Number of S'poreans studying in US at 10-year high
Universities with the most number of Singaporeans are also among the most prestigious, including Harvard, Cornell, Stanford and Berkeley.-Edvantage
Fri, Feb 10, 2012
SINGAPORE - More than 4,300 Singaporeans were studying in the United States last year, the highest figure in 10 years, reported The Straits Times.
The number grew by 7 per cent last year, according to statistics released by the Institute of International Education.
About half of those studying in the US are undergraduates, while close to 40 per cent are doing their post-graduate studies. The remainder are those on exchange programmes or professional courses.
Ms Karen Kaylor, director of the US Education Information Centre in Singapore, said record numbers of Singaporeans are choosing to study in the US because with the weaker dollar, the tuition fees offer value for money.
They are also likely drawn by the high-ranking universities in the US, according to the report.
Universities with the most number of Singaporeans are also among the most prestigious, including Harvard, Cornell, Stanford and Berkeley.
Singapore's Education Minister Heng Swee Keat signed an agreement on Tuesday with US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to collaborate on education.
US Ambassador to Singapore David Adelman said the high number of Singaporeans studying in the US reflects the fact that US-Singapore relations 'have never been better'.
Attending a US university generally costs between US$30,000 and US$65,000 (S$37,500 to S$81,000) a year in tuition and living costs, depending on where it is and whether it is a state school or private.
Some Singaporeans interviewed say they are also looking at the job opportunities that an American university education could bring.
But Mr Heng said he hopes more Singaporean overseas students will return home after they graduate.
He also hopes to ensure that the "education system provides opportunities for all our students to maximise their potential and compete internationally in various fields, and not just in academic fields." http://www.asiaone.com/print/News/Latest%2BNe...
Síporeans flocking overseas to study
DESPITE the expansion of university places here, Singaporeans are flocking to the United States and Britain, drawn by the weaker currencies and high-ranking universities.
This year, more than 4,500 of them are enrolled in American institutions, the highest figure in 11 years, according to Open Doors, a publication that tracks international student movements.
About half are undergraduates, while nearly 35 per cent are on postgraduate programmes. The remainder are on exchange schemes or professional courses.
For Britain, the enrolment figure also reached a record high of 4,840 last year, according to the British Council Singapore, with the majority enrolled in undergraduate degree courses.
The universities with the most Singaporean students are among the most prestigious. They include Stanford, Harvard, Cornell and the University of California, Berkeley in the US, and Cambridge, Oxford and Imperial College in Britain. Education counsellors report, however, that an increasing number of Singaporeans are also taking the road less travelled to the liberal arts colleges and art and design schools.
Singaporean students and their parents say the lower cost of education is the main reason they are heading overseas.
Businessman Milton Tan, 49, whose son and daughter are at British universities, said: "My daughter can get a law degree in three years and my poly grad son, an engineering degree from Imperial in three years. My son could have easily got a place at the Singapore Institute of Technology, but it is not quite an Imperial College degree. And all this at a discount, because of the cheaper pound."
The Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and the Singapore University of Technology and Design are two of the universities that have been set up to offer places for up to 30 per cent of university-age Singaporeans by 2015.
Recently, the Government announced it was adding more places and courses at SIT and offering full-time degree programmes at SIM University to raise the university participation rate to 40 per cent by 2020.
Mr Kelly Koh, the British Council's director of education, said that because of currency fluctuations, since 2008, the cost of studying in Britain has dropped by 35 per cent for Singapore students.
Currently, undergraduates have to fork out about $40,000 a year for fees and living expenses. Three years ago, it would have cost them $60,000 a year.
Mr Koh admits that British universities are also popular partly because of the shorter duration of studies. Students can complete an undergraduate degree with honours in three years and a master's degree in one year. In the US, undergraduates need four years to complete their degrees while those studying for master's degrees generally take two years.
"At the end of the day, Singaporeans want a high quality education from a prestigious university," said Mr Koh. "Yet they also recognise good value for money. British universities tick all of these boxes for them."
