Service Obligation

From AY2008-2009 onwards, international students who choose to pay a lower tuition fee (and thus receive higher subsidy) will have to take up a 3-year service obligation. As part of the service obligation, the international student is required to work in Singapore-based companies upon graduation.


Singapore-based companies refer to local companies and international companies that have a base in Singapore which is registered with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

The duration of the service obligation is fixed at 3 years, regardless of the duration of study at subsidised rates.


Who is eligible?

Graduate students who are applying for MOE-subsidised graduate degree are eligible to apply for the scheme. Eligible applicants are to receive subsidy up to the normal programme duration of their degree programmes.

Note: From Academic Year 2020 onwards, Service Obligation is no longer available to international students applying for Coursework Programmes as they will be liable for non-subsidised tuition fees.

International students (ISs) who have graduated from an Autonomous University (AU) e.g. NTU, NUS, SMU etc. for their undergraduate programmes and are applying for the graduate programmes, they are to refer to the MOE website for more information. 

Please refer to the Tuition Fee table for MOE-subsidised graduate degree programmes and tuition fees. For those under scholarships, the terms for the Nanyang President's Graduate Scholarship, NTU Research Scholarship, and Singapore International Graduate Award (SINGA) are being reviewed. Revised terms of the scholarships will be implemented from the January 2013 intake onwards.

Students who had previously enjoyed MOE subsidy in a graduate degree will not be eligible for MOE subsidy in another graduate degree of the same or lower level.

Application for service obligation is subject to the approval of MOE.


How to apply (For students enrolled in Semester 1 AY2020-2021 - Aug 2020 intake)


Students must inform NTU about their intention to opt for the service obligation. They can do so during the online admission application by clicking on the service obligation option. Alternatively, they can inform the University staff during matriculation.

Students are not required to provide a guarantor or sign the service obligation agreement during the application or matriculation stage.

Online Registration with the Ministry of Education (MOE)

One has to register online with MOE from 7 September to 11 September 2020. The process is as follows:

• Go to the Ministry of Education (MOE) website.

• Click on the “Student Login” option.

• Have two sureties/guarantors (of any nationality). The guarantors must be aged 21 and above but below 65 and must not be an un-discharged bankrupt.

• Sign the service obligation agreement to be put under the higher subsidy (and therefore pay a lower tuition fee) and serve a 3-year bond by working in a Singapore registered company upon graduation.


Note: Please contact MOE at if you encounter any problem with the online registration at MOE's website.

Details on the Signing of the Service Obligation Agreement (SOA) 

​Tentative Procedures for Digital Signing

  1. Students will download their personalised SOA (MOE Pre-signed) from TGonline and send it to his sureties.
  2. Sureties will print the SOA and sign on Page 9 and send the signed SOA (Hard copy) together with a copy of the sureties' passport or government-issued identification card with photo to the student.
  3. Student will sign on Page 8 and Page 9 of the signed SOA (Hard copy) after receiving it from sureties.
  4. Student will write the date that he signed the SOA on Page 1 and Page 8.
  5. Student will scan the signed SOA together with the copy of sureties' passport or identification card as a PDF file using Microsoft Office Lens App.
  6. Student to name the scan documents (SO Agreement with sureties' identification documents) using their UIN number in the format NTUSO_SOA_<UIN>.pdf
  7. Student to send the PDF document to MOE by replying to the original mass e-mail using his/her NTU student e-mail account.
  8. Student to submit the original hardcopy signed SOA(s) together with the copy of sureties' passport documents to OA.

Note : The letter and guide will be provided nearer to the digital signing period.

             Date:     21 September 2020

             Venue:  SO Signing will be via digital SO Signing Portal.
                          Email will be send in due course. 
                          Please check your NTU email regularly.


Please note that there will only be one registration and signing session for the Service Obligation per intake.

For further enquiries about the Service Obligation Scheme, please refer to the MOE's website or contact MOE's Tuition Grant Unit at:

Tuition Grant Section
School Placement and Services Division
Customer Service Centre (MOE Podium Block)
Ministry of Education, Singapore
1 North Buona Vista Drive
Singapore 138675


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