How to Study on Low Tuition in Singapore: Tuition, Living Costs and Application Process

Singapore may be small, but in the realms of higher education and research, it is a big hitter.  You have probably been hearing of a whole series of global reports recognizing  Singapore as a regional and world leader in research and innovation over the past few decades.In Fact,  in recent years, it’s been ranked seventh in the 2015 INSEAD Global Innovation Index, third in IMD’s 2014 World Competitiveness Rankings and second in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report for 2014-15.

It is within this context of global competitiveness and innovation,that  universities in Singapore are rapidly  gaining growing recognition, as Asian nations more generally strengthen their position in the global education market. Did you know that Singapore’s two leading universities are now both ranked within the world’s top 15?

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Tuition Fees and Living Costs

Singapore’s robust economy and high quality of living is accompanied by correspondingly high living costs, and some of the highest tuition fees in Asia. However, it’s still a relatively inexpensive option when comparing tuition costs internationally. Generally,  tuition fees average around S$14,000 (~US$10,000), but be aware that depending on the prominence of the university and the type of program you undertake, you may end up paying considerably more. The good news is that more than half of international students receive some form of financial aid.

The National University of Singapore’s current annual tuition fees range from S$15,900 (~US$11,350) to as much as S$50,800 (US$36,250) for programs in medicine and dentistry. Programs not subsidized by the government start at S$29,050 (US$29,050).

Living costs are another significant expenditure. Expect housing, bills and other necessary expenses to cost you, on average, just under S$10,000 (US$7,150) a year.

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How to Apply

To submit an application to study in Singapore, you will need to apply directly to your chosen institution. So do well to check deadlines, application procedures and any other details, will be with the institution itself – consult the official website, and contact the international office directly with any questions. There may be limitations on how many courses you can apply for at any given institution, so make sure you check the fine print.

Student Visa Application

International students wishing to study in Singapore will need a student visa. This will be issued along with your letter of approval (also known as your in-principle approval or IPA) once your application has been accepted by a recognized university. Your application is subject to previous recognized qualifications, evidence of the required paperwork, and proof of sufficient English language skills

Scholarship Funding

Both domestic and international students are also eligible to apply to the Singaporean Ministry of Education for a tuition grant, after having been offered a place on a course. This covers much of the costs of university tuition fees. In return for this grant, however, international students must sign a bond committing themselves to work for a Singapore-registered company for at least three years after completing their degree, in order to ensure the country benefits from the skills of those it educates. The period of this bond is longer for students of medicine and dentistry (five or six years).

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