As one of the most developed countries in the world, Singapore is home to some of the most advanced economies while being home to some top universities as well. That is why it produces among the top graduates in the world with some exemplary scholars and top-class courses. What makes Singapore such an attractive option for education is its competitiveness as well as in offering some of the most specialized and expert-level disciplines including medicine and aeronautical science, among others.
Choosing the right course, school
SINGAPORE – Doctor Timothy Chan, academic director of SIM Global Education (SIM GE) has this five-point plan to choose a PEI:
1. Evaluate your interest and passion.
2. Assess your personality.
3. Test your ability and skill sets.
4. Consult people knowledgeable about the path you want to pursue.
5. Visit the campus of the institution.
Dr Liz Chan, academic director of SAA Global Education Centre (SAA-GE), said: “Talk to the PEI representatives. It is always advisable to prepare a list of questions. While you are there, you could look around the campus as well.”
Mr Loh Siew Meng, managing director of Informatics Academy, advised: “Set personal three-, five- and 10-year goals. Then pick the course that will bring you closer to your goals.
“Ensure that the school provides online support or alternative access to learning materials which are not limited just to classroom interaction.””
Mr Christopher Harris, head of school for diploma studies, Kaplan Singapore, said potential students should check the following points when choosing a PEI:
– Check out its track record and reputation
– Check out its academic delivery standard and service support
– Take a look at the courses offered
– Where possible, visit the school’s premises and observe the study environment prior to making their decision.
– Check that the PEI is registered with the Council for Private Education (CPE) as all PEIs must be registered with the CPE in order to operate in Singapore.
Mr Loo Lin Chang, a student at Marketing Institute of Singapore Training Centre, advised students to consider the following points:
– The ranking of the PEI’s partner university
– The country the university is in. This is important as certain countries have better certification for certain majors.
– The class size – the smaller the better
– The course duration.
Dr Alan Go, academic head and senior lecturer at ERC Institute, said: ” You may also want to examine other areas such as student council activities, entrepreneurship learning, career path counselling activities, internships, scholarships, connections to industries and even job placement possibilities.”
Ms Tan Gek Khim, PBM, Senior Director of Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS), said: “At MDIS, we have well-equipped facilities that support and provide hands-on practical learning for our students.
“We also have courses that incorporate internships, modules taught by the overseas university faculty with flexible course structure. These factors should be kept in mind while choosing a course.
“And finally, the establishment and quality of the chosen institute e.g. MDIS was founded in 1956 and has been providing quality education for more than five decades. Our achievement of the EduTrust Certification (4 years) awarded by the Council for Private Education in 2010 further attests to the institute’s exemplary education and business excellence standards.”
Top universities in the world
There is a strong combination of foreign and local universities in Singapore. While there is a healthy mix of for foreign universities that operate here, the local universities are very well positioned as well. In fact, some of the Singaporean universities are actually in the top ranks among institutes of higher learning in the world.
National University of Singapore
The National University of Singapore is one of the most established universities in the region. Established in 1905, it was originally a medical college and remains as the largest and oldest institutes in Singapore. Since then, it has produced some of the top leaders including 4 in Singapore and 2 in Malaysia. NUS is ranked as the top in Singapore as well as in the entire Asia region. In the world rankings, NUS is constantly in the top 20 where it continues to produce some of the most capable and qualified people in the world.
Nanyang Technological University
Besides NUS, another top institute of higher learning in Singapore is the Nanyang Technological University or NTU. For a university which was established in 1981 as Nanyang Technological Institute, it became a university some 10 years later. Today, NTU is among the world’s best universities having been in the top 15 rankings globally. Offering a full range of courses in social sciences, humanities and engineering, among others, NTU produces some of the top graduates through its state-of-the-art campus and facilities.
Singapore Institute of Management
The Singapore Institute of Management or SIM was established in 1964. It is actually the largest private tertiary education provider in Singapore. Registered under the CPE or Committee for Private Education Singapore, it offers a broad range of courses in levels of diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate as well as in IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education).
Singapore Management University
The SMU of Singapore Management University is an established name in education in Singapore. Modeled after the prestigious Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, it offers an American-curriculum education which has been operating since 2000. The university offers course in all tertiary level covering mainly business specializations like Business Administration, Financial Services, Information Systems Management and many more. It is among the universities with accreditation from EQUIS and AACSB International.
