Why study in Singapore?
The city-state of Singapore has evolved as one of the most popular and preferred study abroad destinations for Indian students. A conglomerate of nearly 63 islands, this island nation has carved a niche for itself among those opting to pursue overseas higher education and research. After its independence in 1965, the country has emerged as a strong economy and has progressed from an underdeveloped nation to a leading trade hub connecting the East and the West. Its high-quality standard of education, proximity to India and high level of safety and security attract a significant number of Indian undergraduate aspirants to this developed country every year.
Singapore’s popularity among undergraduate students is attributed to its high-end educational opportunities in the fields of animation, music, law, business studies, and game development and design. South Asian students in particular prefer to study in Singapore for the following reasons:
• Economical cost of education: tuition fee and living expenses are lower than the western nations
• Scholarship options: financial aid is provided to international students by the Singapore Ministry of Education
• Proximity to India: geographically well-connected to India and the rest of Asia with one of the best airports in the world
• Significant career opportunities: a number of the world’s leading businesses have their headquarters in Singapore
• Stringent laws: politically stable country with a strict legal system
• Cultural advantage: home to a large Indian population dating back to the 19th century
The quality of education in Singapore is closely tied to its ambitious economic objectives, resulting in an education system that is among the best in the world. Academic institutions in Singapore focus on harnessing the full potential of their students while preparing them to contribute extensively to the development of the world economy.
The criteria for admission in Singapore universities are quite similar to Indian university admissions. The application process is streamlined with minimal documentation required. The eligibility parameters include basic Class 12 education, though the minimum eligibility percentage is set by the individual universities.
IELTS or TOEFL is the only requirement for universities in Singapore but some undergraduate programmes require the SAT scores and SAT Subject Test scores to be submitted (most notably for a Bachelor’s of Science in Physics or Maths). Some universities also exempt students from SAT and IELTS scores if they have completed Class 12 from CBSE/ICSE boards. Another mandatory requirement for admission to the arts and design programmes is the submission of a portfolio in support of the student’s creative abilities.
Top Universities in Singapore
Singapore is home to six public universities, five polytechnics, two art institutions, and more than 15 private institutions. Beyond its diversity of programmes in higher education, Singapore also offers students a choice among a number of competitive universities including:
• National University of Singapore (NUS)
• Nanyang Technological University
• Singapore Management University
• Singapore Institute of Management
• Singapore University of Technology and Design
• Singapore Institute of Technology
• LASALLE College of the Arts
With modern teaching tools, technology, and research facilities, Singapore’s universities deliver top-quality courses that nurture students’ creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. Strong links between universities and neighbouring industries also ensure that curricula allows students to gain valuable practical skills.
Universities in Singapore provide undergraduate degrees in almost any field you can imagine. You can pursue a degree in business, engineering, languages, or social sciences. The most popular degrees are:
Engineering: hands-on projects and research-focused program that offers internships and student exchange opportunities at another renowned university, either in Singapore or abroad
Computer Science: increased scope for IT professionals through Singapore Government’s Intelligent Nation Masterplan (iN2015) has popularized this course
Media Studies: a multi-disciplinary course that paves the way for students to hone a broad range of skills, from media installations and creative writing to interactive media and critical thinking
Undergrad students take around 20 credit hours every semester
BA or BS degree is awarded at the end of the course
Flexible undergraduate curriculum is offered with the opportunity to pursue a double-degree, double-major, or joint-degree program
Academic performance is measured by grade points on a 5-point scale
Some universities accept credit transfer from recognized institutions with a minimum grade of “B” (equivalent to 75% – 80%)
Application cannot be made with an undecided major (except for engineering degree where it can be selected after the first semester)
Stringent attendance policy with above 90% attendance for each semester
The duration of an undergraduate education in Singapore ranges from three to four years.
Singapore is one of the most affordable destinations for higher education. The tuition fees for an undergraduate degree in Singapore vary from SGD 25,000 and 40,000 depending on the type of course and the university chosen. While education costs are low, Singapore is one of the most expensive countries in Asia in terms of cost of living, with average living costs around S$ 12,000 per annum.
Popular Courses Tuition Fee Per Year Living Expenses
SGD 12,000 – SGD 24,000 per year
Arts and Social Sciences SGD 29,000
Engineering/Computer Science SGD 37,000
Media Studies SGD 37,000
Architecture and Design SGD 38,000
Medicine SGD 135,000
Law SGD 37,000
1 Singapore dollar (SGD) = 47 INR approximately
Student Visa Terms and Provisions
Student Pass application must be submitted at least two months prior to the course start date
Once admitted by a university, a student is allotted a SOLAR application number
Students must log on to the SOLAR system from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) website with their assigned SOLAR application number
Processing time is usually 3-14 working days for applications submitted via the SOLAR portal
Upon approval, the student will receive an In-Principle Approval Letter
On reaching Singapore, he/she must fix an appointment with the ICA for the issuance of the Student Pass Card
Singapore is a cosmopolitan city in the heart of Southeast Asia. It has revamped its education in the last two decades from rote-style learning to an increased focus on critical thinking and innovation and honing industry-level capabilities. The country’s ideal of meritocracy has attracted some of the best students globally and its highly-competitive programs produce globally-coveted job candidates. With over 7,000 multinational companies operating in Singapore, there are a multitude of jobs available for international students.
As per the Government of Singapore, the following industries are currently booming in the country:
Tourism and Retail
Healthcare and Finance
Notably, many academic institutions allow international students to work for 16 hours per week without additional paperwork in order to manage their high living expenses. Singapore’s concentration of technical and engineering firms is often a safe bet for Indian graduates seeking employment after completing their undergraduate degree with multinational corporations in Singapore keen to hire Indian graduates. To work in Singapore, Indian graduates need to get an S-Pass or Employment Pass.
Checklist: Admissions Requirements
Top schools in Singapore look for:
An aggregate of 95% in the higher-secondary examination
Competitive scores on SAT if the student has studied from ICSE, CBSE or IB Board; three SAT Subject Tests are required (one of the subjects must be Mathematics)
SAT is mandatory in case of state board
Strong extracurricular or co-curricular background
Predictive grades for Class 12 if the student is in the final year of school
Institutions usually do not require:
TOEFL or IELTS, if students have passed out of English-medium schools and have scored over 75% in English
Letters of recommendation (unless specified)
Deadlines and Intake
There is a single intake for undergraduates applying to universities in Singapore which is the August to September fall intake. Applications usually open by October of the preceding year January of the same year and extend until June. Deadlines for applications are usually from March to April.
So, are you ready to choose Singapore for an enriching graduate education to establish a rewarding career after graduating from this technological hub? Do connect with our representatives for more details on proceeding further and fulfilling your ambition of pursuing an overseas education in Singapore.