Singapore universities defer planned fees increase to 2021 due to Coronavirus outbreak

Singapore universities defer planned fees increase to 2021 due to Coronavirus outbreak

Six autonomous universities of Singapore have decided not to increase their fees for students enrolling in 2020 due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The Ministry of Education in Singapore announced that six of the country’s autonomous universities will not increase their fees for citizens who are enrolled for the 2020 intake.

Citizens who have been enrolled in the 2020 intake for the government subsidised undergraduate programmes will pay the fee rate of 2019 for the span of their programme. 

For citizens enrolled in postgraduate programmes they will also pay the same fees as the 2019 students, but only for the first year. 

Amongst the six Singapore universities that have shelved the planned fee increases are Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).

The 2019 and earlier intakes will continue to pay the same amount that was conveyed to them at the time of admission for their remaining time in the course.

The pre-planned fee increases for the postgraduate students for 2019 and earlier will be deferred and they will have to pay the 2019 fee amount. 

The Ministry of Education told Channel News Asia: “As key national institutions with a public mission, the autonomous universities are committed to ensuring the affordability of higher education for Singaporeans, especially during challenging times.

“Their move is in line with the one-year deferment of government fee increases announced recently under the Resilience Budget.”

The universities will also step up efforts to help students in financial need, the Ministry of Education said.

“Financial support will continue to be extended through a combination of government assistance and financial aid provided by the universities.”

This fee break comes as the Singapore economy takes a blow amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

No fees increase exemption for international students in Singapore

The Ministry of Education, along with the autonomous universities, stated that the deferred fees increase will not apply to international students in Singapore and for the country’s permanent residents. 

Non-citizens are excluded from this financial assistance measure and the planned fees increase will still apply to them for 2020.

Pic: Swapnil Bapat

Zahra Hamdani - Reporter, Global Education Times (GET News)

Zahra Hamdani is an Ireland-based reporter for Global Education Times who focuses on European and South Asian education news. When she is not writing for GET News, Zahra is a school-teacher and educationist with experience in both Primary and Secondary schools in the Republic of Ireland as well as in Pakistan.

You can reach Zahra at

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