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Singapore is becoming a new destination for studying abroad

Recently, Singapore has become a new destination for many students to study abroad. This is due to their advantageous geographical location, complete educational infrastructure, superior education system, unique bilingual environment in Chinese and English, and a safe social environment.

However, many students and parents still do not know much about studying abroad in Singapore. Let’s learn more about studying in Singapore.

1: You can apply to prestigious schools, even if you don’t have perfect language scores.

Because Singapore itself is a bilingual country, the English requirements for Chinese students are not very high. Many schools enroll students through dual admission, also known as conditional admission. This is a process that allows for acceptance of international students who are academically qualified to be admitted but do not meet the minimum English requirements.

If admitted through conditional admission, the school will arrange language courses for the student to take based on their language proficiency. Once the student passes the language test and meets the minimum language requirement, they will be granted full admission and formal courses may be entered.

There are many prestigious universities in Singapore that offer dual enrollment, including the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University.

Students who are unable to overcome the language barrier have an additional option to apply for programs solely taught in Chinese. These programs do not have mandatory language score requirements. For example, Nanyang Technological University has 4 fully Chinese programs, none of which have English requirements. These programs are for the Master of Advanced Public Administration, Master of Management Economics, Master of Advanced Management Economics, Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

2: Students attending junior colleges can also enter prestigious schools

Unlike China’s higher education system, Singapore follows the Commonwealth education system. Following the compulsory education of 10-11 years, students can choose to work or to continue their education. They can choose to enter bridging educational institutions in accordance to their own interests and the results of their Cambridge O Level exams.

Bridging educational institutions include junior college, millennia institute, polytechnics or arts institution, and institute of technical education.

In general, Chinese students have the option of entering undergraduate or junior colleges following the end of the Chinese college entrance examinations. However, there are several limitations to studying at a junior college in China, with limited recognition being one of them. If a junior college student wants to enter an undergraduate college, they will have fewer connections and subsequently, more difficulty in admission.

In contrast, studying in a polytechnic institute in Singapore, which is equivalent to the junior college level in China, has a much wider range of recognition and subsequent career progression paths.

Polytechnic institutes are an integral part of Singapore’s education system. Polytechnics prefer to teach practical knowledge so that their studies can be better integrated into their careers. Additionally, polytechnic institutes serve as a “springboard” for students. Students can freely apply for undergraduate colleges immediately after graduating with no restrictions. According to statistics, about 30% of students in Singapore attended polytechnic institutes before entering public universities

Additionally, Singapore only has 6 public universities and 5 polytechnic institutes. Therefore, the public college degree is highly acknowledged and has obvious advantages in employment. In recent years, there has been a huge decline in Singapore’s “senior blue-collar” population. Such colleges are in line with the needs of the local job market as public college graduates can find jobs relatively quickly. In terms of salary, the salaries of some public college graduates are even higher than undergraduate college graduates.

3: Directly affiliated branch schools overseas

Directly affiliated branch schools from various countries overseas are located in Singapore, whether that be independently or joint with other institutions. Students will receive a degree from the host university in Singapore, and this degree from the host university is no different than from that of the main school.

There are currently 9 outstanding foreign universities directly affiliated to Singapore from Australia, France and other countries. These branch schools have the following characteristics:

1. Under normal circumstances, the courses offered are synchronized with the main school in terms of quantity and quality.

2. The cost of studying at the branch school is far less than the cost of applying directly to the main school. The tuition of the branch school is lower, and the cost of living in Singapore is much lower than that of the European and American countries where the main schools are located.

3. Many students have the ability to study at an overseas branch school following the completion of assigned courses at the branch school. If permitted, students can choose to transfer to the headquarters of the foreign school to complete the final degree course in the second or third year.

Of course, different programs have different path allocations, and not all programs allow school-to-school transfers. The ability to transfer school, and if this option is voluntary or mandatory must be clearly understood before enrollment.

4. Students do not need to worry about the transfer of credits as the curriculum for the branch and main school are essentially the same. There is usually a clear transfer agreement between the two entities.

Regarding the concern for academic certification, students studying at overseas branch schools generally follow the requirements of the Study Abroad Service Center to apply for certification.

According to the procedures and standards for foreign academic degree certification and evaluation of the Overseas Education Service Center of the Ministry of Education, applicants will be awarded the ability to study courses at the branch school that are offered at the main school. Permission of an academic degree or higher education diploma by the main school will be determined by mutual recognition of academic qualifications and degrees from the branch school and China.

4: The elimination of unqualified private universities in Singapore

Singapore has a small number of local public schools and a large number of students. To alleviate the issue of the lack of schools for the vast student population, Singapore established numerous private schools. Previously, due to the inadequate quality of teaching at some of these schools, the international recognition of Singapore’s private schools was negatively affected. The Ministry of Education of China had also firmly stated that they would only recognize diplomas from public universities and polytechnic institutes in Singapore.

In order to ensure the quality of education, the Singapore Private Education Council carried out a comprehensive rectification of a large number of private schools and forced one-third of unqualified schools to close.

The remaining private universities in Singapore are all approved and accredited by the Ministry of Education of Singapore. They are employment-oriented, adhere to the philosophy of “wide entry; strict exit”, implement rigorous teaching methods, and align with the current social developmental trends.

For example, in recent years, the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) and Kaplan College of Higher Education, which are very popular among international students, have been experiencing not only a wide international reputation, but have also been experiencing a gradual increase of their graduates’ professional standings.

Since May 16, 2018, the Ministry of Education of China has reopened the accreditation of the qualifications of non-public universities in Singapore. The misunderstanding that Singapore private universities are “Pheasant Universities” is slowly resolving.

Songzi Li/Managing Editor


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