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Transnational education

Posted on Monday, June 30, 2014

You can obtain degrees from universities in Europe, the US and Australia while studying in Singapore. Medhavi Arora reports

With globalisation, established Western universities are taking their programmes overseas and Singapore is increasingly becoming a popular destination to host them. 

Singapore Institute of Management Global Education (SIM GE) is one of the institutions which adopted the concept of ‘transnational education’ allowing students to obtain an international degree from Europe, the US or Australia while studying in the city-state.

Foreign universities come to Singapore through government invitations as well as on their own. They can establish their branch campuses or work with institutions like SIM that provide infrastructure, administration and learning support. The admission criteria, education content, assessment methods and degree awarded are from the original foreign university. 

SIM GE offers more than 50 full-time programmes in partnerships with 10 institutions including the University of London, University of Southampton, RMIT University, University at Buffalo - the State University of New York, and more. 

“Before the mid-1990s, international students were concentrated in the US, UK and Australia only. Now students are coming to Singapore and China because Asia is booming and has a vibrant private sector,” says Judy Wong, director, business and marketing relations, SIM GE, in Delhi for an information session on earning a university degree at the institute.

SIM GE, a private institution, has an EduTrust certification, valid till 2018, from the Council for Private Education. The EduTrust certification scheme is a prerequisite for private institutions which enrol international students.
In addition, it admits students only on the basis of merit, without caps or quotas specified by the government. 

The major courses available include business management, marketing, international business, and others such as psychology, communications and sociology.

The cost of education depends on the foreign university and programme being applied for. However, it is less expensive to obtain a degree from SIM GE than from the parent institution on its home campus. 

According to Teo Lee Gee, assistant director, recruitment, SIM GE, “At SIM GE, students can obtain a degree from University at Buffalo (UB), the State University of New York, at 30% lower than UB’s on-campus tuition fees.” 

Moreover, international students can apply for scholarships covering the full tuition cost which — unlike scholarships from Singaporean public universities — do not require students to sign a bond to work in Singapore after graduation.

Surabhi Sawhney, a recent graduate who shared her Singapore study experience at the session, says, “The mixture of Singapore as a location and the tag and credibility of a degree from London School of Economics was hard to miss.”

At a glance

Enrolment of 23,000, with about 3,000 international enrollees from 40 countries, including about 300 from India

10 partner universities from the UK, US, Australia, and Switzerland offering full-time programmes

Average tuition cost: S$30,000 for a three-year UG business degree. Merit-based scholarships covering full tuition are available 

SIM GE offers more than 50 full-time programmes in partnerships with 10 institutions.


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