Singapore, over the years has had many a university and colleges mushroom over the years. However, despite availability of local options, an increasing number of Singaporean students are travelling all the way to UK and Australia to pursue higher education.
According to Singaporean officials, Australia happens to be the most sought after educational destination for Singaporeans. It is closely followed by the UK and the United States of America.
The statistics collected by International Development Program (IDP), Singapore, last year about 2800 Singaporean students applied for student’s visa to Australia and about 2700 for UK. The officials reveal that Australia remains as the most preferred destination for students as the Australian Universities offer more credit exemptions than what is offered by the local Singaporean Universities.
For instance, a student with a polytechnic diploma in banking can get an exemption of 6 months or a year, for their Bachelor of Commerce degree. This boils down to saving year i.e the student completes his bachelor degree in just two years. Barring this perk, Australian Universities offer some courses, which are not offered by local Singaporean Universities.
The fact that Australia has a large Asian population makes it easier for Singaporean students to adapt. Many a time they do not have to suffer from any ‘cultural shock’. Also, the fact that Australian student visa makes it possible for students to work 40 hours in a fortnight as a part-timer, makes Australian education more pocket friendly for them Singaporeans. Also, the perk of being able to stay back in Australia to work on completion of their academic courses, definitely adds on to its popularity.
On the other hand in 2015, the British Council witnessed about 8145 students getting enrolled to UK universities. Shabbir Alam, director of education at the British Council, Singapore maintains, “Studying in international universities, offer students a not only a chance to explore different cultures but also to become independent.” He adds, “The strength of Singapore dollar is definitely making overseas education very affordable.”
However, most Singaporean students look for educational programmes that have some form of embedded work opportunity on international territory or offer work placement.