Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) New Policy To Give Married Mums & Dads Free Modules
Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) announced a new policy to give married part-time adult students, or students who are parents free modules on Friday (13 Jul).
Netizens – and Singaporeans in general – however, didn’t seem to take so well to the new scheme.
First, let’s take a quick look at the actual policy.
Free mods for citizens & PRs above 21
Termed the ‘Marriage and Baby Bonus scheme’, SUSS hopes to support Singapore’s continued focus on encouraging “marriage and parenthood”.
After the scheme is implemented, students need only register their marriages or child’s birth/adoption to qualify.
2 x 5 credit-modules or 1 x 10-credit module will be free for citizens or Permanent Residents who are 21 and above.
Savings of up to $4,000 before subsidies
These are the price ranges of modules:
- 5 credit-modules ($2,000/$1,000 after g’ment subsidies)
- 10 credit-modules ($2,600-4,000/$1,100-1,800 after g’ment subsidies)
Programmes eligible for the scheme include:
- Part-time degree programmes
- Undergraduate programmes
- Law programmes
- Postgraduate programmes
However, students currently on scholarships from SUSS or their companies are not eligible.
Netizens think scheme will warp marriage priorities
Some pointed out that the scheme was practical in its approach to subsidise parents and newly weds.
But unwise, when it came to balancing priorities and reasons for marriage.
Also, they weren’t so pleased that SUSS was attempting to play matchmaker for their students.
While some pointed out that children of student parents may be upset that their entire existence and “personal worth” was tied to “free modules”.
Unfair advantage for married couples?
A netizen raised the question of whether singles “are being ostracized” in this case.
While another reader brought up the practical side of things — a cost-profit analysis on whether having a baby is worth the “$4k” benefit.
FYI, raising a child in Singapore purportedly costs up to a $1 million.
Others defended the policy and clarified that it would help “remove the burdens” of students already intending to get married — rather than encourage them to “anyhow” marry “just for free stuff”.
Smells a little desperate
As we all know, Singapore’s declining population surely makes for a pressing problem to solve.
However, SUSS’ latest policy has been called a “desperate” attempt to incentivise young couples to tie the knot and pull a National Night to supplement our baby pool.
We don’t deny that the scheme was created with the best of intentions.
But the question is, how many student couples will have the ability to ace their studies, juggle child-rearing duties and maintain their marriages?
Do you think SUSS’ new policy will sink or swim with part-time students? Let the class discussion begin.
Featured image from Singapore University of Social Sciences.