31 March 2018
Singapore’s declining birth rates have lead to reduced enrolment in our schools. Soon, the effect of ebbing cohorts will hit our universities.
In the short run, the operational costs of universities are fixed. Our universities will have to grapple with fewer students with little room to reduce costs.
One possible solution is to allow Singapore’s universities to admit more full-fee paying international students.
The government has capped the number of international students in our universities ever since Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced this move in his National Day Rally speech in 2011.
Raising the limits on international students in our universities, particularly those paying full tuition fees, would help to support university budgets.
International students also bring valuable diversity to our classrooms and our collective educational environment.