Study In Singapore
The city-state of Singapore, known as Lion City or Garden City, has emerged as a popular overseas study abroad destination in recent years. Education is perceived with the highest importance in the country and Singapore is known as a “global schoolhouse” across the world. National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU) are two such universities that are recognized worldwide. Academic excellence, affordable education, safety, student satisfaction and excellent post study work opportunities are some reasons that draw students to this country.
Important Facts About the Singapore
- Singapore has topped the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Global Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) Survey for several years. This survey evaluates the efficiency and quality of school systems.
- English is one of the official languages of Singapore. It is a medium of instruction in most universities and colleges, which makes the country one of the popular study abroad destinations.
- Singapore has topped HSBC’s survey of the best countries in the world for expats for several years. It is the only country from Asia to place itself in one of the top 5 positions of this survey.
- Many universities in Singapore have partnered with top universities in Canada, US, UK, and Australia, which helps students to gain global exposure while studying.
- Singapore is today considered the industrial center for information technology, aerospace, precision engineering, pharmaceuticals, biology, finance, management, supply chain management, and so on.
- Many leading global companies operate from Singapore. They have set up their global research and development laboratories in the country. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Meta are some popular names in this list.
- Geographical location, well-developed economy, efficient city planning, warm climate, and friendly social atmosphere are some factors that contribute to the high-quality life of the country. Singapore topped the list of cities with high quality of life in Asia in Mercer’s 2019 Urban Life Quality Survey.
International students who have completed their high schoo and graduate education in their home countries are eligible to study in Singapore. They can get themselves admitted to any of these programs:
- Bachelor’s Degree: These programs span over three to four years. Students can enroll for honors degrees in some colleges.
- Master’s Degree: These programs generally last one or two years, depending on the type of course chosen.
- Doctoral Degree: These programs last for two to five years, depending on the discipline. Most students complete them in five years.
- Diploma, Advanced and Specialized Diploma: They last for two or three years and allow students to specialize in a particular subject.
Grading System in Singapore
The universities in Singapore follow the Grade Point Average (GPA) system. Most public universities follow either a 4-point and 5-point grade point or computation scheme.
4- Point Grade System
Singapore Management University (SMU) follows a 4-point grade point system.
|Letter Grade||Mark Range||Grade|
|A+||86 and Above||4.3|
|A||83 to 85||4.0|
|A-||80 to 82||3.7|
|B+||77 to 79||3.3|
|B||74 to 76||3.0|
|B-||70 to 73||2.7|
|C+||66 to 69||2.4|
|C||63 to 65||2.0|
|C-||60 to 62||1.7|
|D+||53 to 59||1.3|
|D||50 to 52||1|
|F||49 and below||0|
5-Point Grade System
Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS), and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) follow a 5-point grade system.
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Types of Educational Institutions in Singapore
Singapore is known for its higher education system, featuring some world-class universities that inspire and encourage students to achieve their full potential and prepare them for a brilliant career. These educational institutes offer a wide range of long and short-term courses that meet the student’s educational needs.
- Public Universities: These universities are financed by the government and admit Singaporean and international students. There are six public universities in Singapore that offer higher education degrees in different disciplines. They are: the National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), and Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS).
- Private Universities: Most private universities in Singapore have partnered with foreign universities to offer wide variety of courses and improve their education standards. These universities charge higher tuition fees than public universities.
- Polytechnics: As of 2023, there are four polytechnics in Singapore, which offer three-year diploma courses in engineering, business studies, tourism and hospitality management, accountancy, and so on.
- Institutes of Technical Education: These vocational schools offer two-year courses with a National ITE Certificate. There are currently three ITE institutions in Singapore, which offer four levels of certification – Master National ITE Certificate (Master Nitec), Higher National ITE Certificate (Higher Nitec), National ITE Certificate (Nitec), and Specialist Nitec (Marine). They also offer diploma levels – Work Learn Technical Diploma (WLTD) and Technical Engineer Diploma (TED).
