Singapore may well have lots to offer tourists and businessmen, but it is fast becoming a centre for quality education.
Professor Tan Thiam Soon, National University of Singapore, (NUS), Vice-Provost (Education), explains, "Over the years, Singapore has developed into a world-class education hub in the region. For international students, stepping into a multicultural country like Singapore can seem pretty daunting. But it does coax these students to step out of their comfort zone and explore the world on their own."
The island city is now home to some of biggest educational institutions from around the world. Among them is Singapore's first liberal arts college — the Yale-NUS College, which is the first campus outside Connecticut that Yale university has developed, giving Singapore immense kudos when it opens in 2013.
Also admitting its first batch of students in 2013 is a local arm of the much-vaunted Imperial College of London, established at the existing Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman of the new school's Pro-tem Governing Board, says, "Establishing a medical school through a partnership between two world-class research intensive universities — NTU and Imperial College London — will significantly expand the opportunities for multi-disciplinary research such as in biomedical engineering, translational and clinical research, and also health services research. Breakthroughs in these areas will not only directly benefit Singaporeans but will also contribute to the well-being of the wider regional and global community."
It's all part of a push to ensure Singapore is recognised as a hothouse of talent. In 2002 the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) launched the Global Schoolhouse Initiative which has helped build up the Singapore Education brand name. According to the Singapore Economic Development Board, the country aims to develop a vibrant community of tertiary, pre-tertiary and corporate training institutions over the long term. Supported by a diverse range of institutions, the city state wants to attract even more students and faculty from around the world. In fact, the EDB claims the Lion City is located amidst one of the world's fastest growing student markets and, according to the UK Vision 2020 report, Asia is set to account for 70 per cent of the global demand for international higher education by 2025.
Plenty of programmes
In the meantime even current students arespoilt for choice. NUS, which is home to more than 36,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 100 countries, offers degree programmes in accountancy, architecture, business administration, dentistry, engineering, industrial design, medicine, music, public policy and science. Elsewhere, at the private education institution, Singapore Institute of Management (SIM), popular degree programmes include banking and finance as well as business (management/marketing).
There is, of course, a barrage of other comprehensive and valuable subjects to study. When you team this with a safe multicultural environment, high standard of living and excellent educational facilities, Singapore is undoubtedly set to become a key contender in the $2.2 trillion (Dh8 trillion) global education market.