They say, ‘good things come in small packages,’ and Singapore fits that description perfectly. Situated on the Malay Peninsula, Singapore has, in the past few decades, grown from a small trading country to one of the most developed economies in Asia, home to a magnificent business centre and world-class universities.
Demographically, Singapore is a conglomeration of diverse ethnicities including Chinese, Malay, Indian and European. This demographic diversity helps students leverage the vibrancy of the student and professional communities to broaden their perspectives and gain truly international exposure. Singapore has a robust law and order structure and its people are the most law-abiding in the world. Students won’t lose any sleep fretting about safety! Singapore’s infrastructure and public transportation is also highly sophisticated and well-developed.
Singapore has time and again been placed among the most popular destinations in the world for higher education, a status it enjoys because of its world-class academic institutes and universities which offer a wide range of programs to suit student preferences. The reasonably low cost of living, abundant employment opportunities, infrastructure, vibrant city life and available scholarships for high-achieving students are all reasons students vie for admission to universities in Singapore. Singapore’s close proximity to India makes it a great choice for Indian students who want to study closer to home. Some of the world’s best universities and business schools have international campuses in Singapore, including Yale University and INSEAD.
Popular courses like Engineering, Management, Hospitality, Pure and Applied Sciences, Arts and Social Science and Design are available. To secure admission, students need a three or four-year bachelor’s degree (Indian degrees are accepted in Singapore) and a good GRE score. For Business and Management programs, students may also need work experience.
English Language Tests
For international students, taking an English language test is required, and the IELTS or TOEFL are both accepted. Universities may also give exemptions from the English Language requirement depending on individual factors.
A master’s Program lasts one to two years and intakes are in January and in August. While this biannual intake is prevalent for most Public Universities, Private Universities may have intakes every quarter depending on the program.
Singapore boasts of a high standard of living and students enjoy the same. In numbers, a student needs approximately SGD 1,200 per month for living. A master’s program will cost somewhere in the range of SGD 25,000 to SGD 50,000, and if a student has an exemplary record, they may also receive a scholarship.
Alongside several world-class educational institutions, Singapore has private campuses, public campuses, and branch campuses (satellite campuses) of other popular higher education institutions. There are six autonomous universities:
• The National University of Singapore: Ranked the second best university in Asia and in the top 20 universities in the world by the QS ranking, NUS is a research intensive university which follows a multi-disciplinary approach towards academics. Seventeen different faculties and schools give a range of degree field choices, among which Pure and Applied Science, Medical and Biomedical, Engineering, Computing and Business are the most popular choices.
• Nanyang Technological University: This university takes the first place in Asia in the QS list and 11th in the world. Popular departments include Engineering, Pure and Applied Science and Business, where students get to opt for either Coursework (with thesis) or Research–based programs. Ambitious scientists have opportunities to be a part of collaborative research programs at NTU.
• Singapore Management University: Most popular for its Business and Accountancy programs, SMU follows the academic model of top US business schools. The Lee Kong Chian School of Business is accredited by AACSB and EQUIS. Strategically placed in downtown Singapore near the Central Business District, the university has strong working ties with industry experts and organizes workshops and seminars to provide students real life professional experience.
• Singapore University of Technology & Design: Imparting world-class education and exposure, SUTD has extended collaborations with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Zhejiang University (ZJU), and Singapore Management University (SMU). These collaborations include research, and a multidisciplinary, technical-focused curriculum.
• Singapore Institute of Technology: A rather young university, SIT was established in 2009 and is the first university of applied learning in Singapore. It has clustered its degree programs into Engineering (ENG), Chemical Engineering and Food Technology (CEFT), Infocomm Technology (ICM), Health and Social Sciences (HSS), and Design and Specialized Business (DSB).
• Singapore University of Social Sciences: SUSS offers over 70 degree programs from five schools, including the the C-three (Counselling), Centre for Applied Research, Centre for Chinese Studies, Centre for Continuing and Professional Education and the Teaching and Learning Centre .
Other Popular Private Universities:
• Singapore Institute of Management (SIM): SIM is the largest private university in Singapore and offers more than 80 academic programs and several more through its extensive partnerships with other universities like RMIT and University of Sydney in Australia, Grenoble Ecole de Management in Europe, University of Birmingham and University of Warwick in the UK, University of Buffalo – State University of New York in the USA and many more.
• Management Development Institute of Singapore: One of the most popular private academic institutions in Singapore, MDIS offers programs in Business and Management, Engineering, Information Technology, Travel and Hospitality, Health Science and Biotechnology. The degrees are offered in collaboration with partner universities in the USA and UK.
• James Cook University: The Singapore Campus of the James Cook University – Australia, it is well-known for programs in Business, Information Technology, Tourism and Hospitality and Psychology.
• Lasalle College of Arts: A dynamic place to venture into the academic depths of contemporary art and design, Lasalle is a progressive art and design school. A recipient of the EduTrust Star certification, the university offers programs designed in integration with industry standards and requirements. Among several programs, the university offers master’s programs in Fine Art, Design, Creative Writing and Art Therapy.
Students will find more industry-oriented programs here in the form of both diploma and degree programs. The 5 polytechnics in Singapore are:
• Nanyang Polytechnic
• Republic Polytechnic
• Ngee Ann Polytechnic
• Temasek Polytechnic
• Singapore Polytechnic
Singapore also is home to satellite campuses of foreign universities like INSEAD and ESSEC.
Student Visa and Work Permit
Documents needed for the visa process are copies of a passport, birth certificate, academic documents, C.V., employment certificates (if applicable) and proof of adequate finances to cover the expenses for at least one year (financial documents can vary between institutes – private or public).
Students of the National Universities and Polytechnics can also work part time up to 16 hours weekly. However, this liberty is not given to students of private institutes. After completion of a graduate program, students can apply for a visa extension to look for jobs.
Studying in a developed country with a world class education system, students can almost be assured of success with a Singaporean degree. In the international job market, graduates with a degree from a Singaporean university will have an elevated status in the fields of Business, Banking and Finance, Engineering and Manufacturing, Information Technology, Service and Hospitality, Transport & Logistics, Retail, Media and Communication and Education. Rightly named the ‘New York of the East,’ Singapore is home to several multi-national companies and indigenous industries, giving students with high-profile degrees access to many employment opportunities after graduation.
If you are interested in pursuing a master’s degree in a country with great international exposure and abundant job opportunities that’s not far from home, consider Singapore and reach out to our representatives for personalized application guidance tailored to your academic and professional profile.