phenomenon of Asian Dragons’ intense economy growth is only one of the proofs.

Any questions or propositions?