5 Fantastic Reasons to Study in Singapore
Singapore, widely known among its multicultural and multinational residents as the Little Red Dot, has made its mark on the world with many top accolades.
There are countless reasons to love this garden city, from its well-structured urban planning, to its fast-paced economic development, and its status as one of the safest countries in the world.
Education has played a key role in the rise of this tiny island nation, and the Government of Singapore continues to place a great emphasis on it. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Singapore’s universities are among some of the most highly ranked and well-regarded in the world. One of its most well-known is the National University of Singapore (NUS), which has been consistently ranked among the top three universities in Asia since 2013.
With the coronavirus pandemic restricting international travel and disrupting global higher education, tertiary-bound students planning to study abroad have had to reconsider their options. For many, Singapore comes out on top.
NUS, in line with the Singapore Government’s push toward lifelong learning and digitalisation, has created high-value, future-oriented courses that enhance students’ competitiveness and ability to adapt in the workplaces of tomorrow. Some students are drawn by the university’s enviable academic reputation, while others hold its commitment to nurturing emerging change leaders and entrepreneurs in high regard.
For adventurous and ambitious learners who have their hearts set on broadening their horizons and experiencing life as international students, here are five reasons to consider Singapore.
A global reputation for academic excellence
Singapore has a reputation for academic excellence not just in Asia, but across the world. The nation’s education system is considered world-class and boasts academic talent that is both highly advanced and competitive.
For a continuous number of years, Singapore has been named the best-performing location for the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It is also home to universities that have won global recognition for both their top-tier academics and their advanced research facilities. For example, the QS World University Rankings® 2021 listed NUS as the top university in Asia and eleventh in the world.
Perhaps not surprisingly, many internationally renowned academics and scholars have been attracted to teach and study here. No matter where students come from, their experience studying in Singapore will build on their strengths and abilities, and boldly expand their horizons and perspectives.
Top industry connections
Singapore gained its independence in 1965 and since then has flourished and grown into an economic powerhouse. Today, it is a leading industrial centre for aerospace, precision engineering, information technology, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, the creative industry, and professional services.
Many multinational companies have set up their Asian headquarters and global research and development laboratories in Singapore. Some notable examples include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and, more recently, Dyson and Tencent.
Singapore’s connectivity and influence in the region, its integration of both eastern and western cultures and its welcoming stance towards foreign investment has made it an important business hub in Asia.
Students at NUS can leverage this and enjoy access to international networks and industries, with various channels to connect with leading industry players. Many courses at NUS offer students practical industry projects or internship opportunities, opening up even more exciting career opportunities.
Aspiring change leaders and entrepreneurs will also appreciate the fact that the university has formed collaborations and strategic partnerships with key industry players (as well as government agencies) to establish advanced research laboratories, innovation incubation programmes, as well as the entrepreneurial hub known as BLOCK71.
A multicultural society
Singapore is a multi-cultural society where people are respectful of different religions, races, and cultures. There are four official languages in Singapore – English (the predominant language used in schools and the workplace), Chinese, Malay and Tamil.
Such diversity has enabled Singapore to attract international students from many places around the world. International students in Singapore thrive in this environment, experiencing a mix of multi-ethnic cultures while still being able to rely on English as the medium of communication in their daily lives.
There are many similarities between the lifestyle in Singapore and other parts of the world, so much so that familiarising oneself with everyday life is likely to be a walk in the park. That said, international students may still find something uniquely Singaporean around each corner.
A high quality of life
Mercer, the world’s largest human resource management consulting agency, ranked Singapore as the city with the highest quality of life in Asia in its 2019 Urban Life Quality Survey.
Efficient city planning, a developed economy, superior geographical location, a sound legal system, convenient transportation, a warm climate, along with a tolerant and friendly social atmosphere make Singapore a study destination suitable for people from all walks of life.
Singapore also embraces a rich culture of art, history, architecture, food, natural scenery, leisure activities and festivities, attracting many international travellers every year.
International students in Singapore are set for a unique and immersive life experience. Learning here is not confined only to the classroom but goes way beyond into the world-at-large.
A safe and secure environment
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Singapore as the second safest city in the world in the 2019 Safe City Index. Laws in Singapore are strictly enforced, which explains its very low crime rate and its reputation as one of the safest countries in the world.
This is undoubtedly a draw for many international students. Living away from home can cause worries for both international students and their families, which is why NUS has its own security team that patrols its campuses 24/7, 365 days of the year.
More generally, Singapore has a relatively stable political and social environment. Government agencies and commercial entities alike tend to be efficient and systematic, and the average Singaporean on the street is tech-savvy and well-informed.
Even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Singapore has managed to control the spread and number of infections, and is regarded as a model for other countries to emulate.