Parliamentary Secretary for Education Low Yen Ling recently told Parliament that her ministry’s top priority was to nurture Singaporean talent first, and that most of the undergraduate scholarships are given to Singaporeans.
She was speaking to Parliament on the issue of scholarship obligations and student loans.
Parliament learned that foreign students studying in Singapore who deliberately default on their scholarship bond obligations may be banned from working or residing in Singapore. Those who show no intention of serving their bond will be made to pay liquidated damages.
The Auditor-General’s Office (AGO), in its latest annual report, found that the Ministry of Education (MOE) had not done enough to ensure these students were reminded of their bond obligations.
On the issue of student loans, the AGO had also found that MOE had failed to institute inadequate controls to ensure outstanding student loans were promptly recovered.
Unpaid loans of former students of National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University stood at around $228.04 million as at June 30 last year. Add on the loans of those from other institutes of higher learning and the total soars to $511.49 million.