With its foundations laid on the British General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) and General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCE) examination systems, the Singapore education system has, in recent years, evolved into one which is more flexible and diverse, with the aim of providing students with greater choice to meet their different interests and ways of learning. More emphasis is also placed on providing students with a more broad-based education to ensure their all-round or holistic development, in and out of the classroom.
One of the unique competitive advantages of the Singapore education system is its bilingual policy. While English is the main medium of instruction, students also study their Mother Tongue languages (MTLs) - Malay, Mandarin or Tamil (a non-Tamil Indian may choose to offer a non-Tamil Indian Language such as Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi or Urdu as his/her MTL). Students will offer their respective MTLs at the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) and the GCE N, O and A level examinations. This policy aims to equip students with the language competencies to engage fellow Singaporeans of different races and access the global economy while at the same time, remain connected to their cultural roots and heritage.
The Singapore education model has been widely endorsed as one of the world’s best-performing school systems. The McKinsey Report, which examines the characteristics of school systems that consistently produce students who perform well in international benchmarking tests, placed Singapore high on its list of the world’s best-performing systems. In the Global Competitiveness Report, Singapore’s education system is also consistently ranked amongst the best in terms of the ability to meet the needs of a competitive economy. Singapore students have also excelled in the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).
A broad overview of Singapore’s education system can be found HERE.
Scholarships and Grants
The Singapore Government and several local educational institutions offer various scholarships to both Singaporean and international students. These include the ASEAN Scholarships, SIA Youth Scholarships,
Agency for Science, Technology and Research Scholarships, MOE Scholarships for Secondary and Pre-University Studies, and Hong Kong Scholarships & Awards.
Visit the Ministry of Education website for more details on scholarship programmes, or check out BrightSparks, a scholarship, higher education and careers portal.