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About Singapore

Singapore has a rich legacy and culture, and like many of its ilk has many a surprises up its sleeve. It was however not like that earlier, but with the determined and continuous effort put in by prominent leaders and the public, the city-state today has emerged as an important trading destination in Asia. Diverse cultures, languages and religions give Singapore a cosmopolitan look. The Government of Singapore sensing the potential and need for quality education in nation building has pumped in huge revenues into the educational sector and has also made it one of the priority sectors of the country. By choosing to study abroad in Singapore, international students have an opportunity to not only be plugged into an education system that promotes excellence, but also be a part of a global community.

Why Study In Singapore?

It is no secret that Singapore will lead the educational revolution in the 21st century supported by an unfaltering educational infrastructure and globally revered scholars to guide the students. The Universities of the land are among the best is also supported by The Times Higher Education QS World University 2008 rankings, as a number of them featured in the top 50 list.

A holistic approach to Education
Singapore`s educational system has seen a complete overhaul from its traditional British-based education system and today encompasses all that is required to succeed in contemporary times. Consequently, the emphasis is on nurturing natural talent and helping the individual achieve his true potential. At the core of its educational structure is its bilingual policy (English with Malay/Mandarin/Tamil) ably supported by a comprehensive curriculum that reflects commendable innovation and entrepreneurship. There is an international mix of institutions which provide the students an ideal platform for sharing of knowledge and ideas with their counterparts from across the globe.

Technically Advanced
Singapore is considered a favored education destination today as it is well connected with the rest of the world via a vibrant communication network, be it by sea or by air. With a high Internet penetration of 76% students enjoy being connected with the rest of the world with a click of a button. Students are also well connected to rest of the island in an unrestrained manner which helps them undertake various recreational sports and mingle with students belonging to diverse cultural background to understand their traditions and culture.

Feel at Home
While pursuing higher education in Singapore you will experience high standard of living compared to the likes of London or New York. It`s a safe country to live and study in and there is great respect for rules and regulations within the state. There are students from different communities and cultures which makes living and studying in Singapore a fulfilling experience.

Part-time employment of foreign students
A work pass is not required for a foreign student who is a full-time matriculated or registered student in one of the following institutions if he/she:

• Works a maximum of 16 hours a week; or

• Is under an industrial attachment programme conducted by his university or educational institution. The industrial attachment must either be a compulsory or elective programme which should contribute towards the students’ graduation from the course.

For more details: please click here

Health care and insurance
The cost of medical treatment in Singapore can be prohibitive. So it is advisable for students to have some form of medical insurance while studying in Singapore. Depending on the type of medical insurance purchased, an international student may have to pay anything between $5 and $300 for a doctor’s visit.

It is not a requirement for international students to purchase any medical insurance for the purpose of applying for a Student Pass. However, Singapore’s major education providers, including the public funded universities and polytechnics, have made it mandatory for international students to purchase an affordable group insurance policy.

Understanding the Education System

Pre-School Education
This is mainly offered by kindergartens and childcare centres and is basically a three- year programme. Students enrolled are usually in the age group four to six. Well groomed and well regulated by the government these institutions provide the necessary skill sets before the kids move into a more formal educational setup.

Primary School
It is mandatory for a child in Singapore to undergo six years of primary education, comprising a four-year foundation stage from Primary 1 to 4 and a two-year orientation stage from Primary 5 to 6 before he is enrolled for any higher education.

Secondary Schools
Students here undergo four or five years of secondary education under the Special, Express or Normal Course. The Special and Express Courses are the building blocks that pave the way for higher education in the form of the Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education 'Ordinary' (GCE 'O') Level examination in four years. The Normal Course, on the other hand, has students choosing from for the Academic or Technical stream, which in turn facilitates admission to the higher level Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education 'Normal' (GCE 'N') Level examination after four years of study. On successful completion of the course students can even opt for the GCE 'O' Level examination in the fifth year.

The curriculum of the secondary education programme covers subjects like Mathematics, Science and Humanities. In the Secondary 3 level, students take up electives of their choice which again is determined by whether they are in Arts, Science, Commerce or Technical stream.

The Singapore education system focuses on developing students with critical thinking and intellectual skills, as opposed to imposing some repelling ideas that end up destroying their key skills and intrinsic talent.

Junior Colleges / Pre-Universities
Students have to complete their GCE 'O' Level examination before they enter a junior college that offers a two-year pre-university course or may opt for a centralized institute for a three year pre-university course. Junior colleges and centralized institutes provide the final rehearsal before students enter the threshold of University education. Students are required to clear the GCE 'A' Level examination at the end of the pre-university course.

Academic Calendar

Primary, Secondary Schools and Junior Colleges
The session for primary, secondary schools and junior colleges starts with the fall of January and is divided into four school terms or two semesters. There is a gap period of one week after term 1 and 3 while students are entitled to a longer break after Terms 2 and 4.

Universities and Polytechnics
The academic calendar for the universities and polytechnics also comprises of two semesters, but their academic sessions are normally guided by their respective academic calendars. A semester normally has 13 weeks of instruction and 2 weeks of examinations. The special term is held during the second semester 2 vacation periods and is comprised of two parts. Each of these parts lasts for six weeks, examination period included.

Useful Links

Singapore Education

Ministry of Education

Government of Singapore

People’s Associations Singapore

Region South-Eastern Asia
Currency Singaporean
Dollar (SGD)
Surface Area 710 Sq. Km.
Population 4737000
Population Density 6671.7 / square kilometre
Capital City Singapore
GDP (million current US$) 177132
GDP per capita (current US$) 37394.2
CPI: Consumer Price Index 114
Temperature °C (min/max) 23.9/30.9
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