June 5, 2023

There are four main types of higher education institutions in Singapore: Institute of Technical Education, Polytechnics, public-funded universities and private universities, which provide higher education for students with different needs. Now let’s learn more about these 4 options for higher education in Singapore!


Polytechnics are institutions run by the Singapore government, with the mission of supporting the development of Singapore’s technology and economy, focusing on specific, work-related knowledge and skills, and are committed to cultivating students to be practice-oriented and professional in a certain field. 

The polytechnic courses are set for 2-3 years, and each college has more than 40 different courses. In addition, polytechnics are also an important part of on-the-job education. Many workers who enter the workplace want to learn more professional knowledge can also choose to study in polytechnics.

There are currently five polytechnics in Singapore:

  • Nanyang Polytechnic, NYP
  • Ngee Ann Polytechnic, NP
  • Republic Polytechnic, RP
  • Singapore Polytechnic, SP
  • Temasek Polytechnic, TP

Public universities

The best universities in Singapore are gathered in public universities, which are the business cards of Singapore’s higher education institutions. The goal of a university education is to not only prepare students for today’s society, but also to prepare them for the opportunities and challenges of their developing careers.

There are currently six public universities in Singapore:

  • National University of Singapore (NUS)
  • Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
  • Singapore Management University (SMU)
  • Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)
  • Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT)
  • Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)

Here, we mainly introduce the four major public universities in Singapore: National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Technology and Design.

–  National University of Singapore: Since its establishment in 1905, the National University of Singapore (NUS) has cultivated many outstanding talents. The main courses offered include science, mechanical engineering, technology, law, liberal arts, sociology and medicine.

– Nanyang Technological University: NTU was founded in early 1981 to train talents in engineering and technology for Singapore. The Singapore Institute of Education (NIE), now also part of Nanyang Technological University, is a teacher training college. At the same time, Nanyang Technological University has also established courses in accounting, business and mass communication.

– Singapore Management University: Singapore Management University, a newly established university in 2000, offers major courses including business and management courses.

The above three universities have not only cultivated a large number of outstanding and internationally recognized university graduates, but also provided graduate students with a good environment for research and discussion.

– Singapore University of Technology and Design: It is the fourth public university in Singapore. It cooperates with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States and Zhejiang University in China. Singapore University of Technology and Design is the first university in the world to integrate design and innovation in research and engineering.

Singapore private university

In Singapore, active and diverse private universities offer a wide variety of programmes with different characteristics. They provide more choices and opportunities for both nationals and international students. At present, there are many large-scale private schools in the local area. The courses provided are set up according to the development and needs of the market. Courses include business administration, information technology, arts and languages. Private universities in Singapore often offer joint programmes with internationally renowned universities in the US, UK and Australia, giving students the opportunity to have a diploma at an international level without paying expensive tuition fees.

While creating a good learning environment for students, private universities also provide students with general diploma, college diploma, bachelor’s diploma and master’s diploma courses.

Institute of Technical Education

At present, Singapore has a number of Institutes of Technical Education that provide art college, undergraduate and master’s education. They are LaSalle College of the Arts, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), Raffles School of Design, Raffles Conservatory of Music.

If you want to pursue higher education in Singapore, then you can choose a way that suits you from these 4 options. Of course, if you want to study at the best higher education institutions in Singapore, such as the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University, then you need to put in the effort, as these two universities have relatively high entry requirements.

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