Studying in Singapore

Singapore is considered the study-abroad destination in Asia for higher education and advanced research. In terms of quality of education, Singapore is ranked no. 2 according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 and no. 7 (just one rank below USA) according to the Global Innovation Index 2014. Initiatives such as the “Global Schoolhouse” and presence of acclaimed universities have been instrumental in transforming Singapore into a global education hub

International reputation

Singapore hosts international students from all over the world, including USA, UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Europe, and numerous Asian countries.. The 2012 Observatory on Borderless Higher Education Report estimates Singapore has 70,000 international students; among them 3,000 are Indians and that number is growing annually by 20%.

Popular tertiary-education destination

  • Singapore is positioned at no. 15 (two places above New York) according to the QS Best Student Cities 2015 Report
  • Foreign institutions, such as INSEAD, Chicago Booth School of Business, Yale-NUS, and ESSEC Business School, have their international campuses in Singapore
  • Higher education is more affordable in Singapore than in USA/Europe
  • Singapore has partnered with MIT to form a cutting-edge research hub called Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART)
  • Singapore is a preferred destination for Indian students for undergraduate and business management courses

Top/Renowned Universities

National University of Singapore (NUS):

  • NUS is ranked 24th globally (Courtesy: QS Top Universities)
  • Its engineering programs rank among the top ten in the world (Courtesy: US News)
  • Popular programs at NUS: engineering, management, and media studies

Nanyang Technological University (NTU):

  • NTU is ranked 41st globally (Courtesy: QS Top Universities)
  • NTU is an international research university with varied research interests, including Singapore Dollars (SGD) 1.3 billion invested in sustainability research
  • Popular programs at NTU: computer science, engineering, and business management

Singapore Management University (SMU):

  • Singapore’s first and only national university specially dedicated to business and management
  • SMU has collaborated with Wharton School of Business to design its curriculum, and the Wharton-SMU Research Center is Wharton’s only physical presence in Asia

Higher education courses in Singapore

Course Duration
Undergraduate 3-4 years
Postgraduate 1-3 years
MBA 12-15 months

Admission process

The admission process is highly stringent, and universities seek meritorious students with exceptional scores in school/college. In addition, courses such as medicine, music, arts, and design require more than demonstration of a strong academic background, and can include interviews, auditions, and selection tests. Indian MBA students are expected to score around 700 in the GMAT to stand a fair chance.

Cost of education

A three-year degree here versus a similar four-year program in the US makes studying in Singapore more affordable.

Course Approximate Cost of Tuition Per Year Living Expenses
Undergraduate SGD 33,000 SGD 9,000 – SGD 24,000 per year
Masters SGD 20,000-30,000
MBA SGD 58,000

1 SGD = 47 INR approximately

Post-education career opportunities

International students have the option of applying for a one-year, non-renewable Social Visit Pass that allows them to search for a job in Singapore after completion of their degree. Post this 1-year period, students can get an S-Pass (applicable for mid-skilled foreign employees), or an Employment Pass (applicable for foreign professionals, managers, and executives). In both these cases, the employer applies for the pass on behalf of the candidate.

Singapore’s education is ranked third globally according to the latest Learning Curve Report published in 2014 by the education firm Pearson. Recently, the Singapore Government has decided to bring down the percentage of international enrolments from 18% to 15%. Regardless of this change, Singapore remains an attractive option for Indian students owing to its interesting programs, prestigious national and international institutions, and its proximity to India.

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