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MOE’s Solution to Tackle Foreign Student Bond-Breakers: Force Them Overseas

The Ministry of Education has proposed that foreign scholars who break their bonds and fly the coop be kept abroad for good if they can’t fine them.

Speaking in parliament yesterday, Parliamentary Secretary for Education Low Yen Ling said the MOE may ban these bond-breakers from working or living in Singapore.

Without revealing the specific number of bond-breakers, Ms Low said that only 1 percent have defaulted so far, while the MOE is contacting another 4 percent to check whether they will fulfill their bond obligations.

Those who indicate that they will not serve their bond will be made to pay compensation.

“A few have started to pay back the monies and we will continue to chase the rest of the defaulters for the scholarship monies… In the event that they do not pay the liquidated damages, they will not be able to come to Singapore to work or to stay.”

Again, without going into specific details, Ms Low said that the remaining 95 percent of these foreign scholars are either serving their bond, or have applied for deferment.

The AGO, in its latest annual report, found that the MOE didn’t not do enough to ensure those who defaulted were made to pay liquidated damages, and that the MOE didn’t do enough to remind scholars of their obligations.

However, Ms Low said that in the last few years, the MOE has “progressively stepped up” measures to track and ensure scholarship holders serve their bond.



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