Singapore, also known as the Lion City, is a successful city-state home to nearly six million people. The island nation is famous for its rapid development into a first-world country. With this improvement, it naturally became one of the leading bastions of higher education in Asia.

Singapore offers a modern lifestyle blended with a multicultural heritage – perfect for students looking for a unique higher education experience. In this article, we will be looking at the best universities in Singapore for international students.

Top Universities in Singapore for International Students

1. National University of Singapore (NUS)

The National University of Singapore is the country’s flagship university and is considered the best university in Singapore for international students. As the oldest university, it pioneered international exchanges and joint degree programs with some of the best institutions in the world. Because of this global outlook, the NUS has over 40000 students from more than a hundred countries. This multicultural student body is spread out in 17 faculties and three campuses – Bukit Timah, Outram, and Kent Ridge.

The NUS has a special focus on research and entrepreneurship and works closely with the government and industry partners on timely issues in Asia and the world. Students and researchers work in modern labs and research centers to study energy, urban sustainability, data science, active aging, common diseases in Asia, and a lot more.

2. Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore)

The Nanyang Technological University has been the top-ranking young university in the world since 2015 according to QS. This top university in Singapore also consistently places among the top 15 universities globally. The NTU Singapore also boasts a broad subject area, where 19 of them placed in the world’s top 50. The university is best known for engineering and technology, but it also excels in business, humanities, social sciences, education, medicine, and the arts.

NTU Singapore’s main campus in Jurong West is the largest university campus in the country and belongs to the top 15 most beautiful campuses in the world. It houses GreenMark-certified buildings together with large gardens, a fishing lake, an Art & Heritage Museum, a Chinese Heritage center, and residence halls.

3. Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

The Singapore University of Technology and Design is an autonomous university established in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It is among the first universities worldwide to have a multi-disciplinary curriculum on design and technology. This unique academic structure is offered through four pillars namely Architecture and Sustainable Design, Engineering Product Development, Engineering Systems and Design, and Information Systems Technology and Design. SUTD also supports two academic clusters in the humanities and STEM areas.

The SUTD, one of the best universities in Singapore for international students, is the only university in Singapore’s eastern portion, located near the Changi Business Park. Through this proximity, the university works with industry partners to spearhead more opportunities for its students and graduates.

4. NUS Business School

The NUS Business School is part of the National University of Singapore and is ranked among the best business schools in Asia. It started as a Business Administration faculty at NUS in 1961 and became an official autonomous institution in 2002. Today, it has over 3500 students studying across six academic departments, namely finance, management, marketing, analytics and operation, strategy, and policy. The Business School also hosts six research centers focusing on social entrepreneurship and behavioral economics, among others.

When it comes to an international outlook, the NUS Business School sends over and receives 400 students in exchange with partner schools all over the world. They offer double degree programs with top universities in Asia, North America, and Europe, too.

5. Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS)

The Management Development Institute of Singapore is the oldest professional institute for lifelong learning in the country. This top university in Singapore provides internationally accredited courses in a wide array of disciplines, including engineering, business and management, information technology, fashion design, hospitality management, and many others. Most programs are in partnership with renowned universities in the UK. Furthermore, the MDIS has international campuses in Malaysia, Tashkent, and Uzbekistan.

True to its tradition of giving back to society, the MDIS has awarded over 8000 scholarships to deserving students, including international students. The institute also proudly supports charities and extends community assistance to the young, elderly, and disabled.

FAQs about Studying in Singapore

Is Singapore Good for International Students to Study In?

As a leading financial center of the world, Singapore is known for quality programs in business, technology, and the sciences. Among the top universities in the country are technical and business schools. Most institutions have strong links with the industry as well, so students have great chances of jump-starting their careers. Moreover, the government is very supportive of graduates wanting to start their businesses.

According to the HSBC ranking, Singapore is the second-best country in the world to live and work in. The nation has a high standard of living, excellent transportation and healthcare facilities, and a low crime rate. International students will surely feel safe and productive in this cosmopolitan environment.

With Singapore’s high quality of living, it’s unsurprising that course fees are also slightly higher than in other Asian countries. Nonetheless, study costs remain reasonable in comparison to international standard fees.

Can International Students Work in Singapore While Studying?

International students who wish to engage in part-time work in Singapore can do so, as long as they are registered full-time students in their respective and approved universities. The country’s Minister of Manpower allows students to work up to 16 hours a week on regular terms and for unlimited hours during breaks. However, exchange students only doing study modules are not allowed to work part-time or full-time.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Can International Students Stay in Singapore After Graduation?

After graduation, international students will be granted a Short-Term Visit Pass after their student visa has expired. This pass will allow them to stay in the country for another 90 days. Those who wish to stay longer may use this time to look for a job in Singapore, but actual work or employment is not yet allowed on this visa.

Graduates from universities on the list of Institutes of Higher Learning can apply for a Long-term Social Visit Pass (LTVP)to work and stay in the country for one year. Other types of post-study work passes are the Employment Pass, S Pass, and EntrePass, which would depend on their field of study.


We hope that this article on the best universities in Singapore for international students was helpful. To learn more about studying abroad, please check out the Available Programs and Study in Singapore sections to explore your study options.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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