EIU: 4-year degree in Singapore to become less affordable by 2030

According to a study by the the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the affordability of a 4-year undergraduate degree in Singapore is set to worsen drastically by 2030.

Currently, the cost of that degree as a percentage of an individual’s income is 53.1% and is be set to rise to 70.2% in 2030. In other words, the degree will become 32% more expensive relative to individual income.

Since 2010, all local universities have been raising their annual tuition fees with an increase in operating costs being cited as a key factor. Last year, the increases ranged from 0.6% to 8% for local undergraduates.

For example, the annual tuition fees of a law degree increased by $750 (or 6.4%) from $11,650 to $12,400.

Even though Singapore ranks 11th out of 25th in terms of the affordability of a degree, there are several glaring aspects about Singapore’s education system.

The current education spending as a percentage of GDP stands at 3.4% – below the OECD average of 3.8% – while the private tuition industry has become a billion-dollar-a-year industry. According to an article by the mainstream media, there are at least 10 “super-tutors” filing a personal income tax declaration of more than $1 million a year.

In 2012, the PAP government admitted in parliament to spending $36 million a year on scholarships to foreign scholars. With additional tuition grant(s), some estimates have placed the total spent on foreigners each year at no less than $400 million while PAP Cabinet Ministers continues to preach to locals that it is no longer necessary to have a degree to be successful.

What do you think? Is this acceptable to you?

This article was first published over at TR Emeritus on 23 May 2016. It is reproduced with permission.


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