Singapore envisages to becoming a “Global Schoolhouse” offering a diverse and distinctive mix of educational services in a safe, cosmopolitan and comfortable environment. Singapore is the premier education hub in Asia. Driven by excellence, Singapore education offers a broad base curriculum and global perspective to equip students with the relevant qualification and training that serves as a springboard to a brighter future. The island's strong reputation for quality education has drawn the world's top institutions to set up campuses in Singapore. Unique is the word that best captures Singapore, a dynamic city rich in contrast and colour where you'll find a harmonious blend of culture, cuisine, arts and architecture. A bridge between the East and the West for centuries, Singapore is located in the heart of fascinating Southeast Asia, continues to embrace tradition and modernity today.

Hub of Education Excellence
Singapore is a premier education hub which offers students an international perspective and diversity of options. In an environment that is inspiring and conducive to education, Singapore provides high quality of teaching and research. From an internationally recognized public school system, to world class universities, Singapore ensures a comprehensive education environment. More than 16 leading foreign universities have also set up centers of excellence in education and research in Singapore. Quality private education organizations add further diversity to the nation's education landscape.

Affordable Quality Education
Tuition fees are affordable and the cost of living in Singapore is still significantly lower than of many developed countries. With Singapore's tradition of meritocracy talented students who need financial assistance can find the help they need in form of scholarships, bursaries and study loans.

Infrastructure and Accessibility Singapore is well connected via sea, air and telecommunications to all parts of the world. It is fairly close to India encouraging students to visit home during every academic break.

Global Business Hub Singapore is consistently acknowledged to be a global business hub with its developed infrastructure, political stability and open business policy. More than 7000 Multinational Corporations (MNC) alongside 1,00,000 small and medium enterprises (SME) have set up their base in Singapore, with many choosing Singapore as their regional hub and launch pad to dynamic markets of Asia. Singapore offers limitless career and networking possibilities to global citizens keen to apply their talents to the opportunities that can be found there.

Vibrant and Cosmopolitan Lifestyle
Singapore may seem like a small dot on the world map, but the island state bustles all over with attractions and activities. The nation's rich multicultural heritage is highlighted through the various ethnic groups (Chinese, Malays, Indians, Eurasians) living together harmoniously. Singapore's high standard of living is also something that students can be assured of. In a survey reported in The Economist in March 2002, Singapore's quality of life surpassed that of London or New York.

Quality Singapore Education is a multi-government agency initiative launched by the Singapore Government in 2003 to establish and promote Singapore as a premier education hub and help international students make an informed decision on studying in Singapore. This initiative is led by the Singapore Economic Development Board and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, SPRING Singapore, International Enterprise Singapore and the Ministry of Education.

Education System

Singapore goes to great lengths to make sure that the interests of the students are kept intact and their welfare is maintained through stringent quality standards. The Education Excellence Framework put in place by the government makes sure of this by undertaking important initiatives. The Case Trust for Education formed by the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) for Private Education Organisations (PEOs). The scheme is designed to ensure that students are provided quality welfare and have the highest protection practices and standards. Private organisations that have obtained the Case Trust of Education status are allowed to admit international students to their programmes in Singapore. The Singapore Quality Class for Private Education Organisations, (SQC PEO), is the industry standard for organisation excellence in the private sector.

There are a variety of private schools that offer a number of programmes to international students. The country has over 300 private commercial, IT, Fine Arts, and language schools in Singapore. The courses range from certificates to postgraduate levels. The country has established partnerships with prominent universities from countries like Australia, UK and USA. These partnerships offer students the opportunity to gain an international certification while working in a relatively familiar environment. Institutes from around the world have also undertaken tie-ups with campuses in Singapore to provide cutting-edge programmes in a variety of niche areas.

A number of these private institutes and colleges offer degrees in partnership with popular universities. They give degrees and certifications and help students learn through internationally renowned programmes. Admission requirements for postgraduate degrees in private institutes differ from course to course. The duration of these courses can last up to 16 months. Bachelor’s degrees are offered for almost all courses. These programmes can last for 3 to 4 years. It must be noted that for post graduate courses GRE or GMAT scores may not be required. Similarly, for bachelor’s degrees SAT, TOEFL, or IELTS scores may not be necessary.