Ms Karen Kaylor, director of the US Education Information Centre in Singapore, said record numbers of Singaporeans are choosing to study in the US as the tuition fees offer value for money. "The US dollar is low and Singapore students want brand-name degrees and the US has many top-tier institutions," she said.
Attending a US university generally costs between US$30,000 (S$37,000) and US$65,000 a year in tuition and living costs. Ms Kaylor said that although most Singaporeans make a beeline for top- tier institutions, some are choosing specialist liberal arts colleges such as Middlebury in Vermont.
Others say that with more Singaporeans going to university, a brand-name degree will give them the edge. National serviceman Adrian Toh, 20, who wants to study at one of the Ivy League colleges, said: "A garden-variety degree won't do any more. You have to have something more. So having a degree from a top-notch institution will be an advantage."
Source: The Straits Times
More S'poreans heading Down Under for studies
But Aussie data shows fall in foreign students enrolling in its varsities
By Sandra Davie, Senior Writer
Workers setting up booths and putting up banners for the Study in Australia fair this weekend at Suntec Convention Centre. Some 10,000 Singaporeans are now enrolled in universities Down Under, up from 8,700 three years ago.-- ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM
THE number of international students headed for Australian universities has fallen for the first time since 1994, but Singaporeans are bucking the trend.
Figures from the Australian government indicate that 10,000 Singaporeans are now enrolled in universities there at all levels. Three years ago, it was 8,700.
Last year alone, 3,700 headed Down Under.
And more are there for post-graduate degrees too: 1,100 were in master's or PhD programmes last year, up from 900 in 2007. The majority are in undergraduate programmes.
But Australia has had fewer students from elsewhere in the last two years: Foreign students, numbering 630,633 in 2009, fell to 619,110 last year.
Australian media reports have cited a number of reasons for this, including the global recession and the strong Australian dollar. The violent attacks against students from India, in particular, crimped the number of Indian students by a third last year.
These factors seem to have affected Singaporeans far less.
They say the strength of the Australian dollar has been a concern, since it decides how far the money they set aside for tuition and living expenses will go, but they are not particularly worried about their safety there.
Australian university officials said the growing demand from Singapore was a pleasant surprise, given that the Singapore Government has expanded the number of university places at home by setting up the Singapore Institute of Technology and the Singapore University of Technology and Design.
Professor Debra Henly of Griffith University on the Gold Coast said despite the increased opportunities on home soil, there is still unmet demand, especially for degrees in certain fields - and Australian universities have capitalised on that.
Griffith, for example, is popular with Singaporeans eyeing health-related degrees such as nursing, pharmacy and physiotherapy. The University of Western Australia (UWA) has also enjoyed a surge in Singaporean student numbers, especially for its science-related courses, including biomedical science.
The university noted that Singaporeans who have earned a UWA degree at home through the PSB Academy are also likely to pick UWA in Perth for their honours-year or post-graduate studies.
UWA is among 20 Australian universities offering degree courses through tie-ups with Singapore private schools. About 20,000 Singaporeans are in such courses, up from 12,000 five years ago.
Australian High Commissioner Doug Chester said Australia remains an attractive study destination for Singaporeans because of its geographic proximity and quality institutions.
'Some 300,000 Singaporeans holiday yearly in Australia. They are familiar with it and it's a convenient study destination,' he said.
Singaporeans are the fourth largest group of foreign students, after those from China, India and Malaysia.
Mr Chester added that, despite the rising Australian dollar, an Australian education was still affordable, with each student needing about $30,000 for fees and living expenses each year.
The Study in Australia fair this weekend at Suntec Convention Centre has attracted all 39 universities Down Under.
The Australian government yesterday handed out the inaugural Australian Alumni Awards to nine graduates of Australian universities with achievements in their fields or who have contributed to Australian education and its community.
The highest honour at the ceremony held here, the Eminent Alumni Award, went to Singapore's Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan, who studied engineering and commerce at the University of Newcastle on a Colombo Plan Scholarship in the 1970s. This scholarship was instituted in 1950 by Colombo Plan, an inter-governmental agency which aimed to beef up social and economic development in the Asia-Pacific.
From the 1980s, Australia opened its doors to full-fee paying foreign students.
Source: The Straits Times
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