Until 2024, Singapore is having a specialized secondary education. Based on the PSLE examelementary school final exam students are divided into 4 main specializations:
- Standard academic (preparation for the university);
- Standard technical (vocational training);
- The integrated program.
In standard specializations (academic and technical), training lasts for 4 years and upon graduation, students pass the Singapore-Cambridge Exam (GCE) level "N" (Normal). They also have the opportunity to learn for an extra year and pass the GCE level "O" (Ordinary)required for enrolment to the university. In the technical field, preference is given to more applied areas (for example, design or technology), while in the academic field, fundamental sciences (for example, the basics of accounting).
The express specialization lasts for 4 years, followed by Singapore-Cambridge GCE "O" level. In such programs, special emphasis is placed on the in-depth study of the native or foreign languages.
Integrated programs last for 4 years. The best students with high achievements study at them. Upon completion, IB diplomas are issued or GCE level "A" (Advanced) is taken.
In Singapore, there are specialized independent schools with a focus on mathematics and science, sports, or the arts.
In universities of Singapore, there is a lot of competition for admission, so the high score for the GCE exam (from A, O to N in descending order) gives the applicant a major advantage. The scores are also taken into account when enrolling in universities around the world.
By 2025, the Singapore government plans to reform secondary education by replacing specializations with unified education. According to authorities, such a system will be more flexible and relieve students from psychological pressure associated with choosing their future at such an early age.
Singapore public schools are considered some of the best in the world. The training takes place in English as well as in native languages of students, for example, Chinese. Public schools charge a fee for foreigners: an average of 1,040 USD per month. Foreign citizens can study in international schools. Their cost starts from 11,141 USD.
Thanks to the economic breakthroughs of the past 30 years, Singapore has been able to combine the cultural values of the East and the high standard of living of the West. Education is the main priority in the development of the country. This is confirmed by the top places of universities in international rankings and the rapid development of research and innovation. Today, Singapore has become one of the most important economic centers in Asia and the world. The state spares no funding for universities and students, because it believes that the country's wealth lies in people. For a foreign student, Singapore is an ideal place to acquire knowledge in the fields of science, business, finance, and management. The prestige of the Singaporean diploma will allow graduates to choose a job not only in their native country, but also around the world.
- The best universities in the world and Asia. According to the QS rating Singapore National University and Nanyang University of Technology are considered the best in Asia. And in the THE ranking they are among the top 100 best universities, occupying places 25 and 61, respectively. This is achieved due to the fact that the state strictly controls the compliance of educational programs with international academic standards.
- Prestige and the opportunity to improve. Singapore’s modern educational system promotes the principle of "lifelong learning". To support this idea, universities are opening continuing education programs. Their main focus is the development of independence and a culture of self-education, so that even after graduation, students do not stop learning and developing. Diplomas obtained in Singapore are valued all over the world, so many graduates can travel abroad in search of a new professional and life experiences.
- The English language. It is one of the official languages of the country. Education at universities is conducted in English. In daily life knowing just English would be sufficient enough, despite the ethnic diversity of the inhabitants.
- Developed campuses. Students have modern campuses at their disposal. On their territory, there are libraries, museums, and research centers. Here you can find everything you need for leisure: tennis courts, swimming pools, and gyms. For example, in Nanyang Polytechnic, an Olympic-sized swimming pool was built for students — 50 meters in length and 25 meters in width.
- Research potential. R&Dresearch and development is highly developed in Singapore. The state generously finances research activities, universities are actively engaged in it, and large companies in the country hire academicians to work. If you are interested in R&D, then education in Singapore will definitely help you to get your foot in the door of that industry.
- The independence of educational institutions. The Singapore government gives great academic freedom to universities, for example, in choosing professors to hire and their salaries. Therefore, universities independently monitor the curriculum and adjust programs every year to the needs of today. And this is a guarantee that the knowledge of graduates will be relevant in the work market after their graduation.
- University professors. The professors of Singaporean universities are specialists in their field and doctors of sciences from the best universities in the world. The requirements for obtaining a position at universities are high, so you can definitely be sure of the high competence of teachers. Moreover, in Singapore there is a National Institute of Education, which trains teachers in all levels and specialties. It is one of the best pedagogical institutes, occupying 16th place in the world and 2nd in Asia according to the QS rating.
- Employment. The prestige of Singaporean diplomas guarantees the applicant high chances in the labor market. In 2019, 90.7% of graduates from universities in Singapore found work within 6 months of passing the final exams. The highest percentage of full-time jobs were for specialists in the fields of information and digital technologies.
- A large number of clubs and events. Most universities and colleges organize interest clubs and communities. They are not necessarily associated with academic subjects and accept students on a free basis. For example, music clubs (jazz, choir, DJing), sports (fencing, chess, judo, basketball), mathematical, marketing, and other communities. In addition, universities conduct sports, charity events, theater performances, and various thematic fairs. For example, in NUS there is an annual RAG AND FLAG campaign, in 2018 students raised a record 581,000 USD by building rafts from recycled materials. The funds raised went to 21 charity organizations supported by Community Chest.
