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07 Nov 2022

10th May 2017

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Ms K Thanaletchimi
Nominated MP 

Question No. 455 

To ask the Minister for Health (a) to date, how many Asian Nursing Scholarships (ANS) have been awarded; (b) how many scholars have (i) failed their exams (ii) failed their employment probation while serving their bonds (iii) absconded without completing their course and (iv) absconded without fulfilling their bonds after graduation; (c) whether the effectiveness of the ANS and selection criteria of the candidates will be reviewed to ensure that they write and speak good English; and (d) whether the Ministry will make it a pre-requisite for ANS applicants to have a good command of the English language.


           With Singapore’s ageing population, we need more nurses to meet our growing healthcare needs. Introduced in 1994, the Asian Nursing Scholarship sponsors good students from Asian countries to pursue nursing studies in our polytechnics and supplement our nursing workforce upon graduation.

2.        Between 1994 and 2016, an average of about 200 Asian Nursing Scholarships were awarded a year.  Less than 1% of scholarship holders were unable to complete their studies or absconded before completing their studies. Less than 3% did not fully serve out their bond after completing their studies, including those who have absconded.

3.        We will continue to work with the relevant authorities to attempt to recover the liquidated damages.

4.        Information on the number of scholars who started work but failed their work probation are available from the 2013 intake cohort onwards.  Thus far, none of the 301 scholarship holders from the cohort has failed work probation. It should be noted that some of them are still in their probation period. Subsequent cohorts have yet to start their work probation.

5.        Applicants for the ANS need to meet the polytechnics’ academic requirements, of which English is one of the required subjects.  Some may be asked to undergo additional selection tests and interviews to assess their English proficiency.  We monitor the performance of the scholars closely.  Those who have difficulties coping will be counselled and given closer support.

6.        The ANS programme has helped develop a pool of locally-trained foreign nurses to supplement our local nursing manpower supply.  We will continue to review the programme regularly to enhance its effectiveness.

Category: Parliamentary QA