What is the EduTrust 4.2 Student Contract, Fee Collection and Fee Protection Scheme?
By Tom Odlin, published: 2023-08-17
EduTrust is a certification scheme in Singapore, specifically for private educational institutions (PEIs).
The scheme is administered by the Committee for Private Education (CPE), which is part of SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG).
EduTrust certification is aimed at ensuring that PEIs maintain high standards in areas like academic quality, student protection, and financial viability.
EduTrust Certification Scheme Guidance Document Version 4.2
Section 4.2 of the EduTrust Certification Scheme Guidance Document Version 4 pertains to student contracts, fee collection, and fee protection and states that:
4.2 Student Contract, Fee Collection and Fee Protection Scheme
This sub-criterion examines how you execute the student contract, how you inform students of fees payable/paid and implement fee protection for all fees paid by students, ensure
accurate collection of fees and records of every payment made; and establish a revenue recognition policy to recognise fees on an accrual basis.
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Edutrust Singapore Item 4.2.1 Student Contract
Item 4.2.1 concerns student contracts, and states:
Describe/Show how you
1. Execute a student contract during course admission. The student contract execution procedure shall provide for the following:
a. Ensuring each student contract is meant for the admission of each student into one course
b. Explaining the terms and conditions of the contract to each student and ensuring that each student fully understands them
c. Ensuring that both you and the student acknowledge any amendment made
d. Stipulating a cooling off period of at least 7 working days
e. Signing a new contract or issuing an addendum to the existing contract for a student who wishes to repeat a module and when a course deferment or transfer request has been approved
f. Ensuring that a breakdown of all fees (inclusive of any non-refundable fees, discounts/rebates and grants/funding given) are declared in the contract and marketing collaterals
2. Ensure a copy of your student contract is made available for prospective students
3. Review the student contract execution procedure for continual improvement.
What does Edutrust Item 4.2.1 Student Contract mean?
The item relates to regulations for private educational institutions (PEIs) in Singapore, particularly regarding student contracts, fee collection, and fee protection.
The section focuses on how PEIs handle student contracts, fees, and how they protect the fees paid by students.
- Execution of the student contract: Refers to the process by which the PEI establishes a formal agreement with the student during course admission.
- Informing students about fees: The PEI must clearly communicate all fee details to students, which includes any fees to be paid, fees that have been paid, and provide safeguards for all fees collected from students.
- Accurate fee collection and record keeping: The institution must ensure it collects fees accurately and keeps detailed records of all payments.
- Revenue recognition policy on an accrual basis: The PEI should recognise revenue (from fees) as it is earned rather than when it is collected. This is the essence of accrual accounting.
Item 4.2.1 Student Contract
This item specifically focuses on the student contract, which is the formal agreement between the PEI and the student.
- Execution of the student contract during course admission: A formal agreement or contract should be established when a student is admitted. The procedure should ensure: a. Each contract corresponds to a specific student being admitted to a specific course. b. The terms and conditions are explained to the student, ensuring comprehension. c. Any changes to the contract are acknowledged by both parties. d. A minimum “cooling-off period” of 7 working days is provided, during which the student can change their mind. e. If a student wants to retake a module, or if their request for deferment or transfer of a course is approved, a new contract or an addendum to the current contract should be provided. f. All fee details, including any non-refundable amounts, discounts, or grants, should be clearly specified in both the contract and any marketing materials.
- Availability of the student contract: Prospective students should have access to a sample or template of the student contract to review it.
- Review of the student contract procedure: The process for executing the student contract should be periodically reviewed to identify areas for improvement.
A further note at the end emphasises the need for PEIs to use the standard PEI-Student contract format provided by the SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG)/Committee for Private Education (CPE) for all students.
In summary, these guidelines aim to ensure transparency, proper financial practices, and the protection of students’ rights and finances when enrolling in a private educational institution in Singapore.
Singapore Edutrust 4.2.1 TL;DR in Layman’s Terms
This is a set of rules for private schools in Singapore about how they should handle agreements with students and collect fees:
- Student Contract: When a student joins, there should be a clear agreement. The school should:
- Make sure each student gets one contract per course.
- Clearly explain what’s in the agreement.
- Allow changes, but both the school and student should agree to them.
- Give students a week to change their mind after signing.
- Update the contract if a student retakes a class or if there are other changes.
- Clearly list all fees, including any that aren’t refundable, in the contract and promotional materials.
- Fees: The school should:
- Keep accurate records of fees paid.
- Protect the fees students pay (like an insurance for their money).
- Record the money they earn as they earn it, not just when it’s paid.
- Contract Access and Review: Schools should let potential students see a sample contract and regularly check their own process to make it better.