The recent online debate about how foreign students are perceived to receive much more aid in terms of their education in Singapore than Singaporeans themselves had the government scrambling with their PR machinery, first inducing the POFMA to Lim Tean who first made the claim, and then the government acting by announcing more bursary and aid to local students from next year onwards. It is clear that such issues resonates with Singaporeans, and thus, the government had to act fast.
While the government will keep on denying it, and anyone who dares to say otherwise faces the danger of being given the POFMA. To most Singaporeans, the perception is that it is very clear foreign students get more education support for their education. In fact, most people even think that some foreigners even get their whole tertiary education paid for with living allowances.
What about local students? Not much help, maybe, but mostly, local students are discarded once they graduate. Many local graduates fall into unemployment, while foreigners are paid to study and get a job. That is the perception on the ground. Is it true? We may never know for sure.
Only if the government sees fit to release the full stats for bursaries awarded to local students and foreign students, and the real percentage of these students getting employment immediately after graduation can the full picture emerge. So, why are these stats so hard to be released? Heaven knows.