In recent years, Singapore has stood out internationally for its education system. And we aren’t only talking about universities. Little children, teenagers, and young people from primary to tertiary institutions are succeeding at tests and examinations, placing the country at the top.

In fact, according to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Singapore has the best performance among the countries studied and is the leader in their rankings.

By studying here, you’ll have more learning and employment opportunities. There are a lot of educational institutions in Singapore that offer various programs for undergraduate and graduate degrees. Singapore also has many branch campuses of universities overseas.

As Singapore produces quality education, the education here might be costly compared to other Asian countries. However, the government provides tuition fee discounts or subsidies for both local and international students.

In this article, let’s talk about some of the affordable universities in the country. We listed down the international tuition fees along with their links.

Affordable Schools in Singapore for International Students

1. National University of Singapore

The National University of Singapore (NUS) was founded more than 100 years ago, in 1905, which makes it the oldest higher institution in the country. It is also the biggest in terms of the student population, with over 40,000 students, and is considered the best one in Singapore. 

NUS is divided into different schools and faculties. These are available in the areas of business, medicine, public policy, arts, and social sciences, design and environment, music, law, integrative sciences and engineering, public health, computing, dentistry, and science. These schools at this cheap university in Singapore also include programs made in affiliation with universities overseas, like a medical school with Duke University, a liberal arts college with Yale University, or the research and technology alliance made with MIT.

NUS has many student residences and halls. These have places for over 6,000 students. The university also has four residential colleges with approximately 5,100 students and researchers, approx. If you’d like to study at NUS, visit their admissions section and FAQ page to learn how to apply. We also suggest you read their students’ handbooks.

2. Nanyang Technological University

For a long time, Singapore only had one university until the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) was opened in 1981. This is the second biggest university in the country, with around 33,000 students, and is often considered the second-best higher institution in Singapore. It also ranked as the 11th best in the 2020 QS World University Ranking but got the 51st place in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Ranking.

NTU is divided into several schools, colleges, and research institutes located on three different campuses. These are medicine, humanities, arts, social sciences, business, science and engineering, and education. Click here to see which undergraduate programs are offered. This cheap university in Singapore also has student residences with places for around 14,000 students.      

To learn how to apply and the documents you must submit, visit their admissions page. You can also read their student prospectus and their FAQ section there.

3. Singapore Management University

  • Admissions | Tuition Fees
  • Tuition Fees: from S$ 25,000/year (undergraduate) | from S$ 49,000/year (graduate)

Established almost 20 years ago, in 2000, Singapore Management University (SMU) is a specialized university with around 10,000 students. It got 477th place in the 2020 QS World University Ranking and ranked as the 6th best business school in Asia, according to the Financial Times Ranking.

SMU consists of six schools of social sciences, information systems, economics, law, accountancy, and business. Check the undergraduate and postgraduate programs offered at SMU here. The university has more than 30 centers of excellence and research institutes. It is accredited by international business associations, like the Association of MBAs (AMBA).

SMU is known for focusing on employability. They have internship programs in affiliation with companies to help students gain work experience. If you’d like to pursue a degree in the field of management, visit their admissions section. There you can check their FAQ page, download their prospectus and brochures, and learn more about the SMU experience.

4. Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (STUD) was established ten years ago and is a specialized institution. It offers programs in the fields of design, humanities, arts, social sciences, data science, and artificial intelligence. It is a small institution with around 1,500 students.

This cheap university in Singapore has different programs from universities in the US like MIT or Duke University. It also has several innovative infrastructures, research, and design centers.

Visit their admissions section for international students to discover how to study at STUD. They offer student residences and scholarships in case you need financial aid. Send them an email, call them, or chat with them online to learn more.

5. Singapore University of Social Sciences

Originally opened in 2005, the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) received full accreditation in 2017. It has grown fast, as it already receives around 15,000 students each year.

This university is affiliated with polytechnics to offer accelerated pathways through the validation of credits and has partnerships with universities overseas in countries like China, the U.S., Canada, the UK, and Malaysia.

SUSS has five schools of humanities and behavioral sciences, science and technology, law, business, and human development. These schools offer part-time and full-time programs. They are actually well known for their wide variety of flexible part-time programs.  

Explore their website and read all the info carefully to learn how to apply and the specific requirements for international students. The admissions process includes interviews, group discussions, and the writing of essays.

6. Singapore Institute of Technology

The Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) was founded ten years ago, and it focuses on having a teaching model of applied learning. They also focus on employability and the development of skills for the job market of today.

With around 6,000 students, Singaporetech offers programs in the areas of health and social sciences, chemical engineering and food technology, information and communications technology, design and specialized businesses, and engineering.

Check their admissions page to learn about the application process, requirements, and FAQs.

7. James Cook University Singapore

  • Admissions | Tuition Fees 
  • Tuition Fees: from S$ 63,000/year (undergraduate) | from S$ 40,000/year (graduate)

James Cook University Singapore (JCU Singapore) was established in the country in 2003 as a branch of JCU, which is located in Australia. All the programs and degrees are administered and granted by JCU in Australia.

JCU Singapore offers undergraduate degree programs, courses, and higher education diplomas in the areas of arts, business, information technology, education, and psychology. Although their campus doesn’t have student residences, they offer accommodation assistance for international students.

Visit their website to learn more about the prices of courses for undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs. Don’t forget to check their admissions section to learn more about applications, requirements, and academic calendars.  

FAQS About Studying in Singapore

Is it Difficult to be Admitted to a University in Singapore?

Considering that there are only six autonomous universities and that Singapore is a popular destination, admissions can be very competitive. Fortunately, these always save a certain amount of places only for international students, and all the alternatives that have emerged can make the path easier.

You can attend a Junior College if things don’t work very well at first, or you can go to a satellite campus and still get the experience of getting your degree in such an incredible country.

Universities will consider your results at examinations or tests taken after completing secondary education if they comply with international standards. In Singapore, these exams are called Singaporean GCE ‘O’ Levels. Programs at junior colleges lead to GCE ‘A’ Levels.

Do I Have to Learn Another Language to Study at a Singaporean University?

Singapore was under the control of the British Empire for a long time. That’s why English is one of its official languages and is the main language used in education.

Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil are also official languages in Singapore, but most programs at universities are fully taught in English.

How Cheap are Universities in Singapore?

Singaporean universities are definitely not the most affordable in Asia. However, the government gives financial aid to international students. Those who receive grants pay lower tuition fees than the rest of the international students.

Along with subsidized fees, there are many scholarships available.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Do I Need a Big Budget to Live in Singapore?

The only downside of studying in Singapore is that living costs can be higher when compared to other countries in Asia. Accommodation will take the biggest part of your budget, so trying to get a place at student residences could be a good idea.

Renting a one-bedroom apartment can cost between 1,600 SGD and 2,750 SGD, depending on the area and the size. If you use public transportation every day, you should budget around 110 SGD.

If you like eating out, there are very affordable prices at some local restaurants and at street markets. However, prices can increase significantly at other restaurants because this is a very touristy place.


We hope that this article on the cheap university in Singapore was helpful. If you are interested in studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

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.

Share this article via

Leave A Comment