In response to The Workers’ Party (WP) statement on AGO’s report, the following is MOE’s reply:
WP had cited that “More than half of the scholars selected by the AGO for test-checks failed to fulfil their scholarship obligations to Singapore.”
This is incorrect.
The “half” that AGO flagged out were for delays in sending them letters of reminders to update their status. They are not in default.
Over the last three years, 1% of such foreign students had intentionally defaulted and MOE is taking action to recover the liquidated damage and impose penalties on them.
There have been delays in sending them the letters because most of the cases that AGO flagged out were from earlier graduation batches, before the enhanced measures were fully implemented.
Another issue WP cited was that of student loans, mostly to Singaporean students. WP had stated that $511.49 million of tuition fee and student loans were outstanding. It Is natural for loans, especially those of a long repayment period, to be outstanding.
MOE would like to clarify that only a small percentage, 1.4%, is in default and may be unrecoverable. The vast majority of graduates service their loans and make regular repayments.