Best universities in Singapore 2018

Explore Singapore and some of its most influential universities, using Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings

September 27 2017
Singapore temple

Singapore might not be the first country that comes to your mind when you start thinking about studying abroad, but it is definitely a destination to consider.

The only city-state – formed by over 63 islands in Southeast Asia – is a centre of innovation and successfully attracts foreign investment each year.

It is also home to leading global universities which top the list in the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings.


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The country, also known as the Lion City, prides itself on being one of the world’s leading financial centres that maintains strong connections with the West.

Singapore can surprise even the most cosmopolitan individual with its high quality of life and citizen-friendly policies focused on healthcare and safety.

Prospective students have the chance to immerse themselves in a rich cultural life, but also to build a successful career. The local government provides annual funding which makes it easier for graduates to start their own business or join start-up hubs especially designed to stimulate creativity and meet the needs of the local economy.

Studying in Singapore is a good decision for students who are willing to explore different cultures. From celebrating the Chinese New Year in a traditional setting to exploring superb regional cuisine, starting a course in Singapore is an attractive alternative to western universities.

The country is home to four large ethnic groups: Chinese, Eurasian, Indian and Malay, which have their own mother tongues creating opportunities for students to pick up a new language easily while studying.

International students in Singapore comprise around 20 per cent of university graduates. It is considered relatively costly to pursue a degree at Singapore in comparison with some other countries in Asia, as it remains the most expensive city in the world for 2016.

In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018, the country’s two main public universities are in the top 100, with National University of Singapore coming 22nd and Nanyang Technological University moving to 52nd place. 

1. National University of Singapore

As the oldest higher education institution in the country the National University of Singapore (NUS), has a long history of development and reshuffle. It has been ranked number one in the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2017.

By focusing on students and their personal development, the university has supported the entrepreneurial endeavours of its students over the last few years. Together with its commitment to research, this has raised the university’s public profile and placed it among the world’s leading academic institutions.

With over 370 different degrees including bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral degrees and graduate diplomas, the university has a lot to offer across its three campuses and 16 faculties. Its multicultural community brings together students and members of staff from over 100 countries around the world.

NUS enables students to design their university pathway to focus on their preferred subjects. Resources include the 1.5 million titles kept in seven libraries. The NUS Overseas Programme and the partnership with other universities ensure that students can also study and travel abroad.

NUS has particular research strength in fields include engineering, environmental studies and physical science.

The university is associated with numerous figures from the Singaporean political elite including Prime Ministers Goh Chok Tong and Lee Kuan Yew and President Benjamin Henry Sheares.


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2. Nanyang Technological University

Nanyang Technological University (NTU), is a highly ranked publically funded university in Singapore. The organisation was also previously named the fastest-rising young university in the world by Times Higher Education.

Founded in 1981, the institution is committed to extensive research in seven different fields including engineering, business, humanities, arts and social sciences and medicine.

Located on the city’s periphery, its main campus Yunnan Garden covers 2km². With 16 halls of residence, previously an Olympic Village, the campus is considered to have the biggest on-campus residence infrastructure in Singapore.

To guarantee the best possible service to its bachelor's and master's students, the university has joined efforts with international partners such as Imperial College London to open a new medical school. The Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine is now actively engaged with research aiming to bring positive changes to healthcare in Singapore. 

The university’s award-winning courses help two-thirds of its graduates secure graduate employment prior to completing their course. Some of these employers include companies such as JP Morgan, Deusche Bank and Seagate. 


Top universities in Singapore 2018

Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2018 results

Singapore Rank 2018  World University Rank 2018  University
1 =22 National University of Singapore
2 52 Nanyang Technological University

Read more: Best universities in the world 

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