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Last Updated: March 04, 2021

Study in Singapore

Studying internationally can seem like a daunting prospect for any student. Moving abroad, either for the short or long term requires extensive research and planning to prepare adequately for things like living accommodations, programs of study, expenses, and other necessary details.

Singapore is a world leader in higher education thanks to its excellent school system, brilliant professors, emphasis on research, and world-class infrastructure. Because of the presence of people from all parts of the globe, Singapore is a veritable melting-pot of civilization and demonstrates a unique blend of eastern and western culture; therefore, no matter the background of the student, they will have ample opportunity to fit in.

The first steps to studying in Singapore require locating appropriate schools and institutions which offer the desired programs for the student's study path. In most international rankings, Singapore is highly regarded for the high quality and diversity of its educational programs. There are a total of six highly reputed autonomous universities in the country, two of which are ranked within the top 20 in the QS international list of best universities in the world (The National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University), each providing the opportunity to study for an undergraduate/postgraduate degree or to continue with a degree program from another location for short-term studies. Entry into each school varies depending on the university and whether a student is entering the first year, as a transfer, or studying abroad for the short term.

Why Study in Singapore?

There are myriad reasons as to why one should study in Singapore, some of these are listed below:

1. Cost of Education

The reasonable cost of education in Singapore, despite its excellent quality is a reason why it is a popular destination for international students, especially those from SEA countries.

MOE Tuition Grant

The Ministry of Education Tuition Grant is an initiative by the Government of Singapore to help subsidize the cost of education for both local and international students in Singapore. This grant substantially reduces the fee of educational institutions making it easier for students to pursue higher education. Singapore citizens will receive the grant automatically, and the rest will have to apply when they commence their studies. To be eligible for the MOE Tuition Grant, one must be: However, it must be noted that permanent residents and international students who benefit from this grant are obligated to work for a Singapore entity for at least three years after completion of their courses. Students who do not wish to serve this bond have the option to not opt for the MOE tuition grant and instead pay non-subsidized fees through the entirety of their education. Singapore citizens do not have to serve this bond.

(Note:All students, regardless of nationality, admitted to the Faculties of Medicine or Dentistry will be required to undertake a service bond with the Singapore Ministry of Health for five or six years for pursuing the medical course, and four or five years for students pursuing the dental course respectively.)

2. Quality of Education

That the country offers high-quality education is proven by the following:
  1. Though Singapore is located within the borders of Asia, prospective students do not have to worry about the existence of a language barrier barring them from any activities or learning experiences. Many languages are spoken in the country, but English is the most commonly used, specifically for travelers and official purposes. Very rarely will students come across a translation-related challenge.
  2. Excellent Universities: Some universities from Singapore have high rankings in the latest World University Rankings published by QS. Universities such as the National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and Singapore Management University are among the best in the world; few universities can rival them regarding the quality of education.
  3. Emphasis on Research: Like the best universities in the world, universities in Singapore place a very high emphasis on research at the undergraduate and graduate levels. From the beginning, you will be encouraged to join one of the many world-leading labs to learn from the best in the field.
  4. Tie-Ups with the Best: Universities from Singapore offer many courses jointly with other premier universities such as Johns Hopkins, Yale, MIT, Yale, and Imperial College London. So, after your graduation, you will receive a joint degree (always a useful addition to one’s resume).
  5. When compared to other destinations for an excellent higher education like the United States and the United Kingdom, the tuition charges in Singapore Universities are very reasonable. While tuition is comparatively low, especially combined with the MOE grant, the quality of education is equal to the best.

3. Quality of Life

Unlike most developed countries, even students of very limited means are able to maintain a very decent quality of life without much effort. Some of the positives are:
  1. Cheap Food: Getting a wholesome meal which will satisfy you completely is very, very easy. There are many canteens and small eateries in the city which offer food at very reasonable rates (2$- 3$ for a complete meal). The best part, however, is that you will find something to suit your taste no matter which part of the globe you are from. From Chinese to Italian to Indian, most of the major cuisines of the world can be found. So, wasting your time by cooking yourself can be avoided completely.
  2. Housing: Housing is available both on the campus and off-campus. While on-campus housing will allow you to interact with the local students, lower your traveling time, at times it is costlier than off-campus housing. If you want to save some money, look for off-campus housing near the area of your university (many are easily found).
  3. Travel: Singapore as a city is extremely well connected, so traveling from any part of the city to another is very simple. While taxis are costly, the local bus and monorail present will allow you to move with ease and convenience since the frequency is very high. Most universities also offer bus services during the mornings and evenings for students from major localities. As with any city, students should be aware of their surroundings and valuables; though Singapore is one of the safest cities in the world (with a very low crime rate), students should still take measures to maintain personal safety when traveling. Transportation is readily available and highly recommended in Singapore
  4. Local Attractions and Activities: From amusement parks to malls to places of natural beauty, the number of things available to pass the time as a student are quite high.

4. Work-Life

The visa rules in the country are quite lenient (when compared to other countries) so getting a visa is easier. Additionally, thanks to its growing economy, you will find jobs of all types, jobs which will pay you a lot. Most universities have admission committees that will help you to locate a job. If you are considering higher studies, do think about Singapore also. With its excellent value for money universities, great quality of life, Singapore offers the best in all aspects of life for a student.

Top Universities in Singapore

The fees for a few relevant universities and their most popular courses are listed below (fees are specified for a period of one year or 2 semesters, unless specified otherwise):
  1. National University of Singapore:
    • An Under-graduate degree in the National University of Singapore costs the following according the course: Arts and Social Sciences- $30,000, Business- $32,000, Computing- $38,000, Dentistry- $160,000, Engineering- $38,000, Law- $38,000, Medicine-$160,000
    • A postgraduate degree in the National University of Singapore costs the following according the course: Arts and Social Sciences- $39,000, Business- $39,000, Computing- $38,000, Dentistry- $65,000, Engineering- $41,000, Law- $39,000, Medicine- $65,500
  2. Nanyang Technology University:
    • An undergraduate degree in Nanyang Technology University costs on average $32,000-$33,000. However, degrees in Accountancy, Business, Computer Engineering cost more around $37,000. Degrees in Medicine and Renaissance Engineering Programme are not available without the MOE Tuition Grant, and with it their fees are $75,000 and $38,000 respectively.
    • A postgraduate degree in Nanyang Technology University has the following fees for their respective courses: Master of Engineering and Master of Science- $42,300, Master of Accountancy/Master of Applied Science/Master of Arts/Master of Business/Master of Communication Studies-$36,000
  3. Singapore Management University:
    • Undergraduate degrees in SMU will cost the following (according to the course): Bachelor of Accountancy/Bachelor of Business Management/Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Social Science- $44,700 and Bachelor of Laws- $47,300
    • Postgraduate degrees cost the following: Master of Business Administration- $68,000, Master of Science in Accounting (Data & Analytics)- $46,000, Master of Science in Financial Economics-$48,000, Master of Laws- $37,500. (The amounts here are representative of the total course fee)