- Art Schools: They are private arts colleges offering specialized courses in arts. In 2021, the government of Singapore announced the country’s first art university the University of the Arts Singapore (UAS).
Popular Universities to Study in Singapore
Many universities in Singapore stand out due to high quality learning and teaching standards. They feature in university rankings.
|University||QS Top University Rankings 2023|
|National University of Singapore (NUS)||11|
|Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU)||19|
|Singapore Management University||561-570|
Top Business Schools in Singapore
The following are some of the top business schools in Singapore.
|Name of School||QS WUR Ranking by Subject||World University Rankings - Masters in Management||EMBA Rankings|
|INSEAD Business School||#2||#4||#2 - Asia Pacific|
Popular Universities in Singapore That Require No IELTS/TOEFL
Singapore provides world-class higher education programs in English, making it an ideal destination for international students. To study in Singapore, you must demonstrate proficiency in English by submitting the scores of English Language Proficiency (ELP) tests like IELTS and TOEFL. Indian students who have completed 12 years of school education in English medium, do not need to submit English scores. The students who have completed their education in regional languages must submit scores of ELPs to be considered for admission. However, many colleges and universities in Singapore accept alternate IELTS and TOEFL scores. The following table gives an idea of these scores.
|University||Alternate Exam Scores Accepted|
|Nanyang Technological University||Pearson Test of English (PTE) |Malaysian University English Test (MUET)|
|National University of Singapore||Pearson Test of English (PTE) |Malaysian University English Test (MUET)|
|PSB Academy||Pearson Test of English (PTE) |Malaysian University English Test (MUET)|
|INSEAD||Pearson Test of English (PTE) |Malaysian University English Test (MUET)|
|Dimensions International College||Pearson Test of English (PTE) |Malaysian University English Test (MUET)|
|East Asia Institute of Management||Pearson Test of English (PTE) |Malaysian University English Test (MUET)|
|Leadership and Management Institute||Pearson Test of English (PTE) |Malaysian University English Test (MUET)|
|Curtin University||Pearson Test of English (PTE) |Malaysian University English Test (MUET)|
|Heartpower Tesol and Teacher Training Centre||Pearson Test of English (PTE) |Malaysian University English Test (MUET)|
|London School of Business and Finance, Singapore||Pearson Test of English (PTE) |Malaysian University English Test (MUET)|
Popular Cost-Effective Universities in Singapore
Although education in Singapore is more affordable than in Europe, North America, and Oceania, still many students may find it expensive. The average cost of education in Singapore is SGD 25,000 to 40,000 for a three-year course. The public universities charge low tuition fees than private universities. The average fees at public universities may range between $8200 to $9600 per year. However, the tuition fees at private universities in Singapore may cost up to $46,000 a year, depending on the institute and type of course chosen. The public universities in Singapore offer education at subsidized rates for Singaporeans. However, international students can also apply for government-subsidized programs in exchange of Service Obligation Scheme. The below-given is the list of cost-effective universities in Singapore.
- National University of Singapore (NUS) – Public University
- Nanyang Technological University (NTU) – Public University
- Singapore Management University (SMU) – Public University
- Singapore University of Technology & Design (SUTD) – Public University
- Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)- Public University
- Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) – Public University
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How to Apply to Universities in Singapore
The application process for undergraduate and graduate programs in Singapore is much simpler than other countries. However, it must be done carefully in given deadlines. The following are common steps for application.
- Choose the program you are interested in. It is always better to select at least three programs across three study institutions.
- Visit the university websites to learn about the program, its requirements, eligibility criterion and deadlines for application.
- Alternately, you can also check the website of Admissions Office for International Students.
- Apply for the course on the website of the university or college. Unlike other countries, there is no centralized admission process in Singapore.
- Download the application form from the website and fill it out carefully with all the necessary information. Submit all required documents along with the form.
