How to Apply to Singapore for an Undergraduate Degree

How to Apply to Singapore for an Undergraduate Degree | The Red Pen

If you are keen to study abroad but have started the application process late, you may want to consider Singapore. With application deadlines in February and March, it gives you ample time to apply. 

In the last couple of years, Singapore has become a popular choice for Indians interested in engineering, computer science, business and media studies.

Singapore’s education system:

There are six public universities in Singapore that receive government funding. These include:

1) National University of Singapore (NUS)

2) Nanyang Technology University (NTU)

3) Singapore University of Technology & Design

4) Singapore Management University

5) Singapore Institute of Technology and Design

6) Singapore University of Social Sciences

These universities also offer programmes in partnership with international campuses, both at the undergraduate level, such as Yale-NUS, and graduate level, such as the MIT-NUS/NTU collaboration and the Duke-NUS Medical School. Most graduate-level programmes have their deadlines earlier in the year.

International students can also pursue programmes at private institutions, which include international campuses of schools like INSEAD, James Cook University and SP Jain Global School of Business.

There are two art institutions in Singapore, which provide both diploma and degree courses. Polytechnics in Singapore provide three-year diploma courses and are a great option for Indian students who want to study abroad after grade 10. Graduates of polytechnic institutes can continue to earn their bachelor’s degree with advanced standing options depending on the courses they apply to with their diploma.

Here are five things to keep in mind when applying to Singapore universities:

1) Quality of education:

In the last two decades, Singapore has revamped its education system, switching from rote-style learning to focusing on critical thinking and innovation, honing industry-level capabilities. Some of Singapore’s universities, such as NUS and NTU, feature on prominent university ranking lists such as Times Higher Education and Quacquarelli Symonds, making them extremely sought after. NUS is ranked in the top 25 in the world and features in the top 10 for specific courses such as computer science and engineering.

2) Educational requirements:

Universities in Singapore have demanding requirements and attract some of the brightest students from across southeast Asia. The average GPA for most competitive programmes is an aggregate of about 90-95 percent for Indian boards. To apply, you will need to provide your grade 10 board results, predicted scores from grade 12 and involvement in extracurricular activities. SAT scores are optional if you have studied at an ICSE, CBSE or IB school, but mandatory in the case of a state board. Advanced Placement examination scores are also optional but will be considered by universities like NUS, Singapore Institute of Management and Yale-NUS. Similarly, TOEFL or IELTS are not generally required if you have graduated from a school where English is the primary language of instruction or with a predicted of 75 percent in English. 

3) Application process:

Applying to Singapore is fairly easy. Usually the application form has a few components and includes one personal statement essay, a resume and an activities section. Similar to India, you will need to apply for a specific course or major with no flexibility to change. Engineering students can select their area of specialisation after the first semester. Extracurricular activities, internships or research pertaining to your field of study is also considered. Applications are sent through each university’s independent platform, not a common portal. Letters of recommendation are a university-specific requirement. Most universities will make a conditional offer of admission based on your predicted scores, while some universities will wait for your final board results to make their decision.

4) Fees:

Studying in Singapore is less costly than in some other popular destinations. Tuition fees are cheaper than the US, UK and Australia, at approximately INR14-19 lakhs. Those studying medicine will have to pay a higher fee of around INR 63 lakhs. Many institutions allow students to work for 16 hours per week without any additional paperwork, which helps them manage their living expenses.

5) Opportunity to work:

After completing your education, you can stay on and work in Singapore with an S-Pass or Employment Pass. Technical and engineering firms are a safe bet, while multinational corporations are also keen to hire international graduates.

With its global outlook and vibrant city life, Singapore is an attractive option for those who are looking for a high-quality education a little closer to home. Get in touch with us if you would like to explore higher education options in Singapore or need help with applying!

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