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     FrontPage Edition: Thu 23 September 2004

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Student Protection Scheme (SPS) for international students

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The SPS (Student Protection Scheme) serves to protect the international students' fees in the event a PEO (Private Education Organisation) is unable to continue operations due to insolvency and/or regulatory closure.

It also protects the student if the PEO fails to pay penalties or to return fees to students arising from judgements made against it by the Singapore courts.

There are two schemes under the SPS that PEOs can choose:

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Student Tuition Fee Account (Escrow) run by DBS Bank and HSBC

Tuition fees paid by the students to the PEOs will have to be left in the custody of a third party, in this case the CASE-endorsed banks, DBS Bank and HSBC, participating in the Student Tuition Fee Account (Escrow) scheme.

When specified conditions for its release have been met, the banks will disburse the tuition fees on a regular basis to the PEO.

The disbursement will stop if the PEO is unable to continue operations due to insolvency and/or regulatory closure or if the PEO fails to pay penalties or to return fees to students arising from judgements made against it by the Singapore courts.

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Student Tuition Fee Insurance run by NTUC Income

The Student Tuition Fee Insurance indemnifies students for their tuition fees paid in advance to the PEO for the following events:

a. when the PEO is unable to continue operations due to insolvency and/or regulatory closure or if the PEO fails to pay penalties or to return fees to students arising from judgements made against it by the Singapore courts, or
b. Upon death or total permanent disability of the student.

The number of insurance companies and banks will be expanded in due course.

With the launch of the new initiatives under the Education Excellence Framework from 1 Dec 2004, all PEOs will need to have the CaseTrust-endorsed SPS to offer school placement for international students.

From 1 Sep 2005, PEOs must achieve all requirements of CaseTrust for Education, in addition to SPS, if they intend to bring in international students.

PEOs who are yet to obtain the CaseTrust for Education status after 1 Sep 2005 will not be able offer placement for international students in their programmes in Singapore.

CASE and SPRING Singapore will help PEOs who fail the CaseTrust assessment to undertake the necessary upgrading and to apply for re-assessment.

More.....

Source: Excerpted from EDB Singapore Press Release 9 Sep 2004

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