Local Schools: Fee Increase for Expats

International and PR students will pay up to $150 more per month for an education at Singapore’s government-funded primary and secondary schools.
Local Schools: Fee Increase for Expats
By Carli Allan
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Fees will increase for non-Singaporean students at government schools from 2022. Monthly tuition fees will increase by $25 to $60 for Permanent Resident (PR) students, and $25 to $150 for international students in 2022 and 2023 as part of the Ministry of Education's regular review of school fees. Higher fees will be paid from January in both years.

Primary education in local schools remains free for all Singaporean citizens, and fees for Secondary School and Pre-University remained unchanged at $5 and $6 per month respectively.

The fees hike means that non-AESAN expats will be paying $9,900 a year for primary school in 2022 and $10,500 in 2023; they will pay $19,200 for secondary in 2022 and $21,000 in 2023. Even after the increase, this is still considerably less than the cost at most international schools. It does, however, bring the fees in line with more affordable international schools including Knightsbridge House ($12,000, Grades 1-6), Invictus ($17-18,800, Grades 1-12), Razum International School ($14,900, Years 1-7), and GIG International School ($12,480-13,728, Grades 1-8).

Read more: Singapore's Most Affordable International Schools

International students from ASEAN countries (which includes Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) will pay $5,880 a year for primary schools in 2022 and $6,180 a year in 2023; they will pay $10,080 a year for secondary in in 2022 and $10,800 a year in 2023.

While the majority of expats in Singapore send their children to an international school, some families choose to go the local route; all local schools follow the same MOE curriculum. There is strong competition for places at local schools, particularly for international students, and priority is given to Singaporean citizens and those with Permanent Resident (PR) status.

As well as being cheaper than an international school, local schools have a global reputation for high standards in education. Academic results at secondary school are outstanding (IB results are well above the global average) and university admissions are impressive. This is highlighted by a report in The Telegraph this month, which revealed that two local Singapore schools are in the top 10 worldwide for getting students into UK Russell Group universities.

From 2018-2020, Raffles Junior College, Singapore received 91 offers for Oxford and Hwa Chong Institution received 55; Eton College received the highest number of 132. During the same period, Raffles Junior College, Singapore received 111 offers for Cambridge and 210 for Imperial College London. Hwa Chong Institution received 96 for Cambridge and 214 for ICL.

Singaporean citizens are given priority for places at government primary and secondary schools and there are limited spots available for expats; currently, just 5% of places are taken by expat students. The MOE handles all applications.

International students from Primary 2 upwards are required to sit a rigorous assessment test, the Admissions Exercise for International Students (AEIS). Applications for primary and secondary places can only be made for the following academic year during the MOE's annual registration exercise, from June to September. Read when and how to apply here.

The most popular local schools for expats (and where you’re most likely to receive a place) include Tanjong Katong Primary School, Bukit Panjang Primary School, Bukit Timah Primary School and Balestier Hill Primary School.

Read more: How to Get a Place at a Singapore Local School

Primary School Fees (Per Month)

Nationality 2021 (Current) 2022 2023
$ $ $
PR 205 230 255
IS(ASEAN) 465 490 515
IS (Non-ASEAN) 775 825 875

Secondary School Fees (Per Month)

Nationality 2021 (Current) 2022 2023
$ $ $
PR 380 440 500
IS(ASEAN) 780 840 900
IS (Non-ASEAN) 1,450 1,600 1,750

Post-16 School Fees (Per Month)

Nationality 2021 (Current) 2022 2023
$ $ $
PR 460 520 580
IS(ASEAN) 1,040 1,070 1,100
IS (Non-ASEAN) 1,800 1,950 2,100

 

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