Asia's education hub

Written by Monalisa Sen | Updated: Sep 30 2010, 03:54am hrs
Singapore is the premier education hub in Asia, offering a diverse mix of educational services. The islands strong international reputation for quality education has drawn a legion of the worlds top institutions to Singapore. Every year, an interesting mix of students from all over the world make their way to Singaporewhich provides world-class educational programmes of all types and at all levels.

Singapore receives an increasing number of international students every year, from 50,000 in 2002, the number has grown to over 85,000 in 2007. This figure is expected to reach 150,000 by 2015. The three local universities rank among Asias best and are among the leading universities of the world. In the 2007 World University Rankings conducted by the Times Higher Education Supplement, the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University were ranked 33 and 69 respectively out of the top 200 universities worldwide. The Singapore Management University is modelled after the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Seven of the worlds most eminent universities in their field of study have their campus in Singapore, and 11 premier universities have a presence in Singapore through collaborations with the republics local universities.

School and tuition fees in Singapore are competitive. In addition, the top American and European institutions that have programmes in Singapore offer Asian students the chance to gain a good degree at a cost of living substantially lower than that in North America and Europe. To make Singapore education more affordable, the government provides tuition grants of between 75% and 85% to international students who gain admission to the local universities and polytechnics respectively under the Tuition Grant Scheme.

The Tuition Fee Grants are about S$22,400 for a lab-based programme and S$19,000 for a non lab-based programme at local universities, and S$13,300 for a diploma programme in the polytechnics. In return for the subsidised education, foreign students are required to serve a Tuition Grant bond by working with Singapore-registered companies for three years after graduation.

Singapore has repeatedly been ranked the worlds most globalised country. The country is a melting pot of cultures and attracts talent from all over the world. With 85,000 global students from over 120 countries, a student will have unparalleled opportunities to network with future thought leaders, tomorrows captains of industry and up-and-coming world shapers from all parts of the world.

The National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University offer internationally recognised degree programmes as well as research and scholarship opportunities to postgraduate students in various disciplines. Together, they enroll more than 40,000 students.

Tuition fees for undergraduate programmes range from S$6,720 to S$8,330 a year while those for postgraduate programmes range from S$4,790 to S$25,000 a year (for programmes offered in collaboration with leading international universities).

In Singapore tuition fees for MBA programmes cost S$12,000 a year.


The National University of Singapore (NUS) is a university of global standing, with distinctive strengths in education and research, and an entrepreneurial dimension. It offers a comprehensive spectrum of disciplines ranging from architecture to medicine and music.

* Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is a research-intensive university with globally acknowledged strengths in science and engineering. Its student body includes top scholars and international Olympiad medallists from the region and beyond. The universitys 2,500-strong teaching and research staff come from more than 40 countries, bringing dynamic international perspectives and years of solid industry experience.

Singapore Management University (SMU) is Singapores first privately-funded university offering degree programmes in business management, accountancy, economics, social sciences, and information systems management. Today, SMU has over 5,000 students and six schools.


SIM University (UniSIM) is Singapores first private university dedicated to working professionals and adult learners. SIM University features flexible and modular programmes that can be customised to meet demanding schedules. The university has a rich education legacy, having evolved out of the highly successful SIM Open University Centre that has graduated more than 5,000 students since 1991. Its foreign student intake currently stands at 1,151, largely made up of business and accountancy students from China, Indonesia and Vietnam. Its international partners include the University of London, Australias RMIT University and the US-based George Washington University.


Singapore has attracted an impressive constellation of leading international universities.

Many of the worlds premier foreign universities have recently established their presence in Singapore by either setting up a physical campus or through joint collaborations with local universities. The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, for instance, is the first leading American business school to have a permanent campus in Asia. The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business is rated as one of the worlds top 10 business schools by the Financial Times in 2007.

Leading international universities with a campus in Singapore:

* Inseads Singapore campus offers a programme that is identical to Paris campus. At present, it has enrolled close to 400 MBA students from 70 countries.

* University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, one of the worlds largest and oldest business schools, is the pioneer of the executive MBA programme; it created its Executive MBA programme in 1943.

* Duke University Medical Centre and the National University of Singapore joined hands to establish the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School, the Republics first graduate medical school.

* SP Jain Center of Management, the international initiative of SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai, which is ranked among the top ten Business Schools in Asia.

* Ecole Superieure Des Sciences Economiques Et Commerciales (Essec Business School).

* University of Nevada, Las VegasWilliam F. Harrah College of Hotel.