Sponsored international students must face harsh reality if unable to find jobs within permitted grace period

Year: 2020

This post is written as a brief comment to an article published on Today Online titled: International students on S’pore government bond unable to find jobs, desperate for help and answers (20 September 2020).

“FMG empathises with these sponsored students. Tortured as the topic of Singapore’s government granting scholarships to foreigners, when locals have to fight it out and their families endure the financial burden, the fact is that these schemes are intended to supplement the shrinking workforce and create people to people ties between countries.

No one wished for the COVID pandemic. Both the sponsored students and the MOE must recognise this simple truth.

On the one hand, it is politically unconscionable to simply write off these investments but on the other hand, it is not fair to these students to ‘throw sand’ into the gears of the approval process to save jobs for Singaporeans.

They should be permitted at least a fighting chance to serve out their 3-year obligation to work in Singapore. Whether the economy has space for them is another matter and should be left to market forces.

In the event they are unable to find jobs within the allotted year grace period, then they should foot the bills explicitly indicated in the contracts to which they freely entered.

That is a fact of contract law. These graduates are adults and have been educated at the taxpayer’s expense.

While the government should treat them fairly, they should also grow up and face up to reality.”

– Devadas Krishnadas
CEO, FMG