The basics
Singapore: Student Finances

3 Scholarships in Singapore to start you off...

Our overview of three key scholarships for international students in Singapore

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It may be small, but Singapore is a renowned world leader in research and education. But despite the chance to engage with burgeoning international networks and enjoy the nation’s East-meets-West culture, studying in Singapore comes with high tuition fees and living costs. Whilst your host university will almost always have scholarship programmes available for international students, there are also a number of different funding providers you may want to consider when planning to study abroad in Singapore.  Let our overview of three key scholarship options help get you on the way to financing your studies.

If you aren’t eligible for any of the scholarships listed, don’t worry: we’ve included plenty of links and tips to point you in the right direction to find the funding option for you.

 

Funding Bodies

Ministry of Education (MOE)

The MOE is Singapore’s government education body that manages 10 statutory boards, including the Singapore Institute of Technology and Nanyang Polytechnic, and runs a number of funding schemes across all study levels. You can also find a list of available programmes on the  MOE scholarships webpage, as well as a number of links that will lead you to other scholarships awarded by subject area, study level, host university and by external funding bodies.

Host University

There are a number of higher education institutions in Singapore that offer scholarships specific to their own study programmes, details of which are individually retrievable from your host’s website. You should always check which options are available from your host first: universities create scholarships with their own programmes in mind, and so are more likely to meet your specific needs.

External Companies and Funding Bodies

There are a range of funding options on offer from external companies and funding bodies in Singapore. Arrangements are typically subject-specific, and are offered across all study levels. Most funding arrangements from a company require students to participate in a ‘Bond Agreement’, which means that the student is obliged to work with the company for a set period of time after they graduate. This is called the ‘Bond Period’.

If you break your bond agreement then you will be required to pay back the ‘Liquidated Damages’ incurred. This means that you will need to pay the funding body an amount of compensation based on how much you will have cost them by breaking the agreement, taking into account the amount you would hypothetically have made whilst working for them.

Many externally-offered programmes are applicable to students at one of the nation’s four main universities: National University of Singapore, Singapore Management University, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore University of Technology and Design.

You can search for external funding directly using online search engines Scholars4Dev and Bright Sparks, or use the Singapore Scholarship guide’s comprehensive list of external scholarship providers to help you. You can also download a list of available scholarships from the same website.

You can also search for a scholarship directly on our site via the scholarships page.

Scholarships

NatSteel Study Awards

NatSteel is a Pan-Asian company that provides reinforced steel products and solutions to the constructions industry. With its head office in Singapore, the company is involved in a number of national construction projects and manages industrial ties across the entire region. Part of the international Tata Steel group, NatSteel also has links to countries such as the UK, Netherlands, China and Australia.

This award is open to students about to begin their Undergraduate studies in fields of Accounting, most Engineering fields (including double degrees with one discipline as Engineering), or Operations Management Discipline at any of Singapore’s four national universities. The bond period for this award is one year per year of study, with a minimum period of three years.  

Students on this award will complete a number of internships throughout their studies across different business units within the company. As well as being exposed to professional networks before your career ‘officially’ begins, you will be invited to company and industry events where you’ll have the chance to form your own connections.

To apply, you will need to have UK ‘A’ Levels or equivalent, an International Baccalaureate, an exceptional co-curricular record and a demonstrated passion for community work. Funding covers your full tuition fees, plus an annual allowance of SG$8,000 (US$6,335).

Applications are open for two weeks after ‘A’ level results are released. You will need to register with Bright Sparks in order to apply for this scholarship, and can apply through their website once you’ve done so.

Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) Local Undergraduate Scholarship

This award is given to Undergraduate students in all areas of study except Medicine and Dentistry, at any of Singapore’s four universities. You will use the knowledge gained in your study area to help develop strategy and policies within Singapore’s aviation industry.

Students applying for this award will need high ‘O’ and ‘A’ level results or equivalent, and be able to prove the equivalence of their grades (excluding International Baccalaureate). The bond period of this scholarship is 4 years, with a pro-rated arrangement for students who have already completed the first year of their undergraduate studies.  You will also be required to complete a compulsory internship with CAAS  intended to acquaint and give you insight into the aviation industry.

CAAS will cover all your tuition and compulsory university fees, provide an accommodation subsidy (for students living in student hostels only) and provide a living costs allowance.

To apply you will need to register with Bright Sparks and complete the application form online.

MOE Tuition Grant

Awarded by the Singapore government, this scheme requires all international students to sign a 3 year bond agreement. All students enrolled in full time Undergraduate or Diploma courses at any Singaporean institute, in any field of study, may apply.

You will have to apply for funding online AFTER you have been accepted into a Singapore university, and then sign an official declaration that you will work in Singapore for 3 years after finishing your studies to contribute to the repayment of the bond. You can apply online on the Ministry of Education website, and will need to print the declaration, sign it, and have it signed by your surety. A surety is someone who agrees to pay back the value of the award if you for some reason break its conditions, i.e. if you fail to complete your study programme or break your bond agreement. If your surety is in your home country then you will need them to sign it in the presence of a notary public, i.e. a lawyer or public officer. You will then need to bring the agreement with you to a venue specified by your host university and sign it in the presence of an MOE official.

The grant will not cover your complete tuition fees nor provide you with an allowance for living costs, but is much more widely granted than most company-specific funding schemes. Students under this award WILL still need to pay a subsidized tuition fee. Grants are awarded competitively, and based on the amount of applicants in a given application cycle.

The Nanyang Technological University has a comprehensive flowchart that breaks down the MOE Tuition Grant application process online

 

Now that you’ve got a better idea of the funding options available, why not start browsing courses in Singapore now and kick-start your plans to study abroad?

Useful Links

Tuition Fees in Singapore

Applying to Study in Singapore

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About Author

Raffles Place Singapore

Monica Karpinski received her BA (Media and Communications) and Diploma in Modern Languages (French) from the University of Melbourne, Australia. An art and culture aficionado, in her spare time Monica enjoys film, reading and writing about art.