Singapore’s public universities have three specific type of programs on offer – graduate diplomas, master degrees, PhDs. Graduate diplomas are a qualification course and provides limited professional training in a particular subject. This is a preferred course of students who want to gain extra exposure in an area of their choice. These type of courses last for about a year. Master’s courses are designed to ensure that the students are prepared to enter their profession. Degrees like MA, MBA, MFA, MS etc. are considered as master degrees. Masters programmes usually demand a good bachelor’s degree and some work experience. Students whose medium of education has not been English need to score well in IELTS or TOEFL. Those applying for degrees in science related fields may also need to appear for GRE examination just like business courses may also need GMAT scores.

All the doctoral, or PhD, programmes offered in Singapore are research based. The duration of this course can be 3 to 5 years depending upon the university and various other factors. An admission to the PhD course can only be obtained after concluding the master’s degree. Students will need to appear for their GRE/GMAT and English proficiency examinations to gain admission in these programme. The country also has a wide variety of choices from polytechnic courses. These range from engineering, business studies, mass communication, design and communication. Polytechnic courses also offer a lot of specialised courses for students. These courses usually last for about 3 years and the degrees are awarded on the basis of credits accumulated through the semesters of study. These courses are open for students who have finished their tenth or twelfth standards.

Application Procedure

Most of the universities and colleges in Singapore accept applications only online. Private universities, however, may accept paper applications from students. If you are applying online to a university or college of your choice, go to their apply section and create a username and password and fill in the form available there. There are quite a few universities that offer the option of uploading all your documents online. Universities that request your documents in physical copies may ask you to courier the application form along with validated copies of your documents via courier. At Rao Consultants we make sure that your applications are not missing a single piece of information to better facilitate your admission procedure.

It is advisable to submit your applications at least a couple of months before the deadline. Postgraduate courses in public universities usually have two intakes, in January and in August, while undergraduate students have only one intake, i.e. August. Private universities, however, have intakes every month, making admission processes far easier for international students.

It is important to note that students who are applying to Singapore universities need to be present in Singapore while their applications are being considered. It is important that the students apply for a Student’s Pass before coming to Singapore as extensions are not available when applications are being considered. The passes will be issued to accepted students within a month of their applications being approved.

Depending upon your university and programme you may require to give IELTS/TOEFL as well as GRE/GMAT. It would be wise to make sure that you know what the prerequisites are for your course and university and give the necessary exams with adequate preparations. You will also need to have all your documentation like school certificates, bachelor degree certificates for each semester, a copy of your passport and assorted documents ready for submission.

Despite the high quality of education and lifestyle offered by Singapore, it can cost the student a pretty penny. Although, despite the cost of education being higher than average around the world, it makes up for it by offering students an unparalleled standard of life and career opportunities. The country’s multiculturalism ensures that international students don’t feel like outsiders and equips students with degrees that are sought after by companies around the world.

Diploma courses can set a student back by 6000 to 8000 Singapore dollars annually. These courses can last from 1 to 2 years.

Bachelor degrees can cost about 9000 to 15,000 Singapore dollars annually and the courses last for 2 to 4 years.

Master’s degrees can cost around 16,000 to 24,000 Singapore dollars annually and these programmes can last for 1 to 1.5 years.

Living expenses are also fairly substantial when you choose to study in Singapore. Most universities offer hostel facilities for international students, but students will need to apply for it in advance. Getting a hostel, however, will depend entirely on the availability of the same. University hostels charge anywhere between 200 to 700 Singapore dollars per month. This cost does not include meals. Rented private rooms off-campus can cost around 800 to 2000 Singapore dollars, students can explore off-campus hostels which charge more than university hostels, around 400 Singapore dollars, but offer great facilities. Housing Development Board flats are also available on rent in most places and are relatively cheap if you are willing to share them with others, they cost around 250 to 1000 Singapore dollars per month.

The monthly costs for students for food can be around 300 Singapore dollars and transport can be around 100 to 250 Singapore dollars. 300 Singapore dollars every month will cover other ancillary personal costs for the month. While Singapore is one the most expensive destination for a student to study at, it more than makes up for it in terms of the sheer number of opportunities it provides a student.