James Cook University (Singapore)
The James Cook University Singapore campus was established in 2003. Originally from Townsville, Australia, this is a branch campus that offers degrees from awarded by James Cook University. James Cook University is registered under the CPE (Committee for Private Education Singapore) where it has always been among the top ranked universities in Australia and the region.
INSEAD is an international institute which opened its doors in the Asian region in Singapore in 1999. Since then, the Asia Campus has become one of the leading schools in the country. The school has been growing over the years where it recently opened up a new 6-level building in 2015, providing more offerings in worlds class education to the people around the region.
Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS)
This is one of the older establishments in Singapore. The Management Development Institute of Singapore or MDIS opened its doors in 1956 where it remains as the oldest non-profit educational institution in Singapore. It offers courses in a lot of areas ranging from Business and Management to Fashion Design, Engineering to Information Technology, Mass Comm to Tourism and many more. Collaborating with some of the top universities in countries like France and the US, MSID remains as one of the very popular institutes of higher learning not only among singaporeans but the neighbouring countries as well.
The PSB Academy was formerly known as Productivity and Standards Board of Singapore. Today, it goes with being the Future Academy, offering world-class education courses. The academy has been recognized in 2017 when APAC Insider award it the ‘Education Institution of The Year’. It is one of the top private institutions of higher learning in singapore that offers course in all levels including certificate, diploma, degree and postgraduate. There are more than 12,000 students coming from more than 50 countries who study in courses partnered with some of the top universities in the world.
Nanyang Institute of Management
The Nanyang Institute of Management or NIM was set up in 2001. It operates 6 schools within its campus including the School of Business, Logistics, Tourism & Hospitality, Engineering, Early Childhood Education and Language. Courses offered at NIM are in all levels including Certificate, Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Bachelor, and in post-graduate as well. It is among the few universities in the region which is ISO 9001 certified.
SIM University – Singapore University of Social Sciences
The SIM University is a private university with a strong reputation in Singapore. It was known as UniSIM or SIM University when it was first established in 2005. This would be what it is known as until 2017 when it changed to become SUSS or Singapore University of Social Sciences today. This was a university that practices an open-door academic policy where it is open to working adults in seeking education and with the new change, it is the sixth autonomous university in Singapore.
Singapore Institute of Technology
SIT or the Singapore Institute of Technology has almost 3,000 students. It was established in 2009 where it is the first university to use applied learning in its curriculum. Besides the more popular NUS and NTU, SISTECH is known to be among one of the few more popular institutes of higher learning in Singapore. Sometimes known as SISTECH, this university offers courses in 5 major areas (or clusters). They are:
- Engineering (ENG)
- Chemical Engineering and Food Technology (CEFT)
- Infocomm Technology (ICT)
- Health and Social Sciences (HSS)
- and Design and Specialised Businesses (DSB)
In 2014, the university started offering courses by its own university which effectively made it the fifth autonomous university in the country.
Singapore University of Technology and Design
The Singapore University of Technology and Design or SUTD was established in 2009. It is actually the fourth institution to become a full-fledge university in Singapore. The courses offered in SUTD covers areas like Architecture and Sustainable Design (ASD), Engineering Product Development (EPD), Engineering Systems and Design (ESD) or Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD). Meanwhile, it works with world-class universities like Yale and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
The Yale-NUX College in Singapore is one of the more recent additions to the educational landscape in the country. It was established in 2011 and with a collaboration between 2 of the top universities in the world (Yale University and National University of Singapore), it comes with a strong reputation. In Singapore, the college focuses mainly in the liberal arts and this would be the first institute to be set up outside New Haven in the United States. What makes this university such an attractive option to study at is its fully residential, 4 year programme.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Asia
The Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Asia was established in 2011. It is part of the larger Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the United States where it operates as a private institute of higher learning in Singapore. Known in short as ERAU Asia, the institute offers a full range of programmes in undergraduate and post-graduate levels. Courses can be taken as full-time and part-time both online and offline. As the name implies, the university is very focused in a specialized area where students take either the Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics and Bachelor of Science in Aviation Business Administration courses. This is where students take course that are offered and followed by its parent university in the United States.