- Submit the proof of funds along with the application form.
- You will receive an acceptance letter within a few weeks. This letter is usually known as In-Principal Approval and you can use it to apply for a student visa to Singapore.
Eligibility Criteria to Study in Singapore
The eligibility criteria for public and private universities and colleges in Singapore slightly differ. However, certain requirements, as the ones described below, remain the same across them.
- Undergraduate Courses: A student must possess higher secondary school certificate or equivalent certificate with 75% minimum marks from a recognized institution. Many undergraduate courses require Indian students to submit scores of English Language Proficiency (ELP) tests and academic transcripts at the time of application form. The transcripts must be submitted only in the English language.
- Graduate Courses: A student seeking admission to graduate courses in a Singaporean university must possess a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institute or university in India, with a minimum 2.8 CGPA at the graduation level. The scores of the GRE, GMAT must be submitted during the application.
The following documents must be submitted during the application :
Intakes in Singapore
Universities in Singapore have two admission intakes, fall and spring (very few options). Based on the intake choice, international students should start preparing a minimum of 1 year in advance.
Fall Intake: This semester starts in Aug / September and ends in December. Here is the admission timeline:
June – July of the previous year: Start your research for which course and university you wish to pursue your academics from
Aug – Sept: Cater to the admission requirements such as writing the entrance exams, arranging all academic transcripts, etc.
Oct – Nov: Submit all documents before this application deadline
December- February: Start hearing back from the universities.
March: Conduct all finance related activities such as arranging for funds, loans, scholarships, etc.
May – June: Apply for a student visa
July – Aug: Prepare to go abroad
Aug – Sept: Your new semester starts
Spring Intake: This semester starts in Jan / Feb and ends in May. Here is the admission timeline:
March – April of the previous year: Start your research for which course and university you wish to pursue your academics from
May – June: Cater to the admission requirements such as writing the entrance exams, arranging all academic transcripts, etc.
July – Aug: Submit all documents before this application deadline
Sept: Conduct all finance related activities such as arranging for funds, loans, scholarships, etc.
Oct – Nov: Apply for a student visa
Dec – Jan: Prepare to go abroad
Jan – Feb: Your new semester starts
Cost of Education in Singapore
Here we have included the cost of education in SGD ($). Actual values may differ across cities and universities in Singapore.
|Types of Expenses (Annual)||Expenses in SGD|
|Tuition Fees||$20,000-$40,000 yearly for undergraduate programs (3-4 year courses) and up to $50,000 yearly for graduate programs at public universities $51,000 and above yearly for 3-4 year undergraduate programs and $40,000 and above for 1-2 year graduate programs at private universities depending on the course duration $46,000-$100,000 yearly for MBA courses|
|Living expenses including accommodation||$33,600 for one bedroom apartment + $1248 in utilities + $1440 in monthly public transport + $3600+ for food. On campus apartments are cheaper and available at $3000 and upwards.|
Types of Singapore Student Visas
The Student Pass is the only type of Singapore student visa required to study in Singapore for Indian students. This visa is accepted in all 34 Institutes of Higher Learning in Singapore. However, there are two variations of this visa depending on the course duration and type of program.
- Student Pass Based on Program Chosen: This pass can be issued for a wide range of programs, including bachelor’s and master’s courses, diplomas, vocational and certificate courses, and so on. So, your pass will be marked with the information of the course you wish to attend.
- Student Pass Based on Course Duration: A long-term or short-term pass will be issued depending on the course duration. Long term pass is issued to students wishing to apply for bachelor’s or master’s programs and short-term pass for students wishing to apply for a diploma.
How to Apply for Singapore Student Visa
Students need to apply for Singapore student visa at least one or two months before the commencement of the course by following the below steps:
- Use the acceptance letter from your Institute of Higher Learning (IHL) for your Singapore student visa application. Before this, check if your IHL is registered with Student’s Pass Online Application and Registration (SOLAR) system. This system is maintained by the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority. Once you accept the admission offer, your personal and course details will be shared with SOLAR by the IHL. You will receive an application reference number from the IHL. In the next step, use this application number to access SOLAR and start your application process.
