According to Lianhe Zaobao on 9 October 2018, MOE reported that university students taking courses in ASEAN languages have gone up 10% compared to five years ago. Around 1,730 students at NUS, NTU and SMU took these courses last year, compared to around 1,550 in 2013. The languages include Bahasa Indonesia, Malay, Thai and Vietnamese.
Assoc Prof Titima Suthiwan, director of the NUS Centre for Language Studies, said the centre offers classes in those ASEAN languages. An average of 1,350 students take these classes each year. Courses in Bahasa Indonesia, Malay, and Thai languages have been popular with students in the past 10 years.
Tang Renxuan, a fourth-year student at NUS, became interested in learning ASEAN languages when she was doing voluntary work around the region in junior college. She is currently taking Southeast Asian Studies in NUS and is learning Thai , after completing a course in Bahasa Indonesia.