10 Cheap Universities in Singapore for International Students

Singapore may be less than 0.01 percent the size of the United States, but its per capita GDP is much higher than many countries around the world. Aside from a stable and vibrant economy, the city-state is also one of the top ten safest countries in the world.

There are a lot of things that make this small Southeast Asian country stand out. It has one of the cleanest streets in the world. The country is also known as a Garden City since it has incorporated green spaces in many public spaces despite its growing population.

Singapore is also a haven for food lovers. The hawker centers in the city are known for offering some of the best street food in this part of the world.

In addition to these unique features of the country, Singapore is also known to have a notable education system. It has consistently ranked among the top ten best education systems in the world. In fact, it’s one of the few countries in Asia where English is the language of instruction.

With this, Singapore can be a great option for students looking to study abroad. In this article, we will be going over the cheapest universities in Singapore for international students.

Cost of Studying in Singapore

The high quality of the education system in Singapore means the cost of education is rather high. While the government normally subsidizes costs in public universities, the subsidy is mainly given to Singaporean citizens.

Despite this, non-Singaporean citizens can also look for scholarships to cover the cost of studying in Singapore.

Aside from tuition, international students should also consider the cost of living in Singapore, which is among the highest in the world. Students can expect to spend around $10,000 SGD ($7,400) to $11,000 SGD ($8,100 USD)/year on basic expenses, including accommodations, food, transportation, and other expenses.

Are Universities Free in Singapore?

Some Singaporean universities offer free education to Singaporean students. But the same cannot be said for international students. International students have to pay for tuition unless they’re able to get a scholarship or subsidy.

What are the languages of instruction for universities in Singapore?

Even as the Malay language is the official language in Singapore, the language of instruction for universities is English. The use of English as a medium of instruction started in 1966 when the government required schools to teach English as a first or second language

In 1987, the government made it compulsory to use English in all Singaporean schools. This makes it easier for international students to keep up with the lessons in universities in Singapore.

Cheapest Universities in Singapore

1. LASALLE College of Arts

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs:
    • Singaporean citizens – $5,380 SGD ($4,000 USD) to $19,950 SGD ($14,700 USD)/year
    • Permanent Residents- $7,030 SGD ($5,200 USD) to $22,208 SGD ($16,400 USD)/year
    • Non-Singaporean – $9,880 SGD ($7,300 USD) to $24,990 SGD ($18,500 USD)/year
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs:
    • Singaporean citizens/Permanent Residents – $10,300 SGD ($7,600 USD) to $41,200 SGD ($30,400 USD)/year
    • Non-Singaporean – $11,660 SGD ($8,600 USD) to $46,640 SGD ($34,400 USD)/year
  • Diploma Tuition Fee Link
  • Bachelor Tuition Fee Link
  • Graduate Tuition Fee Link

LASALLE College of Arts was established in 1984 and is considered as the leading contemporary arts and design education institution in Asia. Founded by the late Brother Joseph McNally, the school aims to produce forward-looking and critical thinking creative students after they graduate. LASALLE College of Arts is the cheapest university in Singapore for international students.

The school offers several undergraduate and postgraduate programs for local and international students. These programs include Animation, Arts Management, Design Communication, Interior Design, and Fine Arts, among others.

The school plays host to the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore where five galleries showcase the best products of the creative minds of the school. The school also holds an open house every year to attract the best creatives around the world.

2. Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs:
    • Singaporean citizens – $4,700 SGD ($3,500 USD) to $22,000 SGD ($16,200 USD)/year
    • Permanent Residents- $7,250 SGD ($5,300 USD) to $22,000 SGD ($16,200 USD)/year
    • Non-Singaporean citizens- $10,000 SGD ($7,400 USD) to $22,000 SGD ($16,200 USD)/year
  • Diploma Tuition Fee Link
  • Bachelor Tuition Fee Link

Established in 1938, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, another cheap university in Singapore, has come a long way since its days at a two-story shophouse in Geylang. This post-secondary institution offers wide-ranging arts and design education suitable for polytechnic level Singaporean students.

Aside from providing industry-based learning, the school offers a curriculum that suitably merges contemporary practices with culture to nurture creativity and critical thinking.

The academy provides diploma courses along with bachelor programs. These courses and programs include Arts Management, Music, Graphic Communication, and Fashion Design.

The students are immersed in the arts as they take part in different activities held within Singapore’s arts and heritage district. They will also be inspired by visiting artists and designers who have made a name for themselves in their respective industries.

