S'pore universities set to admit more students amid Covid-19 disruption of overseas options

SINGAPORE – Singapore’s autonomous universities will be able to admit more students this year as overseas study options continue to be disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, said Education Minister Chan Chun Sing.

In a Facebook post on Monday morning (May 24), Mr Chan said the local universities will have “some flexibility” to admit more students, but that admissions will not be made easier.

“The autonomous universities will continue to uphold admission standards, and ensure a high quality of education,” he said.

Last year, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said the six autonomous universities would make about 2,000 more offers across a range of courses.

In January this year, former education minister Lawrence Wong revealed that about 1,000 extra places were given out across the autonomous universities.

Some of these places went to those who had planned to study overseas, while others went to those who opted to study instead of joining a weak job market.

Mr Chan added that MOE will continue to monitor the global Covid-19 situation and work closely with the autonomous universities to support students.

The pandemic, along with rising anti-Asian hate crimes in the West, have led to a drop in the numbers of Singaporean students applying to traditionally popular higher education destinations.

Statistics on the British government website show that the number of student visa applications from Singaporeans to Britain fell from 2,535 new applications in 2019 to 1,421 last year.

For Australia, applications fell from 1,315 in 2019 to 530 last year, a 59 per cent decrease.

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