Education

Education

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Educational Services

The Ministry of Education (MOE) controls the development and administration of state schools in Singapore. They also play an advisory and supervisory role in respect of private schools. English is the main language of instruction in Singaporean mainstream schools.

Kindergartens in Singapore provide the first three years of pre-school for children ages three to six years. This is followed by Primary Education. A four year foundation period (Primary 1 to 4) and then a two year orientation period ( Primary 5 to 6).

Primary education is compulsory. Exemptions can be made for pupils who are homeschooling, attending full-time religious institutions or for children with special needs who are unable to attend mainstream schools. In order for children to be exempted, parents must meet the requirements as set out by the MOE.

The majority of expat parents prefer to enroll their children in international schools. Rightly or wrongly, there is a perception, especially among those expats from Western countries, that the Singapore education system is too tough. 

Some expats feel that the workload is too much and that there is too much emphasis on learning by rote. That being said Singapore is ranked third in the world on the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking (2015)!
 
There are more than 30 international schools in Singapore such as Stamford American International School, British Private International School, Australian International School to name but a few. Parents be warned private schooling can be very costly but may sometimes be the only option if there are no vacancies in the local schools!

International students who wish to seek admission to local mainstream schools must take part in the "Admissions Exercise for International Students" , AEIS. Even if students are successful, admission is not guaranteed! 

The applicant's performance as well as available school vacancies also play a roll. English is the medium of instruction in Singaporean mainstream schools.


Universities, Colleges and Polytechnics

Singapore offers many excellent options for higher education.  Applicants must fulfill the very competitive admission requirements and be able to afford the tuition of these world class learning institutions. 

Applicants have a choice  of public or private universities and colleges. The Ministry of Education is very aware that students have different abilities and interests and also caters to those wishing to study in a more creative field. 

The Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and the Royal College of Music cater to these students.
 
Public- Funded Universities

Public universities are funded by the government and are open to Singaporeans, permanent residents and foreign students. Financial aid may only be available to Singaporeans and permanent residents though.

The following is a list of autonomous public - funded universities:
Private Universities

Sim University is a private university although it does receive some government funding. This allows for students to follow subsidized full time or part time degrees. 

 

Polytechnics

Polytechnics offer a good alternative to universities. They are industry orientated and offer students the ability to enter the labor market with relevant skills at the end of their three year diploma or they could continue their education at a university. 

Polytechnics offer courses in many fields such as humanities, business studies, engineering, digital media and much more.

The following is a list on polytechnics:

For more information on secondary education please visit the Ministry of Education website.
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