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Singapore: a Global Hub for Education?

How does Singapore fare as an education hub?

Singapore’s focus on its education system makes sense when you think of its meritocratic branding, and its reliance on its people as a resource, given its lack of natural resources. Given the result-oriented nature of Singapore, it’s education system has since emerged as one of the toughest—drawing as much flak for its survival-of-the-fittest stance, as it has praise. The challenge and prestige of their education system (amongst the best in Asia), has seen a steady increase of international students flocking to their shores.

However, it is not just the students who are flocking. Lecturers, and even foreign institutions and universities are making their way to the island’s sunny shores, showing that everyone wants a piece of the pie. However, some foreign universities have found a way to co-exist with local institutions. The University of London is one good example. Instead of erecting an offshore campus, it has integrated its courses into local institutions. Locally renowned institutions like SIM University, Kaplan University and MAGES Institute of Excellence all offer one of University of London’s various international programmes.

While University of London’s International Programmes have always had a tradition of being global, other foreign universities have also established themselves locally, with universities such as Curtin even going so far as to set up a Singapore campus.

The creative education sectors especially, has seen an increase of foreign students and academies in the last decade. Visual effects courses in particular, are doing really well—blockbuster hits such as Godzilla and Pacific Rim have all outsourced their work to Singapore, due to the increased quality of infrastructure, support and talent pool.

While foreign universities have made their mark in Singapore, locally founded institutions have also stepped up their game. One good example would be MAGES Institute of Excellence, set-up in 2010, the school has seen a rise in prominence in the last 4 years. Recognizing job market needs, the school has set up itself to specialize in tertiary education and professional training for members of the creative technology industry. With courses ranging from visual effects courses specialization to video game design and development, the institute has been rewarded with its quality education and foresight by gaining recognition from the Council of Private Education (CPE) with its Edutrust branding.

It is institutions like MAGES that helps Singapore maintain its competitive standing as an education hub. While not yet at the level of elite destinations such as America (Harvard, Yale) and England (Oxford, Cambridge), it is clearly the leading destination in its region, and one of the top destinations in Asia.

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