According to the QS World University Rankings (an annual publication of university rankings across the world), two of Singapore’s premier universities – the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University – ranked globally at number 11 and 12 respectively in 2020. They were next in line behind premier institutes such as MIT, Stanford, Harvard, and Oxford. The National University of Singapore ranked #1 in Asia in 2019.
A little about the Singaporean education system
Singapore is much more than a tourist destination. It is one of the most sought-after educational destinations in the world. Through four decades of consistent work and results, Singapore’s educational system has built this reputation for itself. Students that go through the Singaporean education system turn out to be global citizens; thanks to the exposure to different cultures.
Along the way, Singapore has also managed to attract some of the best foreign universities to its shores. For example, MIT has been involved with the Singaporean Education system since 2007. It has established the Campus for Research and Excellence, which is a USD 600 million endeavour. The result is the Singapore University of Technology and Design, which has been developed along with the Massachusetts Institute of Design and Technology from the USA and Zhejiang University from China. The first liberal arts college in Singapore is the Yale-NUS College, a collaboration between Yale and the National University of Singapore.
There are a total of 34 universities in Singapore, of which six are national universities. They cater to a wide variety of educational requirements. Some of the top universities in Singapore include:
1. Singapore Management University
2. Singapore University of Technology and Design
3. Singapore University of Social Sciences
4. LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore Institute of Technology
5. Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.
Courses offered by the universities range from healthcare and management to science and education.
Hybrid learning in the times of COVID-19
Singapore’s universities have managed to keep education thriving in the face of the coronavirus pandemic by following a three-step approach. The National University of Singapore, for example, has divided its three campuses into five containment zones. Personnel is not allowed outside their zone. Second, it uses a combination of online learning and classes that need to be attended in-person to minimise the number of people on campus. This has helped reduce the number of people to around 60 per cent on campus. Third, it has developed an NUS Safe app, which reminds everyone on campus to stay within their designated zone. The app regulates access to campus shuttle buses, classrooms, canteen, libraries, and sports complexes.
Most international students have thus returned to Singapore for the semester beginning in September 2020, with a 14-day self-quarantine period enforced upon their arrival in the country. The universities record all lectures so that they can be accessed later by students. Singapore reported its lowest number of new coronavirus cases in six months in September, with only 17 new infections. However, NUS does not plan to resume the conventional mode of only-classroom teaching anytime soon and will stick to its ‘hybrid’ method for a while still.
Career choices in Singapore
Identifying the skills in demand in Singapore is a great way to start a career in Singapore. Singapore is at the forefront in creating an environment that is sustainable and beautiful. Therefore, quality architects are always in demand. Allied healthcare professionals are needed now more than ever, given the pandemic has highlighted the need for greater healthcare preparedness world over. As data is the new currency, so business and data analysis are great career options too. Finally, with more and more businesses going mobile, application developers are in hot demand!
Singapore is the business capital of the Asia-Pacific region, which makes a strong case for building a career there. Other pros of studying and building a career in Singapore include – Absence of racism, given that Singapore is a melting pot of cultures; Singapore’s proximity to India, which means visiting family and friends for special occasions or vacations is quite convenient and affordable.
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If Singapore feels like the destination for your child’s bright future, then Western Union is here to support your plan. From paying the fee directly to a Singaporean university to helping your child when they’re stuck in a financial emergency to sending them money for their monthly expenses, Western Union can manage it all for you.