3. Temasek Polytechnic

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs:
    • Singaporean citizens – $986 SGD ($700 USD) to $1,470 SGD ($1,100 USD)/year
    • Permanent Residents- $3,000 SGD ($2,200 USD)/year
    • Non-Singaporean citizens – $10,349 SGD ($7,600 USD)/year
  • Undergraduate Tuition Fee Link

Established in 1990, the Temasek Polytechnic is the third polytechnic institution established in Singapore. It was initially set up I the premises of the Baharuddin Vocational Institute along Stirling Road and the Grange Road location of Raffles Institution. The polytechnic later transferred to its present location in 1995.

The polytechnic has six schools, including the School of Informatics and IT, School of Engineering, School of Design, and School of Business. It offers numerous programs, such as Chemical Engineering, Pharmaceutical Science, Accountancy and Finance, Communications and Media Management, Big Data and Analytics, and Applied Artificial Intelligence.

Aside from their pursuit of academic excellence, the students can also look forward to developing their leadership skills. They can also become excellent athletes or perfect their cultural pursuits. The polytechnic encourages the students to become well-rounded and enrich their personal lives to become the best versions of themselves.

4. Republic Polytechnic

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs:
    • Singaporean citizens – $2,900 SGD ($2,100 USD)/year
    • Permanent Residents- $6,000 SGD ($4,400 USD)/year
    • Non-Singaporean citizens – $10,800 SGD ($8,000 USD)/year
  • Undergraduate Tuition Fee Link

Next on our list of cheapest universities in Singapore for international students is the Republic Polytechnic. When the Republic Polytechnic was established in 2002, it became the first Singaporean school system to utilize a problem-based learning model. It initially operated within the Data Storage Institute premises of the National University of Singapore. It later moved to its current location in 2007.

The polytechnic consists of seven schools, including the School of Technology for the Arts, School of Infocomm, School of Hospitality, School of Management and Communication, and School of Applied Science.

The polytechnic also offers a wide range of courses, including Environmental Science, Outdoor and Adventure Learning, Sonic Ars, Business, Biomedical Science, and Aerospace Engineering.

The polytechnic provides suitable support for its students. The support comes in the way of co-curricular activities, academic matters, and internships. Moreover, the students can also look forward to receiving career guidance services from the school.

5. Nanyang Polytechnic

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs:
    • Singaporean citizens – $2,900 SGD ($2,100 USD)/year
    • Permanent Residents- $6,000 SGD ($4,400 USD)/year
    • Non-Singaporean citizens – $10,800 SGD ($8,000 USD)/year
  • Undergraduate Tuition Fee Link

Established in 1992, the Nanyang Polytechnic offers quality education through its different academic schools. Its industry-oriented approach makes its graduates appealing to companies looking for employees who can fill in a myriad of positions.

The polytechnic has seven academic schools offering several courses for its students. These schools include the School of Business Management, School of Information Technology, School of Design, and the School of Engineering.

The school aims to empower its graduates for work and life by instilling a can-do spirit in them. It also trains them to innovate and work with different teams. Moreover, a nurturing and caring culture is also inculcated in the students that they can bring with them once they graduate.

6. Ngee Ann Polytechnic

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs:
    • Singaporean citizens – $2,900 SGD ($2,100 USD)/year
    • Permanent Residents- $6,000 SGD ($4,400 USD)/year
    • Non-Singaporean citizens – $10,800 SGD ($8,000 USD)/year
  • Undergraduate Tuition Fee Link

Ngee Ann Polytechnic first opened its doors in 1963 to 116 students who took up courses in commerce, language, and technology. Ngee Ann Polytechnic is one of the cheapest universities in Singapore. Today, the post-secondary education institution has nine academic schools offering 36 diploma courses to its students. Its CET Academy also offers programs for adult learners.

The academic schools of the polytechnic include the School of Engineering, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Business and Accountancy, and School of Health Sciences. The courses offered by the polytechnic include Product Design and Innovation, Real Estate Business, Biomedical Science, Molecular Biotechnology, Data Science, and Animation.