Other universities in Singapore
Besides the major ones mentioned above, there are many other universities and colleges in Singapore that offers all types of courses. This include the following:
- Amity Global Institute
- ESSEC Business School (Singapore)
- Curtin University (Singapore)
- Kaplan Higher Education Academy
- University of Chicago Booth School of Business
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas Singapore
- East Asia Institute of Management-Queen Margaret University
- Temple University (Singapore)
- Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
- FTMSGlobal Academy
- Digipen Institute of Technology
- KLC School of Education
- Orita Sinclair School Of Design
- Lasalle College of the Arts
- Ngee Ann Polytechnic
- Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School
- Temasek Polytechnic
Various forms of financial aid
INGAPORE – Scholarships, bursaries and grants enable students to pursue their education at PEIs without worries
Scholarships for O-level graduates with goodacademic standing. Scholarship recipients will be granted waiver of fees for two units of their courses.
With effect from Jan 1 2010, the top three students of each full-time diploma and Bachelor’s degree cohort need to meet the following pre-requisites to be eligible for the scholarship scheme:
– Attendance must be 95 per cent and above for all modules.
– All modules must be passed at the first attempt.
– Average mark should be 85 for all modules.
– Enrolled in Kaplan’s Bachelor’s or Master’s programme, after completing the diploma or Bachelor’s degree course and paid the first instalment respectively.
First place: $10,000
Second place: $7,500
Third place: $5,000
The above amounts will be credited into the course fees of the Bachelor’s or Master’s programmes that the students have enrolled in. They need to pay the course fees according to the payment plans, until the remaining course fees sum up to the respective scholarship amounts.
SAA Global Education Centre (SAA-GE)
SAA-GE Polytechnic Scholarship (ACCA) – set up in July 2007
– SAA-GE Polytechnic Scholarship (University of London programmes) – set up in July 2007
– ISCA – Dr Ernest Kan Accountancy Scholarship (ACCA) – set up in Jan 2008
– SAA-GE (NTUC) Scholarship (for ACCA/CAT programmes) – set up in July 2003
– SAA-GE (Safra) Scholarship (for ACCA/CAT programmes) – set up in July 2006
– International Student Scholarship (for ACCA/CAT programmes) – set up in July 2007
Cambridge study on English subject in Malaysia ‘positive’
LONDON – The preliminary findings of the Cambridge English Language Assessment on the teaching and learning of the subject in Malaysian schools have shown “positive indications”.
“The study shows that 37 per cent of English teachers in primary school are at the C1 and C2 levels. This means that they are good enough to teach English,” said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin upon the release of the assessment result here yesterday.
The C1 and C2 levels are used to evaluate the proficiency for those considered advanced users.
Emphasising that there is still much room for improvement, he added: “The study shows that 85 per cent of our students are interested in learning English and over 97 per cent of our teachers teaching the subject are interested in the field.
“We have fared reasonably well but the expectations of Malaysians are that we want to be the best among the Commonwe alth,” he said after the briefing by the Cambridge English Language Assessment team.
The briefing was conducted by its head and international development head Dr Hanan Khalifa and project director Martin Robinson.
Muhyiddin said the final report, expe cted by March, would be forwarded to an Education Ministry council.
“The council will then make recommendations based on the report,” he said to a question if this would lead to changes in the curriculum and English teaching practices.
Muhyiddin pointed out that the study involved 31,000 students in 943 classrooms in 476 schools across the country, and was carried out in line with strategies outlined under the National Blueprint on Education, and amidst public debate on the deteriorating standard of English.
“If I talk about our standard of English, the public may not believe me, but maybe they will trust Cambridge.
“I am excited for the final report,” he said, adding that Malaysia was the only country to carry out such a comprehensive review of its students’ English proficiency.
The Baseline Project: Measuring the English Language Standard and Establishing an Evidence-based Baseline was commissioned by the ministry and measures local students against international standards.
Muhyiddin, who is here on a three-day working visit to attend the Education World Forum, also met with members of United Kingdom Umno Club yesterday.
On the subject of cost of living, he said Malaysia needs to balance the country’s fiscal situation against the impact of rising costs.
Muhyiddin, who chairs the Cabinet Committee on Rising Costs, said it would take into consi deration the views put forward by Malaysians.
“At the same time that we are studying all aspects of rising costs, we are also looking into some of the fiscal policies that govern our initiatives to strengthen our economy,” he said in his speech during a dinner with members of the United Kingdom and Eire (Ireland) Council here on Monday night.