Singapore envisages to becoming a “Global Schoolhouse” offering a diverse and distinctive mix of educational services in a safe, cosmopolitan and comfortable environment. Singapore is the premier education hub in Asia. Driven by excellence, Singapore education offers a broad base curriculum and global perspective to equip students with the relevant qualification and training that serves as a springboard to a brighter future.
The island’s strong reputation for quality education has drawn the world’s top institutions to set up campuses in Singapore.
Unique is the word that best captures Singapore, a dynamic city rich in contrast and colour where you’ll find a harmonious blend of culture, cuisine, arts and architecture. A bridge between the East and the West for centuries, Singapore is located in the heart of fascinating Southeast Asia, continues to embrace tradition and modernity today.
Benefits of Studying in Singapore
- The notable benefit for Indian students seeking admission in Singapore’s educational universities is the cosmopolitan and tech-governed society that has a strong sense of community and homeliness, almost similar to that in India. By this, the student doesn’t feel alienated or lost.
- The proximity of Singapore in geographical terms is beneficial to Indian students, as it cuts down on their travel costs.
Education in Singapore is affordable, modern, skills-rich and value-lade
- The Singapore universities MOUs and tie-ups with British or American universities has made it possible for Indian students to get UK and U.S. degrees at a fraction of the cost
- There are sizable number of scholarships offered by the National University of Singapore or the Nanyang Technological University or the Singapore Management University
- The emphasis and focus on the use of English, has become a boon for students from India, and has guaranteed their admission into Singapore’s universities
- The diversity associated with students who represent different nationalities is a guarantee for international exposure and global outlook. As of now, there are nearly 70,000 foreign students studying in Singapore
- The prevalence of lesser red tape, easier student visa rules, better student hostels and a unique fee protection scheme under which foreign students in private educational institutions are offered an alternative when that institution is closed down.
- What more, the policy of government-funded institutions make it mandatory for foreign students to stay and work in Singapore for three years after graduation. This means immediate job opportunity after the completion of degree course, and ensuring their stay in Singapore. Sectors dealing with banking, manufacturing, IT and telecom have the largest employers, where the students find ready jobs after completion of the educational programs
The Singaporean education system
Universities in Singapore can be divided up into the following categories:
- Local autonomous universities – government-funded and free to chart their own destiny. There are four in total; the National University of Singapore and the Nanyang Technological University are the two most popular in the country. Singapore Management University and Singapore University of Technology and Design make up the local universities roster in the county.
- Private universities – SIM University (UniSIM) is the first and only full-fledged private university in Singapore. Established in 2005 with the approval of Singapore’s Ministry of Education (MOE), UniSIM is able to award recognised degrees.
- Polytechnics – five in total, providing three-year diploma courses in various fields including engineering, business studies, accountancy, tourism and hospitality management.
Institutions in Singapore generally expect applicants to hold a 2:1 degree or above, but you should check with individual universities for their entry specifications before applying.
Applications are made directly to the university, typically by post or online. Deadlines will vary, but for the main intake in September, applications need to be received by June. There is also a smaller intake in January.
Some international applicants looking to continue their studies in Singapore may be required to provide proof they will be able to financially support themselves during their course.
If you’re looking to do a research degree, this calls for two academic references.
The cost of study in Singapore will vary considerably with each course and institution.
On average, tuition fees per year cost up to 21,000 Singaporean dollars for arts courses, which converts to around £10,400. Science courses will usually set you back a little more.
The standard of living in Singapore is among the highest in Asia, but it’s still relatively low compared to countries in Europe.
An international student in Singapore is said to spend an average of about 750 to 2,000 Singaporean dollars a month on living expenses, which is roughly £400 to £1,300.
Funding to study in Singapore
The Ministry of Education (MOE) in Singapore – a department of the Government of Singapore that directs the implementation of education-related policies in the country – provides tuition grants to students accepted onto courses at universities and polytechnics.
UK students are also eligible for this funding, but it is subject to you agreeing to undertake work in the country for three years upon completion of your course.
If you have an impressive academic record, there may be international scholarship options available for you too. Check with individual universities for further information.
It’s always best to discuss funding options with your chosen university before committing to study.
For more information on grants and funding your postgraduate course in Singapore, visit the Ministry of Education Singapore .
Singaporean exchanges and placements
Exchanges and placement opportunities are available to students undertaking Masters or PhD degrees. Work experience and internships are highly sought-after in Singapore, and competition for places is fierce.
Singapore Management University and the National University of Singapore offer exchange programmes with several universities in the UK, including The University of Edinburgh.
The Singapore Work Holiday Programme was introduced by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in Singapore and allows university students and recent graduates between 18 and 25 years of age to work for a period of six months in Singapore while on a holiday visa.
Once you’ve been accepted onto a university course, international students are required to apply for a Student’s Pass issued by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) .
You must submit your application at least one month before the start of your programme, which can be done through ICA’s Student’s Pass Online Application & Registration (SOLAR) system.
If your pass is approved, you will be granted an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter from the ICA and it will be valid for the duration of your course.
The visa process varies depending on the university you are studying at, so visit their individual websites for details. Those holding a Dependent Pass (DP) or an Immigration Exemption Order (IEO) are exempt from applying for a Student’s Pass.