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    Dec 09, 2015

    Higher fees for poly, ITE students next year

    STUDENTS entering the polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) next year will have to pay more than those currently there.

    Tuition fees at these institutions have been raised by between 1.2 per cent and about 8 per cent.

    The revised fees, which were posted on the schools' websites yesterday, only apply to the new batch of students joining them in the next academic year. The polytechnics' term start in April, while some ITE courses start in January.

    At the polytechnics, locals will pay $2,600 next year, up from the current $2,500. Permanent residents will pay $200 more than the current fees, while foreigners will pay $700 more than their fees now.

    Local students entering ITE next year will pay $10 more than their seniors for the Nitec and Higher Nitec courses. Permanent residents and foreigners joining ITE will pay between $150 and $1,350 more than the previous cohort of students for these two courses.

    A spokesman for the polytechnics and ITE said the school fees are reviewed annually and "adjusted if necessary to meet the rising cost of quality education".

    The adjustment "also takes into account the prevailing economic situation", she said, adding: "Where possible, it is preferable to have regular but small fee increases than a significant hike in any one year."

    Tuition fees for polytechnics and the ITE have been going up in the last few years but the spokesman stressed that the Government continues to heavily subsidise the cost of education at these institutions, even after the fee increases.

    For instance, it extended bursaries to families with a per capita monthly household income of $1,900 last year, up from $1,700, allowing more students from lower and middle-income households to benefit.

    Earlier this year, the Government also provided a top-up of up to $500 to the Post-Secondary Education Account of all Singaporeans aged 17 to 20 to help families save for tertiary education.

    The spokesman also said that students can apply for a wide range of financial aid through bursaries, scholarships, loans and work-study schemes to cover their tuition fees.

    Ho Sheng Yue, who hopes to enter Temasek Polytechnic's leisure and events management course next year, intends to apply for financial aid. "It's OK for tuition fees to increase but it must be maintained at an affordable amount," said the 17-year-old whose father is a taxi driver and mother works as a canteen helper.

    "The higher fees will not only affect me but other students who have problems with financial issues. But I do think that with help from the polytechnics or the Government, it will definitely not be a concern any more."