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Singapore Education

09-12-2010 | 11:03:30

Singapore is a cosmopolitan city and a premier destination for lifelong learning complemented with world-class educational institutions. You will embark on a pedagogical journey that combines the best of global knowledge with the wisdom of Asian insights.

Singapore Education

Singapore is a cosmopolitan city and a premier destination for lifelong learning complemented with world-class educational institutions. You will embark on a pedagogical journey that combines the best of global knowledge with the wisdom of Asian insights.

Here, you can immerse yourself in the widest range of educational offerings, and embrace a learning environment that is both inspiring and conducive. It is truly a place where you can enrich your mind and life.

Who we are

Singapore Education was launched by the Singapore Government in 2003 to establish and promote Singapore as a premier education hub and help international students make an informed decision on studying in Singapore. This multi-government initiative is shared by the Singapore Economic Development Board, the Singapore Tourism Board, SPRING Singapore, International Enterprise Singapore, the Ministry of Education and the Council for Private Education.

What we do

As the marketing and promotion arm for Singapore Education, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) assumes the responsibility of attracting international students to Singapore. The STB works very closely with Singapore education institutions and education agents to reach out to potential international students through a range of promotional platforms, including roadshows, education fairs, education talks and PR and advertising. STB’s efforts are focused on:

  1. building international brand recognition for Singapore as a provider of quality education;
  2. providing platforms for our institutions to reach out to their target audiences;
  3. building credible marketing and information channels so that potential students have access to reliable information; and
  4. ensuring that international students have an enriching learning (and living) experience in Singapore so that they in turn can be valued ambassadors for Singapore.
For private schools or PEIs, how would I know whether the PEI that I am applying to is reputable and credible?

All PEI’s currently need to be registered with the Council for Private Education in order to operate in Singapore and the registration process takes into account the PEI’s corporate governance, quality of provision and information transparency.

In addition, PEI’s that take in international students need to have EduTrust certification. There are 3 levels of EduTrust certification – EduTrust Star (valid for 4 years), EduTrust (valid for 4 years) and EduTrust Provisional (valid for 1 year).

PEI’s must seek approval from the Council for Private Education to offer any external degrees offered in partnership with bona fide universities and they are only allowed to offer qualifications of up to Advanced Diploma level in their own name.

A Fee Protection Scheme has also been established to protect the tuition fees of students studying at PEI. It is a mandate that PEI’s have to either deposit the fees in an escrow account or purchase insurance protection administered by CPE-approved companies.

For more information about the list of PEI’s approved by the Council for Private Education, please click here.

For more information about the list of courses permitted by the Council for Private Education, please click here.

For General Information, please go to Singapore Education website.

Private Education Institutions (PEIs)

Private education institutions are now referred under the acronym PEIs.

PEIs can be privately-run as commercial enterprises, or be operated as non-profit societies that are in the business of education and training. They must be registered with the Council for Private Education (CPE) in Singapore.

CPE has established an Enhanced Registration Framework (ERF), as set out under the Private Education Act and the Private Education Regulations, to ensure that the PEI’s are of a certain acceptable standard and to protect the interests of students who have enrolled in that institution.

Enhanced Registration Framework

Excellence in Student Protection & Welfare Practices, Organisation Management and Academic RigourEduTrust CertificationA PEI with EduTrust Star or EduTrust is one that has either excelled or achieved satisfactory to commendable performance in all key areas of management and the provision of quality education services and proper student protection, welfare practices and standards as mandated by the Mandatory Enhanced Registration Framework (ERF) and it is valid for 4 years. The basis of the ERF includes:
  1. Registration
  2. Corporate Governance
  3. Quality of Provisions
  4. Information Transparency
 Fee Protection Scheme (FPS)

All EduTrust-certified private education institutions are required to observe the following regulations:

  1. Collect no more than 12 months of fees from their students
  2. Protect the fees paid by all local and international students. This can be done via escrow bank account or insurance scheme provided by appointed service providers

There are two schemes under FPS:

  1. Fee Protection via Escrow
    Tuition fees paid by the students to the PEIs will be left in the custody of an endorsed 3rd party - a CPE-endorsed bank. Funds in the escrow bank account would be disbursed at regular intervals to the PEI, only if specified milestones and conditions are met. Currently, DBS, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank are the three participating banks.
  2. Fee Protection via Insurance
    The PEI will arrange for the protection of the students’ fees via an insurance scheme. It is to be purchased at the point of payment to the institution via e-banking and the PEI is required to purchase the insurance within 3 days. The CPE-appointed insurance providers are HSBC Insurance Singapore and Lonpac Insurance Bhd.
Q: Do I need a Visa and Student Pass to study in Singapore?

A: A foreigner must apply for a Student's Pass if he/she has been accepted by an educational institution to pursue full-time studies in Singapore, unless he/she is a:

  1. Dependant's Pass holder studying in a Government/ Government-Aided/ Independent school/ Foreign System School/ Kindergarten registered with MOE or Childcare centre licensed by MCYS;
  2. Immigration Exemption Order holder; or
  3. Visitor who has been granted a short term Visit Pass at the Singapore Checkpoint and wish to attend a short course that can be completed within the validity of the initial Visit Pass granted to him/her at the Singapore Checkpoint or 30 days, whichever is shorter.

Upon receiving the Letter of Acceptance from the school which is valid for 2 weeks, the applicant must proceed to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) to apply for a Student’s Pass. For applicants who require a visa to enter Singapore, please ensure that your application for the Student Pass is submitted to the ICA at least 2 months and not more than 6 months before the commencement date of the course.

Note: For PRC nationals who wish to pursue a language, commercial, vocational or fine arts course at private schools in Singapore (with the exception of students taking a degree or postgraduate degree course and students studying at PEI schools), applicant is required to submit Student's Pass application through the Singapore Embassy in Beijing.

With the launch of EduTrust, all private education institutions will need to be certified with EduTrust to offer school placement for international students.

For more information, please refer to

Q: How much security deposit is required upon approval of student pass application?

A: Upon approval of the student pass application, an In-Principle Approval(IPA) letter will be issued to the applicant. The security deposit, if required, would be indicated in the IPA letter to the applicant.

CountryRate per person and Form of Security Deposit
Malaysia and BruneiNil
Indonesia, Philippines and ThailandS$1,000 in the form of a Banker's Guarantee from any established banks in Singapore or Cashier's Order or NETS
People's Republic of China, India, Bangladesh and MyanmarS$5,000 in the form of a Banker's Guarantee from any established banks in Singapore or Casher's Order
OthersS$1,500 in the form of a Banker's Guarantee from any established banks in Singapore or Cashier's Order or NETS

Exemption from the security deposit requirement may be granted to:

  1. Malaysians / Brunei nationals
  2. Holders of valid Dependent's Pass, long term social visit pass and work pass
  3. Children or Spouse of Singapore Citizens / Permanent Residents
  4. Foreign students who study in kindergartens registered with Ministry of Education / Childcare centres licensed by MCYS
  5. Foreign students who attend a full-time course at an approved Private Education Institution that is awarded Singapore Quality Class for Private Education Organisation, or SQC(PEO) by SPRING, Singapore
  6. Foreign students who pursue a full-time university degree (Graduate / Post-Graduate) programme at an approved private education institution, except for the University of London (UOL) tuition programme.
  7. Below 16 years old at the point of application

Important Notice: The Singapore Quality Class for Private Education Organisations (SQC-PEO) scheme will be discontinued from 28 Feb 2010 and SPRING would not be accepting new applications for the scheme with effect from this date. For more information on SQC-PEOs, please click here.


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