Polytechnics annual fee hike


Oh how so timely.

Poly fees to rise by $50 a year

Lin Yanqin
[email protected]

ALL five polytechnics in Singapore will be raising tuition fees by $50 for the academic year of 2006.

The fee hike, which brings annual tuition fees to $2,100, follows an increase of $100 last year.

We want more of your money please. Oh wait, you have no choice. Bwahaha. It’ll be another $100 next year.

Rising costs, such as manpower costs, was the reason given by the Ministry of Education (MOE) in a joint announcement by the polytechnics yesterday.

For example, according to the annual reports, Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s expenditure on salaries and allowances went up by nearly $4 million.

And Ngee Ann’s spending money on senior lecturers who couldn’t even get the formula of the volume of a cone correct?

“Formula of volume of cone? You should know, this is common sense.”

Then he proceeded to give me the formula for the volume of a sphere. How I wish I was half as smart as him.

At Nanyang Polytechnic, the same costs went up by about $6 million.

“New technology, new facilities, these are all continuous efforts on the part of the polys and MOE towards providing better education,” said Republic Polytechnic principal and CEO Professor Low Teck Seng, speaking on behalf of all five polytechnics.

The increase is being effected now rather than earlier because of the improved economy.

“There were no increases from 2002 to 2004, when the economy was not doing so well,” he said, adding that there are currently no plans to increase fees any further.

Of course, die die also must increase. Even our dear president got a pay rise of $114,900. The one man who does all the most important things in Singapore.

Prof Low emphasised that there were a variety of schemes to help financially needy students, should they have trouble with the increased fees.

More information about such schemes is available at the various schools’ websites.

Prof Low added that about two-thirds of all local polytechnic students currently receive some form of financial assistance through schemes like the CPF Education Scheme and Tuition Fee Loan Scheme and other study loans.

This includes some 10 to 20 per cent of polytechnic students who need financial aid in the form of bursaries and various self-help schemes to meet the annual tuition fees, according to a news report in August last year.

But Ngee Ann Polytechnic student Goh Peizhen shrugged off the latest increase.

“It’s only a bit when you compare it to the full sum of fees we have to pay,” she said.

I wonder who pays for Peizhen’s school fees?

Happy Chinese New Year indeed.