- Log into the SOLAR website and submit Form V36 and Form 16 using login information and registration acknowledgement note.
- Fill your passport related information and address and contact details in Singapore. You can share the registered address of your IHL if you are yet to find your accommodation in Singapore.
- Review all details of the application and process it by paying the fees of SGD 30.
You would require the following documents in order to apply for Singapore student visa:
- Current and legible passport
- Form V36 for additional student information and Form 16 for the main application of student pass
- Acceptance letter issued by the IHL in Singapore
- Receipt of the visa application fee
- Bank statements showing sufficient funds for coverage of tuition fees
- Bank loan sanction letter
- Transcripts of your diplomas, degrees, and certificates in India
- Standardized and ELP score card.
Exams To Undertake For Study In Singapore
Most universities in Singapore admit students considering their academic achievements and scores of standardized and ELP tests. PTE, IELTS, and TOEFL are popular ELP tests accepted in Singapore.
- IELTS: The scores of IELTS is accepted for many graduate and undergraduate programs in Singapore. The band score for IELTS varies from 6.0 to 6.5 across public universities, which have competitive admission criteria.
- TOEFL: The TOEFL is considered as a benchmark of English proficiency by many universities in Singapore. The minimum required score for TOEFL is 100 for an internet-based test.
- PTE: PTE is accepted by universities in Singapore in lieu of TOEFL and IELTS. A PTE score of 68 and above is considered the best by many public universities in Singapore.
Standardized Exams for Undergraduate and Graduate Programs
- SAT/ACT: These exams are undertaken by students planning to get admitted to undergraduate programs across IHLs.
- GMAT: This test is preferred for admission to MBA schools.
- GRE: This test is undertaken by students planning to get admitted to graduate programs other than business studies in Singapore.
Government and Non-government Scholarships to Study in Singapore
There are several Singapore scholarships for Indian students awarded by government or private agencies. These scholarships are generally awarded on the basis of academic achievements and are known to cover a major portion of studies.
|Name of the Scholarship||Description||Eligibility||Amount in SGD|
|Singapore International Graduate Award (SINGA)||Spearheaded by a collaboration between four leading universities - NTU, A*STAR, NUS and SUTD, this scholarship is awarded to students who wish to pursue a PhD in biomedical sciences, engineering, and physical sciences.||A student with a passion for research can apply for this scholarship.||It covers monthly stipend of $2000-$2500 + one-time air-fare grant and one-time setting in allowance|
|ADB - Japan Scholarship for Developing Countries||This Asian Development Bank – Japan Scholarship Program (ADB – JSP) scholarship is awarded to students wishing to pursue their graduate studies in business, economics, technology, management, and science||The candidate must be a citizen of the country that borrows from ADB and must possess a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. The candidate must be 35 or below at the time of application.||It covers tuition fees, study materials, monthly travel allowance, travel expenses, and medical insurance.|
|Commonwealth Scholarship for Integrated Science||This scholarship is awarded to students from commonwealth countries wishing to pursue their master’s and PhD programs in Singapore. It is one of the oldest available scholarships for Indian students and is funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).||The candidate must be a citizen of the commonwealth country, possess bachelor’s/master’s degree, and should be below 40 years at the time of application.||It covers tuition fees, travel expenses, and many allowances.|
|Lee Kong Chian Graduate Scholarships||Funded by Lee Foundation, this scholarship is awarded to students who want to apply for PhD courses at the National University of Singapore.||The candidate must possess a bachelor’s degree, and a valid offer to pursue degree at the NUS. The candidate must be eligible to receive a subsidy from the Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE).||It covers monthly stipend of $3,300 + examination fees + approved fees at NUS + laptop and travel allowance|
|Singapore Millennium Foundation Scholarships||Funded by Singapore Millennium Foundation, these scholarships are availed by students wishing to pursue their postdoctoral and predoctoral courses in Singapore.||The candidate must be a graduate, wishing to pursue their research program at any IHL.||It covers travel fees and monthly stipend.|
Types of Post Study Work Visas for Students in Singapore
Students who wish to work in Singapore can apply for any of the following post study work permits after successfully completing their course from a Singaporean university.
