Since it was first established, SDU's target group was limited to university graduates.The government justified this elitist approach by announcing that they had identified graduates—and in particular the females among them—as a group which required assistance in terms of finding lifelong partners.According to the government, non-graduates did not seem to have any difficulty in finding partners.

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In fact, there was an outcry by the public at large about the unfair use of taxpayers’ money to subsidise leisure activities for graduates, especially since they already had a higher income.

Some were also displeased about the fact that civil servants who were single were given three extra days of leave to go on SDU-organised cruises.

In 2003, SDU reported a significant increase in marriage figures for its members over the years, from 2,789 in 1999 to 4,050 in 2003.

Over the first 2 decades since the SDU was first set up, SDU reported that more than 33,000 members were married (This includes many young Singaporeans who would have got married irrespective of SDU being in existence or not).

The data, which was collected during a series of face-to-face interviews, showed that, while nine out of ten would like to get married, only 35 per cent of them were certain about their intentions.

Earlier in the same year, SDU had conducted another survey which assessed attitudes of singles in general towards courtship and marriage.

In addition to marriage and membership statistics, surveys are also conducted by the SDU from time to time to assess the effectiveness of the SDU, and its public education objective in particular.

In mid 2006, 2,041 university undergraduates and polytechnic students were polled in an SDU survey on undergraduates' attitudes towards social interaction, dating and marriage.

Other responsibilities of the SDN include providing the necessary infrastructure and support for the dating industry, as well as to ensure the professionalism of dating agencies through an accreditation council that was formed in 2007.