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Cost of Studying in Singapore

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Yocket Editorial Team
3 mins read
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Singapore is an expensive nation by anyone’s standards. However, the small island nation prides itself on providing exemplary education to the students that manage to get admission into their system—both local and international. High end facilities and an ever practical syllabus make for an ideal atmosphere for education.

The question would arise regarding the cost of such facilities. A report published by HSBC—which is a British multinational financial services company—sometime in 2014 suggests that Singapore follows Australia in being among the topmost countries in the world in terms of expensive higher education for international students. Among the top Universities in Singapore which also have the honour of being recognized as being among the best in Asia are the National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore Management University (SMU) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

On an average, the cost of studying in Singapore has been found to be around SGD 25,000 and S$40,00 or approximately 20 lakh INR. The cost of studying; tuition fees, living expenses, other expenses, etc. would depend upon the programme you have chosen, the duration of your academic pursuits, the University you have enrolled in, etc. As an example, the National University of Singapore which is considered to be among the top tier Universities in Asia, not to mention the world, and which offers various courses in fields such as Medicine, Music, Business, Dentistry, etc. charges a sum of SGD 27,050 or nearly 14 lakh INR for international students wishing to pursue law at an undergraduate level. A breakup of the tuition charges for the various courses offered by the NUS can be found here. The University also charges a separate amount for facilities which is not covered by the tuition fees for academics—as is the practice among the majority of Universities—and this amount is covered under what is called the ‘Miscellaneous Student Fees’ which includes healthcare services, cultural programmes, maintaining the in-campus network and other related services within the campus premises. Information about the miscellaneous fees for NUS may be found here. This largely varies from university to university so it would be best if the individual websites of the universities are visited for information.

There is also the option of applying for scholarships for the in-need students. Find more information regarding the same here. Furthermore, there are several other roads open to Indian students for financial aid.

Coming to the point, however, Singapore is an ideal destination for Indian students, often frequented by them in pursuit of higher education if the statistics by organizations such as the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education or OEBD are to be believed.  The primary reason behind this is undoubtedly the closeness the country shares with India making it a much preferable to-travel option for prospective Indian students as compared to the United Kingdom, the USA or Australia. Moreover, the country’s education system is rife with opportunities and state-of-art facilities. Hence, there will hardly be complaints about the quality of education.

Courses such as Medicine, Dentistry, Business and Law would naturally demand a higher cost for tuition by their very nature. The tuition fees for these courses for an academic year ranges in between S$37,000 - S$154,000.

An admired step taken by the government of Singapore for the benefit of international students can be recognized in the Tuition Grant Scheme or the TGS. The scheme requires you to contract to work in Singapore for at least 3 years post-graduation in exchange for which you would be beneficiary to a subsidized tuition fee.

The cost of studying in Singapore would also primarily include the living expenses which would include food, accommodation, healthcare and travel expenses. The secondary expenses would include luxury and entertainment spending.

While compared to its Western counterparts which are also education hubs for international students Singapore is cheaper as far as tuition fees go, but the city demands a higher cost of living than most due to its cosmopolitan nature, ever-increasing economy and steady development. For instance, the accommodation rent for a public room in Singapore would round off to a figure of about 800 to 1000 SGD which is equivalent to 35,000 INR at an average. Bigger apartments or private rooms would demand a much higher rent.

As far as transportation in Singapore is concerned, it is relatively cheap and affordable. A sound piece of advice would be to avoid splurging on private modes of transportation and avail the services of the public transports —like the rail and the bus system—which are comfortable as well as extensive in their reach.

Food costs for students in Singapore come up to be around 500 SGD or and the healthcare/insurance policies for students depend on the University they have enrolled in. For example, you can refer the medical insurance policy of the SMU here. For international students it is ideal to pick a private health insurance policy which will enable them to access the medical services in the country. On an average such schemes would come at a cost of SGD 50,000 or 25 lakh INR.

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