- Work Pass: Your employer will apply for this pass once you are offered a job after your studies. This pass is specific to an employer. If a student wishes to change job, then the new employer will re-apply for the pass.
- Employment Pass: This is one of the most popular post-study work visas sought by international students studying in Singapore. The applicants must secure a minimum salary of $4500 per month and be sponsored by an employer.
- S Pass: A student is assessed on the points system, which considers educational qualifications, salary, previous work experience, and technical certificates. You must be offered a monthly salary of SGD 2400. Before this, the employer must apply to the Controller of Work Passes. The S pass issued to an employer is subject to a quota.
- EntrePass: This visa is issued for 1-2 years and allow foreign students to start and run an innovative or venture-backed business in the country. To be considered for this visa, the company must be registered with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and must be six months old or lesser by the date of application.
Service Obligation (SO) Scheme
This scheme requires international students to work for a Singapore-based company for up to three years from the date of graduation to repay their fees. This program is currently applicable to graduate students only. The term Singapore-based company refers to international and local businesses with registered offices in Singapore. These offices must be registered with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
On-campus and Off-campus Jobs for Students in Singapore
In Singapore, students can work for 16 hours when the semester is in progress. They can take up various on-campus jobs such as:
- Student admissions counsellor
- Business development manager for international student admissions
- Instructional assistant
- Admissions Assistant
- Student Services Executive
- Administrative Executive
- Teaching Assistant
Some popular off-campus jobs undertaken by students include:
- Data entry operator
- Language interpreters
- Waiting or kitchen staff in hotels and restaurants
Popular Career Prospects for International Students in Singapore
This section features the highest paying careers in Singapore along with their annual average salaries.
|Job Description||Average Annual Salary|
|Accountant||SGD $39,903 - $72,000|
|Data Analyst||SGD $20,000 -$102,000|
|AI Specialist||SGD $58,000 upwards|
|Robotics Engineer||SGD $17,000 -$84,000|
|Cyber Security Specialist||SGD $40,000 -$60,000|
|E-Commerce Specialist||SGD $34,000 -$133,000|
|UX/UI Professional||SGD $10,400-$48,000|
Frequently Asked Questions on Studying in Singapore
If you plan to study in Singapore, you may have certain questions. This section aims to answer many such common questions that students may have.
Yes, you can continue in Singapore, but you will require a short-term Student Pass. This allows you to stay in the country for 90 days. You can apply for this pass through the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority website.
Yes, you can work on Student Pass for 16 hours per week when the academic semester is in progress. However, you can work for unlimited hours during the summer, provided you are enrolled as a full-time student at one of the IHL.
No, you cannot work using Student Pass after the course completion. This pass is usually issued for the duration of your program or the type of program you are applying to. You must have a Work Pass to work in Singapore. This also protects you from exploitation.
The pay would entirely depend on your type and nature of job. However, depending on the job, students earn anywhere between $1000 to $2000 every month depending on the job. According to Glassdoor, an average salary earned by students in Singapore by working part time is SGD 1800.
Yes, you need both. You can check the website of the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) of Singapore to learn more about the type of health insurance required. You will be required to undergo medical tests like BMI test, urine test, blood test, complete blood count, blood sugar, and so on.
You may have several questions regarding pursuing your studies in Singapore. You can approach our experts at Collegepond for answers. You can write to us at email@example.com or call us at 022-26103135 to book an appointment with our expert.