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The rental for student hostels under Singapore’s 4 local universities has increased by 50% over the past 7 years. A single bed hostel room in Nanyang Technological University (NTU) cost up to S$295 a month today as compared to S$200 in 2009. When queried by the media, NTU claimed that they raise rental by around 4% every year to match the rate of inflation.

Students interviewed by Chinese newspapers Lian He Wan Bao said that they have no choice because rental in the private residential market is higher. Unlike other universities overseas, Singapore students who protest in public against any rule they are unhappy with will be dealt with criminal prosecution and arrested for illegal gathering.

The increase in hostel accommodation rental adds up to an overall increase in cost of tertiary education in Singapore, further deterring the already under-represented students from low income families. A bachelor degree is increasingly important in Singapore as wages for non-degree holders stagnate at unsustainable levels. Singapore students who wish to emigrate as a second option, mostly to avoid National Service reservist training and NS for their children, will require a bachelor degree to qualify as skilled migrants overseas.