Singapore saw the closure of 25 private schools in 2016, with fewer foreign students coming to study in the island. According to the Committee for Private Education (CPE), a total of 42 schools were de-registered in 2015 and 2016. Some schools that were shuttered, like Nanyang Education Institute and M2 Academy, were newly-set up less than 3 years ago and had spent big advertising dollars.
There are currently only 293 registered private schools and the regulator expect more to close down due to the dwindling numbers of foreign students.
In 2012, there were 100,000 locals and 35,000 foreign students in Singapore. The student intake fell to 77,000 locals and 29,000 foreigners in 2015.
Director-general of government agency SkillsFuture Singapore, Brandon Lee, commented on the declining education industry calling it “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.”
The number of Singaporean students taking private degrees are higher than the number in the government universities as the government does not encourage Singaporeans to pick u tertiary 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.”