What is the Singapore Ministry of Education

DAAD regional information

The following introduction to the higher education system, supplemented by a chapter on the topic of "Internationalization and educational cooperation" and the DAAD activities in Singapore, can be found in the. A more comprehensive analysis of the Singaporean higher education system offers a compact compilation of data on one page.

You can find all available DAAD country status, DAAD educational system analyzes and DAAD data sheets sorted alphabetically by country under

Singapore has an excellent education system with few but very good universities. Education and training occupy a strategically important position in the Singaporean government policy. As it is a city-state, Singapore relies entirely on a knowledge-based economy and recruits qualified young people from all over the world, especially from neighboring ASEAN countries, India and China. In the ranking of the leading innovation locations of the World International Property Organization (WIPO), Singapore ranks sixth in 2016 behind Switzerland, Sweden, Great Britain, the USA and Finland.

The universities of Singapore

The National University of Singapore (NUS) was founded in 1905 and has around 38,000 students. It is a comprehensive university with a wide range of subjects that regularly scores very well in international rankings (humanities and social sciences, law, engineering, natural sciences, medicine, dentistry, business, computer science, design and the environment, music and four graduate schools in the fields of health sciences, Political Science, Interdisciplinary and Engineering Sciences and Medicine). The NUS also operates eleven overseas colleges in Silicon Valley, Beijing, Shanghai, Stockholm, New York, Israel, Toronto, Singapore, Southeast Asia, Lausanne and Munich (TUM).
Prospective students can now opt for around 71 new combinations with two main subjects, double major degrees, or one major in combination with a minor in 16 subject areas at the NUS.
The NUS sees itself as leading research-oriented university and is home to 30 university research institutes and centers as well as three of Singapore's five Research Centers of Excellence (RCEs) - specializing in quantum technologies, cancer research and mechanobiology. These centers are funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Ministry of Education (MOE) and are the Singaporean counterpart to the Clusters of Excellence under the Excellence Initiative. With the help of the RCEs, internationally visible and competitive research and training institutions are to be established at the universities, which cooperate with non-university research institutions and the economy. In 2017, more than 3,900 researchers worked at the NUS and wrote more than 8,300 publications.

The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) emerged from Nanyang University, founded in 1955. It has around 33,000 students in the fields of engineering, science, business, humanities, arts and social sciences.
NTU's four colleges are home to university research institutes, including the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, the Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute, and the Institute for Media Innovation. The NTU maintains numerous research collaborations with government agencies and industrywhich are housed in the specially built Research Techno Plaza. With the Earth Observatory of Singapore, the NTU also houses a Research Center of Excellence.
With the start of the 2017/2018 academic year, students at NTU's College of Humanities and Social Sciences were able to choose up to two courses from other disciplines in order to meet the requirements of the major in their degree program.
In partnership with Imperial College London, NTU maintains the newly established Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine. The first graduates will complete the five-year program in 2018.

The Singapore Management University (SMU), founded in 2000, with now more than 9,600 students, consists of six schools (accounting, business, economics, social sciences, information systems and law).
In March 2017, the new law building with the Kwa Geok Choo Law Library was officially opened.
From the 2017/2018 academic year, the SMU School of Information Systems will offer the new Smart city management & technology course, which was set up in cooperation with the School of Social Sciences.

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), founded in 2012, is a cooperation with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Zhejiang University China. There is a Dual-degree technology and management programs from SUTD and SMU.
The SUTD has set up the new Technology Entrepreneurship Program (Step). This four and a half year integrated program can be completed either with a Bachelor of Science or Engineering or with a Master of Science in Technology Entrepreneurship and includes a course in Berkeley in the fourth year, followed by stays in the Bay Area and in China, for example at Zhejiang University School of Management.

The Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) was founded in 2009. SIT has partnerships with well-known foreign universities. The courses offer graduates of the five polytechnics in Singapore a publicly funded higher education. SIT's current partners are TU Munich, Culinary Institute of America, Digipen Institute of Technology Redmond Washington, Glasgow School of Art, Newcastle University, University of Glasgow, Massey University, Trinity College Dublin and University of Liverpool.
The Singapore Institute of Management (UniSIM), founded in 1994 as a private provider, has since been renamed the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) and now offers its own full-time courses in addition to part-time higher education for working and adult learners.

