With the 2nd highest per capita income in Asia of more than US$36,000 and a relatively high standard of English, Singapore offers an attractive market for U.S. universities and colleges seeking to recruit international students. In addition, Singaporeans regard the United States as the leader in technology and management education so they value opportunities to pursue undergraduate and graduate degree programs at U.S. educational institutions. The table below shows the number of student visas issued to study in the United States over the past seven years based on press reports.
Singapore emphasizes, supports and values higher education and human resource development. Many government agencies and private sector companies also offer full scholarships for top students to pursue their undergraduate and graduate studies in foreign universities, including in the United States.
There are presently close to 5,000 Singaporeans pursuing their tertiary education in the United States; two-thirds are undergraduates and a third are graduate students. U.S. universities and colleges will find a receptive market in Singapore, provided they are willing to invest in long-term branding / marketing with accredited programs in disciplines that offer strong career growth and high income potential. The following degree courses are becoming increasingly important and are expected to see increased demand from Singaporean and third-country students studying in Singapore.
• Life Sciences / Healthcare
• Wealth Management / Financial Planning
• Hospitality & Tourism
• Supply Chain Logistics
• Media & Animation
• Sports Science & Medicine
The Singapore Government is developing the country into the “global schoolhouse” for Asia. The education system is well known for its quality, which is why there is a strong demand from students in the region to study here. In addition to recruiting full-time students (both local and overseas) to study in the United States, American universities may be able to tap viable opportunities offering their external degree and executive education programs to Singaporeans as well as international executives working in the region.
In addition to native Singaporeans, U.S. universities and colleges should also consider the large number of foreign students studying at the high school and university levels in Singapore. Today, there are 80,000 foreign students studying in Singapore and the government would like to increase that number to foreign students 150,000 in five years time. Many foreign universities in recent years have established a presence in Singapore either by themselves or in collaboration with a local institution / organization to offer partial or full degree programs. Singaporean students find programs that allow them to complete at least part of their course work in Singapore a very attractive and financially viable alternative to completing their studies entirely in the United States.