More Indian students are treading beyond conventional disciplines such as business and engineering to new fields like casino management for undergraduate studies in Singapore. University of Nevada Las Vegas' Singapore campus imparts training in casino management.
According to official information, though management, computing and information technology and engineering are still popular, youngsters are showing interest in areas such as animation, gaming, film-making, and design (jewellery, fashion, textile and so on) as well.
Interestingly, as the country attempts to be known as a global arts centre, it has drawn to its soil foreign speciality schools such as DigiPen and NYU's Tisch as well as international creative companies like LucasArts, Koei and DesignWorks, with internship and attachment opportunities.
Also, "Earlier only public universities were in demand but now students are going for private ones as well," said Jyoti Ghildiyal, senior executive, Singapore Tourism Board (STB), at a two-day admissions fair, held in Delhi recently. STB, which promotes Singapore education abroad, brought in 13 institutions, including private education organisations, from the country to the fair. It's slated to move to Mumbai and then Chennai.
Most applicants are for postgraduate studies but the student-stream is also widening in undergraduate programmes.
While the bus to Singapore's public universities has chugged off (their admission time is October-March depending on the course), private, Singapore-government recognised education providers are open for the September/October intake. For the uninitiated, government universities have only the August intake while private ones have two-three.
Singapore now boasts over 97000 international students of 120 nationalities, in which Indians make up the fourth largest chunk. According to the latest The QS World University Rankings, Singapore (rank 7) is among the top ten countries for masters or PhD study.
According to Jessica Sim, Area Director (northern and eastern India), STB, "With more than 7,000 multinational corporations (MNCs) alongside 100,000 small and medium enterprises having set up their base in Singapore, students can look forward to excellent professional networking as well as job opportunities in one of the best business environments in Asia."
Why Singapore: Some pros and cons
Increased international standing
Ability to work after graduation
Links with international universities
Lack of global visibility for Singaporean qualifications
Many private colleges with unclear reputation
Source: The QS World University Rankings, Top Universities Guide