In 2012, there were 100,000 locals and 35,000 foreign students studying in private schools in Singapore.

By 2015, the number has fallen to 77,000 locals and 29,000 foreigners.

In 2016, Singapore saw the closure of 25 private schools due to fewer foreign students coming in to fill enrollment numbers. The Committee For Private Education (CPE) says a total of 42 schools were de-registered in 2015 and 2016 alone.

Director-general of SkillsFuture, Brandon Lee, commented that the decline of the education industry in Singapore was “inevitable”.

“The restructuring is inevitable and will continue as the Government shapes the sector to better serve the needs of students and the economy. Existing players need to be committed to continuous improvement to make their programmes more industry relevant and robust.”

This spells trouble for Singaporean students aspiring for degrees in Singapore to improve their economic situation in life. The number of Singaporean students taking private degrees is higher than the number in government universities because of intense competition. The government also does not encourage Singaporeans to pick up tetiary degrees.

Earlier in 2013, Minister Khaw Boon Wan told Singaporeans to not go on a “paper-chase” saying: “If they cannot find jobs, what is the point? You own a degree, but so what? That you can’t eat it. If that cannot give you a good life, a good job, it is meaningless.”

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