Students can discover any hidden skills and talents they may have by joining any of the clubs and societies at the institution. They can also opt to engage in sports and fitness activities through the different sports club of the polytechnic

7. Singapore Polytechnic

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs:
    • Singaporean citizens – $2,900 SGD ($2,100 USD)/year
    • Permanent Residents- $6,000 SGD ($4,400 USD)/year
    • Non-Singaporean citizens – $10,800 SGD ($8,000 USD)/year
  • Undergraduate Tuition Fee Link

Singapore Polytechnic was established following the passage of an ordinance by the Legislative Council in 1954. This makes it the oldest and first Singaporean polytechnic. It officially opened in 1959 following the completion of its campus at Prince Edward Road. In 1971, the Dover Road campus became the permanent campus of the polytechnic.

The institution has 11 academic schools offering a wide range of courses. These courses include Applied Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Accountancy, Aerospace Electronics, Interior Design, Digital Animation, and Landscape Architecture.

The Department of Student Development of the polytechnic ensures the students will find balance in their coursework and social life. It offers a good variety of activities so the students will develop the skills they need to live life to its fullest. These activities include sports, cultural events, and interest-based clubs.

8. Nanyang Technological University

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: RM 2,895 ($700 USD) to RM 8,615 ($2,000 USD)
    • Singaporean citizens – $8,200 SGD ($6,000 USD) to $34,700 SGD ($25,600 USD)/year
    • Permanent Residents- $11,500 SGD ($8,500 USD) to $49,000 SGD ($36,100 USD)/year
    • Non-Singaporean citizens- $17,550 SGD ($12,900 USD) to $74,900 SGD ($55,200 USD)/year
  • Undergraduate Tuition Fee Link

Established in 1991, the Nanyang Technological University, another cheap universities in Singapore, was the result of the merge of the Nanyang Technological Institute and the National Institute of Education. Due to this, it can trace its roots to the 1981 foundation of the Nanyang Technological Institute. It became autonomous in 2008 and is among the biggest universities in Singapore.

The university offers a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programs. These programs include Accountancy, Business, Design Art, Philosophy, Economics, Psychology, and Sociology. Moreover, the Nanyang Business School of the university is the first business school in Singapore and offers one of the best MBA programs in the world.

Life on the campus is never boring as the students have several options to keep themselves busy outside of school work. They can join clubs and organizations or attend events and activities hosted by the university. They can also opt to get a job to keep themselves productive during the weekends.

9. Singapore Institute of Technology

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: RM 2,895 ($700 USD) to RM 8,615 ($2,000 USD)
    • Singaporean citizens – $22,500 SGD ($16,600 USD) to $43,080 SGD ($31,800 USD)/program
    • Permanent Residents- $47,160 SGD ($34,800 USD) to $84,000 SGD ($61,900 USD)/program
    • Non-Singaporean citizens – $63,558 SGD ($46,900 USD) to $113,248 SGD ($83,500 USD)/program
  • Undergraduate Tuition Fee Link

The Singapore Institute of Technology was established in 2009 as the first university of applied learning of Singapore. It is also the fifth autonomous university in the city-state after it received its autonomous status in 2014.

The university has five academic clusters offering several degree programs for both local and international students. These programs include Civil Engineering, Electronics and Data Engineering, Computing Science, Nursing, Diagnostic Radiology, Accountancy, and Interior Design.

In addition to academics, the students of the university also have other opportunities to develop themselves. They can join special interest student clubs, develop their innate athletic abilities, or broaden their perspective by helping others.

10. Singapore Management University

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: RM 2,895 ($700 USD) to RM 8,615 ($2,000 USD)
    • Singaporean citizens – $11,450 SGD ($8,400 USD) to $12,650 SGD ($9,300 USD)/year
    • Permanent Residents- $16,000 SGD ($11,800 USD) to $17,700 SGD ($13,000 USD)/year
    • Non-Singaporean citizens- $24,500 SGD ($18,100 USD) to $27,050 SGD ($19,900 USD)/year
  • Undergraduate Tuition Fee Link

Finally on our list of cheapest universities in Singapore for international students is the Singapore Management University. It was established in 2000 and uses programs based on what is offered at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. It is the third autonomous university of the city-state and continues to be among the best tertiary educational institution of Singapore.

The university has six schools offering several programs aimed at producing entrepreneurial leaders in the future. The programs offered by the schools include Accountancy, Business Management, Economics, Information Systems, and Psychology.

The students also have the opportunity to explore their hidden talents by joining any of the special interest clubs of the university. They can also complement their academic journey by participating in several arts and cultural events. Or they can give back to the community through the community service activities of the university.

 

I hope that this article on the cheapest universities in Singapore for international students was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Cheap Tuition Category!

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