With its strategic location in the heart of South-East Asia, Singapore naturally lends itself to the convergence of eastern and western influences. This unique vantage point, coupled with the strong support of its Government, means that the education system in Singapore is well poised to offer students the best of East-West education pedagogy. Recently, an increasing number of overseas universities have set up their off-shore campuses in the city-state, contributing to Singapore's reputation as the educational hub of the region.
For international students, stepping into a multicultural country like Singapore can seem daunting. But initial concerns will fade and students often find that being taken out of their comfort zone is confidence-building. In exploring Singapore they will discover that it has a reputation not only for academic excellence, but also for safety and efficiency. Above all, Singapore offers them the opportunity to integrate into a diverse culture - an experience they will find beneficial when looking for work in today's globally-oriented business environment.
All postgraduate courses at the National University of Singapore (NUS) are developed to challenge students. They have a high international reputation: graduates from our doctoral programs readily find employment locally or internationally both in the corporate and public sectors, as well as in research at well-known universities overseas. It is clear from past graduates of postgraduate programs that the courses are useful for their professional development. Many find subsequent advancement in their professional careers in Singapore and internationally.
NUS offers three main types of graduate programs: doctoral (PhD), Masters (by coursework or by thesis), and the graduate diploma. All doctoral degree programmes at NUS are primarily research based. They equip students with the skills required to advance knowledge and human progress. Doctoral degrees are typically the first choice of students who seek depth of knowledge, enjoy creative problem-solving, and who aspire to hold high level positions in their respective fields.
Masters degree programs are predominantly designed to prepare students for work within a specific profession (typically through a Masters by coursework) or to gain advanced knowledge in a specific subject area as a precursor to doctoral training (typically through a Masters by research).
The graduate diploma provides limited professional training in a specific niche. The diploma is often favoured by those students who seek additional exposure to an area of interest without wishing to commit themselves long-term to further studies.
Prospective graduate students should think carefully about which type of graduate program most suits their interests and career aspirations. Increasingly, students who are pursuing a research-oriented career - whether in industry or academia - and/or wanting to advance quickly in their particular chosen career, elect to enrol in a doctoral program.
Every undergraduate or graduate program has to undergo a stringent evaluation and approval by the Boards of Undergraduate Studies or Graduate Studies respectively, the University Committee on Educational Policy and the Senate. Quality assurance reviews are also carried out involving student surveys, International Visiting Committees and International Advisory Panels and the Quality Assurance Framework for Universities set up by Singapore's Ministry of Education. Educational programs in the professions, such as engineering, medicine and architecture, are further accredited by internationally recognized accreditation panels with broad representation from academia and the professional world.
Public education in Singapore is currently heavily subsidized and international students enjoy heavy subsidies. For example, an international undergraduate will typically pay subsidized tuition fees of about $10,000 per year. The cost of education differs depending on the course structure and educational institution.
At the tertiary level, international students who take up the government tuition grant, which is available to all qualified candidates, are required to work for three years upon graduation with a Singapore-registered company, either in Singapore or overseas. In addition, some of the tertiary institutions, both public and private, do offer scholarships, bursaries and loans. More information can be found at: www.singaporeedu.gov.sg/htm/stu/stu0304.htm.
Generous scholarships are also available for international students who wish to enrol for a PhD degree by research. These research scholarships are awarded competitively based on merit. The University Scholars Programme (USP) is a premier undergraduate program that selects highly talented students from faculties across NUS. Its unique curriculum and learning environment stretches the students' intellectual, leadership and personal capacities, and fosters a vibrant community of scholars that strives to break new ground in multidisciplinary insights and global perspectives. USP aims to produce graduates who are articulate, confident and motivated achievers. These graduates distinguish themselves through their intellectual rigour, resourcefulness and their commitment towards making important contributions to society.
There is a variety of part-time paid work opportunities for students who are interested in seeking such employment.
There is a variety of part-time paid work opportunities for students who are interested in seeking such employment. Depending on the students' interests and skills, the nature of work can be wide-ranging. They include administrative duties, customer service, sales and marketing, event coordination, software development, web design development, tutoring, research assistance, fieldwork surveys, etc. Remuneration is from S$5 to S$15 per hour.
According to Singapore Immigration & Control Authority's regulations, international students residing in Singapore on student pass should not work for more than 16 hours during term time, but there is no restriction on the number of hours they can work during vacation.
Information on studies in Singapore can be found at http://app.singaporeedu.gov.sg
Information on the undergraduate application procedure (Category D) and course details can be found at www.nus.edu.sg/oam
Information on postgraduate courses at NUS can be found at www.nus.edu.sg/corporate/admissions/index_prostu_grad.html