Singapore Education System

Singapore enjoys a strong brand name in education, built upon its success in the public education system. Its reputation for offering high-quality education has attracted many leading educational institutions from all over the world to set up operations in the country. Today, Singapore is home to distinguished foreign tertiary institutions including INSEAD, DigiPen Institute of Technology and the German Institute of Science and Technology. The tremendous diversity and choices available have made Singapore a centre of global educational excellence, attracting some 86,000 international students to develop their skills in Singapore. Students have a wide selection of quality education options that range from business, engineering and life sciences to digital animation, fashion, culinary arts, luxury brand management and hospitality.

Singapore invests heavily in education because people are its primary resource. The education system is designed to groom a bright and literate population armed with skills and talents that are relevant to growing Singapore’s economy and ensuring its survival.

The Singapore Education brand spans the full-range of formal education; education is compulsory for children between 6 and 15 years of age, or up to Grade 6 level. Most children in Singapore attend national schools that abide by a broad-based public education system. Private education exists to offer alternative routes and courses, especially at tertiary level.

There are four universities in Singapore: the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University and Singapore University of Technology and Design. Working adults can enrol in the Open University Degree Programme run by the Singapore Institute of Management.

Singapore’s polytechnics offer tertiary education through a wide-range of diploma courses; these are practical-oriented, with plenty of group work. Disciplines included are tourism, biotechnology, digital media, engineering, business studies, mass communications, accountancy and hospitality management. The five polytechnics are Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, and Temasek Polytechnic.

Expatriates who wish to enrol their children in schools with a curriculum similar to that of their home country can enquire with the various international schools around.

Singapore’s vibrant and diverse community of world-class pre-tertiary, tertiary and corporate training institutions have been of great appeal to foreign students, faculties, professionals and researchers.

Singapore is a cosmopolitan city and a premier destination for lifelong learning, complemented with world-class educational institutions. Students can embark on a pedagogical journey that combines the best of global knowledge with the wisdom of Asian insights; immerse themselves in a wide range of educational offerings; and embrace a learning and living environment that is both inspiring and conducive.

The education of education in Singapore is quite low as compared to other study abroad destinations like UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. The cost of study in Singapore varies according to the institute, course and duration of the course. You might end up paying S$ 5000 to S$ 20000 approximately for 6 months to 2 years Diploma course, S$ 24000 to S$ 55000 approximately for 2 to 4 years Bachelor Degree course and S$ 18,500 to S$ 30000 approximately for 1 to 1.5 years Master Degree Course. If you are studying 5 years Medical and Dental courses in Singapore, you might end up paying subsidised tuition fee with an obligation to work for 3 years in Singapore under The Tuition Grant Bond.

Cost of Living

If you’re an international student who’s decided to pursue an postgraduate/undergraduate education in Singapore, you’ll have to account for your living expenses, in addition to your course fees.

The following is the approximate monthly cost of living in Singapore, the amount will vary according to the student’s personal needs and lifestyle patterns. Do note that the list does not include non-essential items like entertainment, computers, shopping, electronic devices and travel plans.

  • If you’re studying in a local university, their student hostels are approximately S$200 to S$720 per month
  • If you are studying in a private school, Private Student Hostels – S$250 to over $1,000
  • HDB Flats – S$250 to S$2,500 per month
  • If you’re staying in a local university campus, your monthly expenses for food (3 meals a day) is approximately S$400 – S$800
  • Monthly expenses for public transport will cost about S$100 – SS150.
  • Additional S$200 to S$300 (per month) for miscellaneous expenses

In total, an average of S$1,100 – S$2,000 should be sufficient in helping you cover your living expenses in Singapore.

Application Process

The students must have completed higher secondary schooling or pre-university education and gained a passing certificate of GCE “O” level examination from Singapore or an equivalent qualification of minimum 12 years of schooling from an overseas country to apply for the undergraduate courses in Singapore. And to apply for postgraduate studies, students should have completed minimum 3-4 years of undergraduate studies depending on whether a student wants to take up master’s degree program or a doctoral degree. And for those looking to apply for an MBA course in Singapore universities are required to hold on a minimum: a bachelor’s degree and 2-3 years of work experience.

The application form can be downloaded from the university’s official website or can be requested to be mailed to candidate’s residential address. There are few universities/institutions that accept only the online completion and submission of the application form. Priority is given is to those candidates who submit the applications well ahead of the closing dates.

Competitive Examination: Students who’re seeking admission in Singapore universities may have to take an entrance of competitive examination, conducted and evaluated by the university itself. Good scores are expected out of students.

GMAT: Students who’re seeking admission either in MBA or in postgraduate course (masters or doctoral) with management related subjects are required to appear and score well in the Graduate Management Admission Test.

IELTS/TOEFL: Students who’ve not had English as a medium of education are required to take IELTS/TOEFL English proficiency exam. The minimum score requirement can be inquired from the university.

Application Requirements

  • Depending on the course the students want to apply for, they should submit the certified copies of the required transcripts/mark sheets/certificates of the minimum qualification.
  • The students should get the above mentioned documents translated into English language from an individual or authority recognized by the authority of a student’s home country.
  • Students should also get the marks converted according to the grading system that is followed in Singapore. School/University/College authorities.
  • Scorecards of IELTS/TOEFL and GMAT exams are also to be submitted to the university authorities.
  • For students seeking admission in an MBA course, it’s absolutely mandatory to have a minimum of 2-3 years of work experience. A detailed CV along with letter of recommendation.
  • For students seeking admission in a doctoral program, letters of recommendations and a statement of purpose (personal essays) mentioning the reasons as to why the student wants to pursue the particular field of study in doctoral degree .
  • Apart from the above requirements, the students may also be asked to submit certified copies of their birth certificates or identity proofs and medical reports if they have or have had any illnesses or disabilities.

All applicants must apply in person at the nearest Embassy of Singapore. Information below is for reference purposes only. Please address all questions to the Embassy of Singapore directly.

Application requirements:

>>>>2 copies of form 16, V103, form V39S and form V39Q. (The first set of forms must be original. The second set may be photocopies of the original set).b

>>>>Original, signed India passport with at least 6 months of remaining validity.

>>>>The original and a photo copy, of the applicant’s official birth certificate.

>>>>Passport-type photographs: 2

>>>>Itinerary – Copy of round trip tickets or itinerary.

>>>>Academic Certificates

>>>>Enrollment Letter. Original enrollment letter from the school in Singapore signed by both the applicant and the school.

>>>>IELTS Report

>>>>Sufficient funds to cover your stay in Singapore

>>>>Yellow fever vaccination certificate if passing through or coming from an endemic zone within 6 days of arriving in Singapore.

>>>>Personal Letter. A personal letter from the applicant addressed to the Embassy of Singapore, explaining the purpose of the trip, dates of travel, cities to be visited, and place of accommodation.

Student Pass / Visa processing will take approximately four to five weeks.

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