Kwek Hian Chuan Henry
COS Cut for MOE
1. The government is encouraging our workforce and students to focus on short-term skills-based courses, instead of longer-term broad programs. This is the appropriate move.
2. However, for some sectors, there is still considerable work ahead to get the appropriate SkillsFuture and Continuing Education short-term skills-based courses up and running.
3. This is because the industry in those sectors need more time to get together to determine the industry’s future training requirements.
4. As such, for those sectors, would the government consider delaying the decision to cut funding for postgraduate programs until the eco-system of short-term skills-based courses is more matured?
Given our limited budget, we need to do some re-allocation of resources. Hence, from 2019, for the majority of MOE-funded Postgraduate by Coursework programmes, the subsidy level for Permanent Residents will be adjusted slightly downwards, while that for international students will be discontinued. However, there will be no change in the subsidy level for Singaporeans.
This will free up around $25m in budget each year, which will be re-channelled to support modular courses at our IHLs for our local workforce.
Notwithstanding the reduction in subsidy for non-Singaporeans, we must continue to attract selected, deserving postgraduate international students who can make meaningful contributions to Singapore.