Rankings attract a lot of attention in Singapore, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018, the NUS is in 22nd place (previous year: 24th), the NTU is in 52nd place (previous year: 54th) and was named “the fastest-rising young university in the world ”. According to Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings from June 2018, the NUS is in 11th place and the NTU follows directly behind in 12th place.
In addition to the six universities there are still five technical polytechnics (Fachoberschulen) with a total of about 73,000 students. They offer courses and degrees in engineering, business, accounting, IT, product design, interior design, architecture, natural sciences, life sciences, biotechnology, marine studies, nutritional sciences, healthcare, tourism, mass communication and media. These include Singapore Polytechnic (founded in 1954), Ngee Ann Polytechnic (1981), Temasek Polytechnic (1990), Nanyang Polytechnic (1992) and Republic Polytechnic (2002). In 2013 the one-year “Polytechnic Foundation Program” was introduced.

There are numerous State grants, also for foreigners who are mostly provided with a so-called "bond", which means that the students then have to work in Singapore for a few years - depending on the structure of the scholarship either in a government organization or at a Singapore-based company. Some scholarships are subject to an obligation to also adopt Singaporean citizenship if accepted.

tuition fee for the academic year 2017/2018 at the NUS with MOE Tuition Grant: Singapore Citizens: between 8,150 and 27,400 Singapore dollars (depending on the subject); Singapore Permanent Residents: 11,400-38,350 Singapore dollars; International Students: 17,450 - 58,650 SGD; Without MOE Tution Grant: 29,650 - 146,750 Singapore dollars. Since 2010 there has been an annual increase in tuition fees.

University entrance qualification have applicants with GCE A-Level, International Baccalaureate and usually graduates from the NUS High School of Mathematics and Science. With the appropriate performance, the Polytechnic Diploma also entitles you to subject-specific studies. The universities are autonomous in regulating their admission restrictions.
Since access to these few universities is very selective, the Ministry of Education has convened the Committee on University Education Pathways Beyond 2015 (CUEP). After investigations, this committee is to make recommendations on how the higher education sector can be further expanded in order to enable more Singaporeans in a more diverse university landscape to attend a university education at a state-funded university. By 2020 there are to be 3,000 more study places, increasing the cohort participation rate (CPR) to 40 percent. The increase in the number of study places should be sustainable and supported by business.

Singapore takes other countries as an example and tries to avoid that a too high enrollment rate or a too rapid increase leads to an oversupply of workers and thus to unemployment. However, the media has sometimes questioned the need for a higher number of university graduates. Germany and the dual training there were mentioned as a good example, also due to the low youth unemployment in Germany.
in the Research and development area the priorities of Singapore were described in the “Research Innovation Enterprise - RIE 2015 Plan”. According to the NRF, the five-year plan from 2016 will focus on the areas of biomedical sciences, digital economy / services, manufacturing and engineering, as well as urban solutions and sustainability.
Potential cooperation partners should be aware of the fact that in Singapore the placement of universities in international rankings plays an important role. The image of German universities is positively shaped by numerous cooperation and exchange programs as well as the large number of German scientists who work at Singaporean universities and research institutions.
The advisory work in the information center has shown that Chinese graduates of Singaporean polytechnics are particularly interested in courses at German universities of applied sciences, preferably in engineering.

Author: Claudia Finner, Head of the Singapore Information Center

The DAAD is represented in Singapore with an information center and an additional lecturer at the Center for Language Studies of the National University of Singapore.

Individual advice on scientific collaborations with Singapore

This actively supports German universities in setting up and developing their international collaborations.

As an employee of a German university, KIWi advises you on how to identify suitable cooperation partners in Singapore and supports you with information on funding instruments and financing options for your cooperation project. There are also tips on how to successfully manage and develop existing collaborations.

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