Cost Of Study and Living In Singapore

Singapore is a little island country which is situated in Southeast Asia. The country’s territory actually consists of one main island along with 62 other islets. Singapore was founded in 1819 by the British Empire as a trading post of the East India Company.

Despite the fact that the country lacks natural resources, Singapore has managed to transform itself into a modern economy, by serving as a global hub for trading, services and transport. As at the time of writing this article, Singapore ranks highly on major Human Development Indices like healthcare, life expectancy, quality of life, personal safety and education etc

The country also boasts of significant expatriate community with foreign nationals making about 40% of the country’s population.

Read also: 2019 Cheapest Tuition Universities in Singapore With Tuition Fees


Pursuing ones study in Singapore opens up a variety of exciting prospects to both local and international students. Two of the country’s foremost institutions of higher learning which are; the Nanyang Technological University and the National University of Singapore are ranked among the top 20 universities in the world according to the latest QS University Ranking.

Many other leading Singaporean universities have entered into academic and administrative collaborations with some of the top ranked universities in the universe. And in recent times, the country has emerged as a world leader in research and innovation. Isn’t that amazing?

In addition to the high quality of education on offer, international students also have the opportunity to enjoy the high quality of life and the sense of community shared by many Singaporeans. Indeed, in 2017, the country’s capital was ranked 14th according to the annual QS Best Student Cities.


Here’s the list of top ranked universities in Singapore:

University Singaporean Ranking World Ranking City
Nanyang Technological University 1 11 Singapore
National University of Singapore 2 15 Singapore
Singapore Management University 3 441-450 Singapore
Singapore University of Technology 4 Eastern Singapore
LASALLE College of the Arts 5 Rochor Singapore
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts 6 Singapore
Singapore University of Social Science 7 Singapore
Singapore Institute of Technology 8 Singapore

1. Nanyang Technological University

Founded in 1955, the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is currently Singapore’s highest ranked university (2017 rankings). It is also number 11 on the QS global ranking of universities and the third highest ranked university in all of Asia.

This university has a population of around 35,000 students— many of these students are international students. It offers a broad range of STEM programs and its engineering degree is recognized as one of the best in world. In the year 2013, the university launched its medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine as part of an international collaborative venture with London’s Imperial College.

2. National University of Singapore

The National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore’s premier university and the largest in terms of student enrollment. The institution was founded in 1905 as a medical college but it currently offers study programs in a wide range of disciplines including the arts and humanities, engineering and natural science.

This university has boast of 16 faculties and a student population of around 37000 with an academic staff strength of about 5000. It counts no less than six past presidents of Singapore and neighboring Malaysia as part of its alumni.

3. Singapore Management University

Singapore Management University (SMU) was established in 2000. It’s one of the youngest universities in the country with a relatively small population of about 9000 students.

SMU is divided into six faculties or schools offering undergraduate, graduate and PHD programs. The university offers a range of management and business programs. And its Master’s degree program in Wealth Management is ranked as one of the top three finance programs in the world.

4. Singapore University of Technology

Singapore University of technology was established in 2009. The university focuses on four key disciplines; Information System Technology and Design, Architecture and Sustainable Design, Engineering System and Design, and Engineering Product Development.

Following its establishment, SMU entered into a collaborative with the MIT that includes student exchanges, academic staff recruitment and curriculum development.

5. LASALLE College of the Arts

The LASALLE College of Arts is Singapore’s leading university of arts and design. The institution which was established in 1984, is now affiliated with Goldsmith College of the University of London.

LASALLE has come to be regarded as one of the finest centers for contemporary arts and its eight different faculties offer diplomas, undergraduate and post graduate degree programs in disciplines like Fine Arts, Contemporary Music, Dance and Theatre, Design Communication, Product Design and Fashion.

Read also: Seoul National University: Admission Requirements, Tuition Fees & More


Students who are seeking to study in Singapore are required to submit their application online, directly to the institution of their choice.

The online application system may need applicants to tender proof of relevant and recognized qualification/certificates, official academic transcripts and personal data. In addition, they are advised to consult the websites of universities for other important admission information like the deadline for submission of applications.

Master’s Degree

In addition to the completed application form, Singaporean universities expect students applying to study for a Master’s Degree to tender proof of a Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent from a recognized institution of higher learning, academic transcript, CV and a passport photo etc.

Phd Degree

Doctoral and/or research students are required to possess at least a Master’s degree (or equivalent) from a recognized institution.

A number of universities also require applicants to submit a copy of a preliminary research proposal. International applicants must include proof of proficiency in English while making sure to convert their grades obtained in their Bachelor and Master’s degree program to the grading system used in Singaporean universities.

Official Language of Communication

English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil are the official language of communication. With an estimated 75% of the population fluent in English.

Prospective international students would however need to demonstrate proof of proficiency in English by submitting a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), IELTS or an equivalent.

Study Visa Requirements

If you are applying for studies as an international student, you are expected to obtain a visa or study permit.

The Singaporean authorities issue a Student Visa to prospective international students whose applications were accepted by a recognized university.

The visa is issued along with a letter of approval — also known as an in-principal approval or IPA — from the admitting institution. Visas are also subject to providing evidence of the required paperwork, qualifications and a health report.


In Singapore, the academic session or year usually starts around August and ends in July of the following year. Applications for admission on the other hand, begin in October and close by March of the following year.


The Singaporean government through the Ministry of Education may offer tuition grants to local and international students on the condition that the student works for a Singapore registered company for a period of 3-5 years.

International students who have received a Student Pass will be allowed to work 16 hours a week during the semester and full-time during the holidays.

The Singaporean economy is one of the most advanced in Asia. And citizens generally enjoy a good quality of life. The country is however known for its very high cost of living that can quickly eat deep into a student’s meagre budget.


Singapore as a country has boasts of one of the most advanced and developed economies in the world. The country’s leading universities and research centers have since leveraged on the vibrant economic sector to forge important links between industry and the classroom.

That approach has proved quite effective and the degrees and certificates from Singapore’s universities are recognized and respected all over the world.

In the last few years, the country has become a leading destination for international students, welcoming about 86000 international students from 120 different countries each year.

If this article on studying in Singapore was useful, kindly share it so your friends can also benefit from it. If you have any question to ask, drop it on the comment box below or contact any university in Singapore and they will be glad to answer your question.


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