Financing one’s studies is a very real concern. Tertiary education can place a heavy financial strain on students coping with tuition fees and possible loss of income, and, for those who choose to study overseas, considerable living expenses.

Furthering your education locally or overseas comes with its own advantages. Studying overseas offers students the opportunity to study in a different academic environment and be exposed to different perspectives and styles of learning.

Learning for Life, a survey by HSBC published last year, listed the total cost of undergraduate studies for international students — including tuition fee and cost of living — in 16 countries and territories.

Ranked top in cost is the United States at US$165,231 (S$222,323), while Australia ranked fourth at US$133,272, and the United Kingdom sixth at US$119,513.

Faced with the huge costs, remaining in Singapore may be a more viable option. What’s more, you have your family and a familiar environment to set your mind at ease while you focus on your studies.

Local private institutes that partner reputed foreign universities provide students with the best of both worlds — a foreign-style education on home ground. You can get a global education with an international perspective right here in Singapore, without the huge bills.

At the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS), tuition fees cost between $12,840 for a one-year part-time undergraduate programme in business and $38,520 for a three-year engineering degree. Postgraduate tuition fees cost between $18,404 for a 15-month Master of Science degree in Project Management and $23,540 for an 18-month Master of Business Administration (MBA).

The institute partners leading universities such as the Northumbria University in the UK, Oklahoma City University in the US and the Grenoble Graduate School of Business in France.

PSB Academy offers programmes from the UK and Australia university partners that range from certificates and diplomas, to undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across disciplines.

Full-time students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts with Honours programme with Edinburgh Napier University can expect to pay $23,497, while individuals doing a Bachelor of Commerce part-time programme with the University of Wollongong pay $25,166. Those pursuing part-time postgraduate courses should set aside $32,566 for an Executive MBA programme with the University of Hull, or $23,946 for an MBA programme with the University of Wollongong. The Academy provides scholarships to help ease students’ financial burden.

Kaplan Higher Education offers more than 150 bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes in partnership with 12 renowned universities in Australia, Ireland and the UK.

A bachelor’s degree programme may range from $18,000 to about $35,000 for an engineering programme. A master’s degree programme ranges from $10,000 to more than $40,000 for a specialised Master of Counselling degree.

With part-time courses made available at these institutes, students can study while continuing to work.

You can choose to do most of PSB Academy’s programmes on a part-time basis. At MDIS, 80 per cent of their courses can be done part-time, while Kaplan offers all of its programmes in part-time mode. Part-time students may take up to 12 months more to complete the course compared to full-time students.

Various other options allow individuals to effectively juggle their studies with busy work schedules. Some programmes offer flexible timetable systems or block-teaching schedules, while others are assignment-based instead of examination-focused.

Students here undergo an equally rigorous education as their counterparts studying at the campuses of the partner universities.

At Kaplan, graduates receive the same certificate awarded to their overseas peers. In some programmes, faculty members are flown into Singapore to deliver the modules.

At PSB Academy, some lecturers are also specially flown into Singapore to share their knowledge, such as from Loughborough University in the UK and University of Wollongong, Australia. Students also undergo the same curriculum and receive the same lecture notes as their peers abroad. The Academy even offers international student exchange opportunities. One of its Australian university partners, The University of Newcastle, gives students the chance to study at its campus for a week.

MDIS’ undergraduate programmes in Mass Communications and Psychology, awarded by Oklahoma City University, are fully taught by the senior faculty who fly into Singapore to conduct the classes. The curriculum and teaching methodology are identical to on-campus studies. Both programmes also include a three week on-campus residency in Oklahoma, where students will take some modules at the university and visit related companies in the state. Students from the mass communications programme can even go on optional study trips to London or Rome.

Graduates can rest assured that their qualifications are recognised by the industry. An average of 78 per cent of MDIS graduates landed jobs within six months, according to the institute’s graduate surveys from 2013 to 2015.

PSB Academy’s Graduate and Employment Survey 2015 revealed that 87 per cent of its graduates gained employment within six months.

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Article by Christina Ching
Source: MyPaper© Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.