The BrightSparks Scholarship & Higher Education Survey 2020 has reached its 13th consecutive year. This survey polls GCE 'A' Level and International Baccalaureate (IB) students and graduates, polytechnic students, and university undergraduates on their opinions on higher education, scholarships and career prospects.
This year, the survey reflects potential changes in student mindsets due to the pandemic, changes in scholarship options and work priorities, and other factors. It is an up-to-date, factual report on student trends and thinking, with the aim of providing scholarship providers with greater insight into the thoughts and priorities of local graduates. Scholarship providers and stakeholders utilise the report to make better decisions on scholarship offerings, marketing, outreach efforts and much more.
We hope you will find the following extract useful, and we thank all sponsors for their continued support.
Intention to Pursue Further Education
Intention to Apply for Scholarships
Scholarships remained preferred way to fund university
Most JC/IB and polytechnic students wished to pay for their education with a scholarship. The second most popular method was having family or parents pay for their degree. This may indicate that students will apply for scholarships first, then fall back on family support should they fail.
Students understand bond requirements for scholarships
Most students indicated they were willing to accept a four-year bond for full local scholarships and a five-year bond for full overseas scholarships. These bond durations are similar to typical bond requirements from organisations, indicating students have done their research about bonds.
Slim majority of students did not have enough information about scholarships
When asked why they did not apply, students cited a lack of information about scholarships. This differed from last year, where fear of not meeting the academic requirement ranked highest. However, a significant portion of these students were polytechnic students, who may want to enter the workforce and hence have no reason to learn about scholarships.
NUS tops scholarship provider rankings
NUS and NTU remained the top scholarship providers for three years running from 2018 to 2020 for JC/IB and Polytechnic students. This may be because their scholarships are bond-free. Notably, this year the Ministry of Education rose to third place while MOH Holdings fell two ranks to fifth place. For university undergraduates, Changi Airport Group is ranked top, and IMDA rose significantly by nine places into fourth.
Healthcare still the most attractive sector
Same as last year, healthcare and government service remained the most attractive sectors for respondents. Healthcare experienced a steady interest and government service seems to continue to be perceived as an “iron rice bowl” with little job volatility.
Career growth of top importance to graduates
Graduates placed a priority on career growth and opportunities when searching for jobs. Also, job security rose in importance, possibly due to the pandemic affecting hiring opportunities. However, the results remained largely similar to last year with career growth, job security and job scope being important to students.
Graduates expect a pay of at least $3,000
Graduate pay expectations continued to be in the $3,000 - $4,000/month range. However, same as last year, a significant number of respondents expected pay in the $4,000 - $5,000/month range.
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Click here to download an extract of the BrightSparks Scholarship and Education Survey 2020