Enhanced Support For Students To Access Opportunities In Institutes of Higher Learning
The Government will significantly increase the bursaries and raise the income eligibility threshold from Academic Year (AY) 2014 for students studying in Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs)1,.
This enhanced support will benefit more students, reaching students in up to two-thirds of all Singaporean households, and bringing the total number of students eligible for government bursaries in IHLs to around 120,000 students per year. This will cost the Government up to $147 million more per year.
To provide more structured and sustainable support to students with special educational needs in our IHLs, there will be a Disability Support Office (DSO) in each publicly-funded university, polytechnic, ITE college and arts institution2, from this year. MOE will also set up a Special Education Needs (SEN) Fund to help ITE and polytechnic students with physical, hearing or visual impairment to better access a good post-secondary education. The universities and arts institutions are also committed to ensuring that the same support is provided to their students.
These enhancements are part of MOE’s resolve to support all Singaporeans to seize the opportunities offered in our IHLs.
Enhanced IHL bursaries for students from the lower and middle income households
Revision of Income Eligibility Thresholds for Bursaries
The income eligibility criteria for the government bursaries in IHLs will be revised upwards from AY2014. The income cut-off to qualify for these bursaries will be raised, in per capita income (PCI) terms, from $1,700 to $1,900 per month, thus broadening the pool of students who will qualify for the bursaries. Details of changes in the income criteria for each of the bursary tiers are provided in Table 1.
The four tiers of bursaries for ITE students (two tiers under the CDC/CCC Bursary and two tiers under the MOE Bursary3, ) will remain. From AY2014, the bursary quanta for all tiers will be raised by between $90 and $200. The bursaries for ITE students from households with per capita income up to $950 will be significantly higher than their fees, helping them to also defray their living expenses.
For diploma students, those from households with per capita income of up to $950 will receive $200 more through the CDC/CCC Bursary, with the bursary quantum being raised to $2,000 per year. This revised quantum will cover about 80% of polytechnic diploma tuition fees. Students from households with per capita income between $951 and $1,400 will receive $150 more through the MOE Tier 1 Bursary, up from the current $1,350 to $1,500 per year. This will cover 60% of the tuition fees. Those from households with per capita income between $1,401 and $1,900 will get $300 more through the MOE Tier 2 Bursary, up from the current $450 to $750 per year, which will cover about 30% of the tuition fees.
For undergraduates, the Government will increase the CDC/CCC Bursary quantum by $700, up from the current $2,900 to $3,600 per year for students from households with per capita income of up to $950. This will generally cover about 45% of university tuition fees. Undergraduates from households with per capita income between $951 and $1,400 will receive $450 more through the MOE Tier 1 Bursary, up from the current $2,150 to $2,600 per year. This will generally cover about one-third of university tuition fees. Those from households with per capita income between $1,401 and $1,900 will get $500 more through the MOE Tier 2 Bursary, up from the current $800, to $1,300 per year. This will generally cover about 17% of university tuition fees.
The enhancements to the IHL bursaries are summarised below:
More structured special needs support in IHLs
Disability Support Office
Each publicly-funded university, polytechnic, ITE college and arts institution will set up a Disability Support Office (DSO) on campus to provide one-stop support for students with SEN. All IHLs will also set up a disability support website to provide information on SEN support available.
The DSOs will work closely with MOE and Voluntary Welfare Organisations to enable students with SEN to receive support during their education in the IHLs. The DSO will coordinate training on SEN support for staff, and work with course managers to ensure that necessary adjustments are made for students with SEN to access lessons, tests and exams. The DSO will also administer requests for financial support from the new SEN Fund.
Each polytechnic and ITE college will be able to tap on the SEN Fund, to help Singapore Citizen students with physical or sensory-related impairments purchase assistive technology devices and supporting services such as signing interpretation and Braille printing. Each institution can use up to $5,000 per student with physical impairment to purchase assistive technology devices. Up to $25,000 will be made available for each student with visual or hearing impairments to procure assistive technology devices and supporting services.
Sufficient funding will be set aside to ensure that eligible students are adequately supported for their educational needs throughout their education in the polytechnics and ITE. Students will be able to use these devices both during their duration of study, which may include internships, and after graduation.
Our publicly-funded universities and arts institutions will provide the same support to their students with SEN.
- Applicable to students taking publicly-funded courses in education institutions such as the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnics, arts institutions, and universities. ↩
- The two arts institutions are the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and LASALLE College of the Arts. ↩
- The CDC/CCC Bursary Scheme provides financial assistance to Singapore Citizen students from households with gross monthly household per capita income of up to $950. The MOE Bursary Scheme provides financial assistance to Singapore Citizen students from households with gross monthly household per capita income of up to $1,900.↩