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How Much Is A University Education In Singapore?

If there is one thing that Singapore is known for then it is their education system. People from all over the world come to study here as it is one of the main education hubs in Asia.

However, sometimes students and parents don’t fully comprehend how much it will cost to study in the top Singaporean universities. So, you should always have a backup plan if your first choice doesn’t work out.

This is why it is essential to understand the tuition fees of all different universities so you can plan accordingly. Let’s explore how much a university education will cost you in Singapore.


Prices Of Local Universities In Singapore

You have two choices when it comes to universities in Singapore. You can either enroll in a private university or a local university. The main advantage of enrolling in a local university is that the course fees are subsidized by the Ministry of Education (MOE) through a MOE Tuition Grant.

Read also: Local vs Private universities: Things to look out for

If you are a Singapore citizen then this grant will cut your course fees from at least 50 – 80%. Of course, you can only use this one time. Even foreigners or people with permanent residencies can apply for this MOE grant.

The only condition for foreigners and PRs is that once they have graduated they will have to work for a Singapore organization for three years. Do remember that the subsidy for PRs is less and the subsidy for foreigners is even lesser.

Here is the tuition fee of some of the top local universities in Singapore:


National University Of Singapore (NUS)

This is the oldest university in Singapore and NUS is number 11 on the QS World University Rankings. However, this is mainly a research university and its tuition fee for undergraduate courses ranges from $8,200 - $9,600 annually.

So, if you are doing a three-year course then it will cost you approximately $24,600 - $28,800. On the other hand, if you are doing a 4-year course in either music or law then it will fully cost you $50,600 - $55,800.

Medicine and dentistry courses are even more expensive. The dentistry course is for 4 years and costs around $115,600. The medicine course is for five years and costs around $144,500.

Do keep in mind that if you a permanent resident then you will be paying 40% even more at this university as these tuition fees are for citizens.

Check out our University Rankings 2020: Singapore Remains Competitive


Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

This university comes second and the largest campus as compared to other local universities. You can study many disciplines in NTU such as social sciences, medicine, engineering, business, arts, humanities, and many others.

If you are opting for a three-year course then your full fee will be between $24,600 - $28,800. However, if you want to opt for a Renaissance Engineering Program then that is for 4.5 years and it will fully cost you $79,200.

Of course, the medicine course is the most expensive. The course is for five years and will cost you $173,500. Permanent residents pay 40% more for this university too.


Singapore Management University (SMU)

If you want to end up in management then this should be your top choice as graduates of this university end up in the top management positions. They are rigorously trained to have good presentation skills and be outspoken.

Three-year courses at SMU will cost you $34,350. However, if you want to opt for their four-year law course then it will cost you $50,600. Permanent residents pay 40% more for SMU as well.


Singapore Institute Of Technology (SIT)

SIT is a relatively new university and offers degrees in many fields of engineering. They also offer courses for mechatronics and architecture. There are two types of courses that are offered at this university. 

They offer their own courses and they also offer courses in partnership with other universities. Of course, their own courses are relatively cost-effective and their partnership courses are more expensive.

Their tuition fee for most of their courses ranges from $24,570 to $27,720. Apart from that, their pharmaceutical engineering, ICT, and healthcare courses cost much more. They range from $32,760 to $36,960. For a more updated list of their fees, please refer to their SIT tuition fees page.

Their courses with partner universities are more expensive and the prices keep varying. One thing to keep in mind is that permanent residents pay double the tuition fee in this university.


Nanyang Academy Of Fine Arts (NAFA)

This university offers degrees in design, media, fashion, spatial design, theatre arts, music, fashion marketing, fine art practice, arts management, and 3D design practice.

NAFA doesn't offer a single direct degree. You will first have to do their three-year diploma and then you will have to spend one more year for a degree.

The fee for the diploma courses for three years is approximately $15,000. However, teaching diplomas cost even more as they cost $7,750 a year for music and $5,850 a year for art.

The one-year top-up degrees are given by partner universities that are overseas. These can cost anywhere from $21,000 to $22,700. If you combine the diploma fee and the top-up degree then you will be paying around $36,000 in total.


Prices Of Private Universities In Singapore

Not everyone wants to go to a local university. Singapore has many top leading private universities too where you can study. Here is a list of all the top private universities with their approximate tuition fee so you can make an informed decision.

Do remember that you will have to look for the program you want to apply for. This is because the fees vary widely from course to course and they keep on changing every year. However, here are some estimates:

  1. Kaplan Singapore: Can cost anywhere between $20,000 to $30,000
  2. MDIS: Same as above. However, they also offer expensive degrees that may cost around $40,000 or more
  3. PSB Academy: Three year courses cost around $40,000 - $45,000
  4. JCU Singapore: Undergrad courses will cost you anywhere between $55,000 - $65,000
  5. SIM GE: The fee for this university can range anywhere from $28,000 to $60,000 depending on the course


Other Costs That Come With University Education

Education is not cheap. Many other costs come with studying for a degree. These costs include application fees, study materials, transportation, accommodation, and many other hidden costs.

So, of course, apart from the tuition fee you will have to be mindful of these costs as well so you can stay in your budget. You will have to calculate all of these things to come up with an estimated cost of university education.

Many people don’t have this much money and this can be burdensome. This is why there are many ways you can fund the university education of your child as well.

These different funding techniques involve:


They can be utilized to cover part of the education cost or the entire cost. This depends on the university and the type of scholarship. For example, some of them have a requirement of working for a government agency or a company after graduating.

Do keep in mind that many qualified individuals apply for a scholarship so it can be hard to get. However, if your child is in the top three then you don't need to worry as they will get a scholarship in no time.

Read our informative Complete Guide to Singapore Scholarships.

Financial Aid

Many low-income families don’t have the means to send their children to university. However, if they are given financial aid through the government then this can be possible.

The government and many private organizations offer such programs to low or middle-class families so that their children can also receive an education.

They can help cover part of the cost of university. However, there is an eligibility criterion that you will need to fulfill if you want to qualify for financial aid.

You can check this criterion by getting in touch with the National Council of Social Service.

Part-Time Jobs

Apart from getting aids and loans, you can try to fund your education yourself. There are many part-time jobs available that you can easily do to earn some extra money, such as giving tuition part-time.

This is a good choice for people that can pay for a major chunk of the tuition fee. You can then use the money from part-time jobs to cover the remaining fee or pay for other miscellaneous expenses that come with studying in a university.

Final Words

Education doesn’t come cheap. It is one of the biggest expenses that parents have to make for their children. However, not everyone has the means to pay for the entire tuition fee.

Costs keep on increasing every year and it can be hard to keep up with it. Apart from that, the financial situation of people can change anytime. So, it is always good to weigh out your options and come up with backup plans.

This way even if something happens, you will still have a safety net and something to fall back on. So weigh the costs of these different universities and choose one that you think is best for you in terms of cost and education.

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About Author

Tutor City's blog focuses on balancing informative and relevant content, never at the expense of providing an enriching read. 

We want our readers to expand their horizons by learning more and find meaning to what they learn.

Resident author - Mr Wee Ben Sen, has a wealth of experience in crafting articles to provide valuable insights in the field of private education.

Ben Sen has also been running Tutor City, a leading home tuition agency in Singapore since 2010.