- Innovation and economics. Singapore is a small state, but it is of great importance in the field of higher education and scientific research. Several international reports have recognized the country as the world leader in research and innovation over the past few decades. Singapore ranked eighth in the ranking of the Global Innovation Index 2019, the second place in the IMD World Digital Competitiveness 2019 ranking, and the first place in the ranking of the Global Competitiveness Index 2019.
- Safety of the country. The percentage of crime in Singapore is minimal. No police are visible on the streets, but surveillance cameras hang everywhere. The authorities of Singapore strictly monitor the order in the country, and for violations there are large fines, both local and visitors.
- Cosmopolitanism. Singapore is a multicultural and expatriate country with a unique flavor. For several consecutive years, the state took 1st place in the ranking of the best places of residence for expats, but in 2019 lost the championship to Switzerland. Multiculturalism can be traced not only among the population, but also in architecture. Here, glass skyscrapers can coexist with houses of the colonial era and Buddhist temples. Most notable are influences from Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, China and India.
- The cost of education. Education and life in Singapore are much more expensive than in neighboring Asian countries. At top universities, tuition costs go up to 44,562 USD. And rental prices in Singapore may exceed 1,114 USD: it’s cheaper to live in student dormitories or in host families. When planning training, it is worth considering not only the cost of the educational program itself, but also the additional costs, for example, for the purchase of textbooks. You can also apply for a grant or scholarship, which will significantly reduce training costs.
- Small selection of universities. In Singapore, there are only 6 autonomous state higher education institutions. Difficulties may arise with the search for a program in highly specialized areas — in this case, you will have to study in a program with a more general program.
- Focus on ratings. Education is a high priority in the culture of Asian countries and Singapore is no exception. From childhood families set up their children for academic success and the race for achievement. As a result, often teachers of schools and universities put excellent marks above the learning experience itself. This affects the learning process: a tense atmosphere reigns in the classrooms. Moreover, an excessive desire for the highest result takes away the lion's share of extracurricular time.
- High competition. It starts with admission and continues throughout your studies in Singapore, especially at top universities. Therefore, the future student needs to be prepared for pressure and stress. But this should not stop the applicant. Challenging yourself and getting out of your comfort zone is an integral part of studying abroad.
- Singlish. In addition to classical English, the country uses its own Singaporean version of it. Singaporeans themselves call it Singlish — it is built on the basis of the English language and has elements of Chinese, Indian and Malay languages mixed with American and Australian slang. Despite the popularization of standard English by the Singapore government (program Speak Good English Movement), Singaporeans still prefer to use Singlish among themselves. However, locals can easily switch to the standard language if they see that you don’t understand them.
- And again about the language. The local accent and the aforementioned Singlish can be an obstacle to learning proper English. If your goal is to learn and improve the language, then it is better to consider some native English-speaking countries.
- Hot weather. If you prefer cold countries, then you have to adapt to life on the equator of the planet. The climate in Singapore is hot and humid, with frequent unpredictable rains. A good thing is that all vehicles and almost all rooms are equipped with air conditioning, since even at night the outside temperature may not drop below 25 degrees. But you can save a lot of money on winter and in-between season outfits.
- Fines and prohibitions. In Singapore, there are many rules and laws for violating which in other countries you will go unpunished, but here you have to pay hefty fines. In educational institutions and public places in Singapore, prohibition signs definitely catch the eye. So you will feel the atmosphere of prohibitions and the rule of law as soon as you set foot on the Singapore soil. However, there is a huge plus in all of this: thanks to such a strict attitude to law enforcement, Singapore is considered one of the safest countries in the world.
Guidance in the admission process
Our staff will walk you through the entire admission process: from choosing a university and preparing documents to enrollment and obtaining a visa. We are always in touch and ready to answer any questions. UniPage experts will always objectively assess your situation and suggest the most suitable university options.
|Arts and Humanities||41|
|Engineering and Technology||38|
|Life Sciences and Medicine||28|
|Social Sciences and Management||30|
|Economics & Business||17|
|Popularity rating in the world||20|
|Ranking of universities in the world||15|
|Quality of teaching||33|
|Citations per Faculty||26|
|Universities in top 100||2|
|Universities in top 200||2|
|Universities in top 500||2|
|Universities in top 1000||3|
|Universities in top 5000||9|
|Expenses - USD/Month||Min.||Med.|
|Communications and utilities||65||80|
|Sports and leisure||43||115|
|Accommodation in Singapore||USD/Month|
|Shared room outside of centre||641|
|Shared room in city centre||1,137|
|1 bedroom apartment outside of centre||1,123|
|1 bedroom apartment in city centre||1,710|