SINGAPORE: Students whose overseas studies were disrupted by the global outbreak of COVID-19 may consider alternative plans with Singapore's autonomous universities, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Monday (Jul 6).
MOE is working with local universities to help affected students. These include fresh school-leavers, transfer applicants and those who wish to wait before resuming overseas studies, the ministry said in a press release.
For fresh school-leavers who had planned to study overseas but now wish to enrol locally, the application window for the autonomous universities was extended by two months from March to mid-May, said the ministry.
More enrolment places were also set aside in the academic year starting in 2020.
"Around 2,000 more offers were made this year by the autonomous universities across a range of courses, while maintaining admission standards as the application pool is stronger this year," said the ministry.
MOE said it expects the autonomous university cohort participation rate this year to increase by up to 2 percentage points from the originally planned 40 per cent.
Singapore has six autonomous universities: Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore, Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Social Sciences and Singapore University of Technology and Design.
TRANSFERS AND CONTINUING EDUCATION
Singaporean students who are already studying in overseas universities but now wish to transfer to study locally can write directly to the admissions offices of the six universities, said MOE.
Their applications will be assessed "on a case-by-case basis", including whether credit transfers can be granted.
"The autonomous universities are prepared to take in as many of these transfer cases as they can accommodate – including for courses such as medicine – and subject to applicants meeting the admission criteria," said the ministry.
It added that the universities have received a "small number" of such transfer applications so far.
For students who are enrolled in overseas universities but wish to wait before resuming their studies overseas, they have the option of taking continuing education and training (CET) modular courses offered by local universities, the ministry said.
These include courses under the SkillsFuture Series, which are short, industry-relevant courses over eight emerging areas: Data analytics, finance, tech-enabled services, digital media, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, advanced manufacturing and urban solutions.
Alternatively, students may apply to enrol in a local university for one semester, but would need to discuss with their overseas university whether credit transfers are possible, the ministry said.
"Taken together, MOE hopes that these measures will provide useful options for students who are now reassessing their plans to study overseas due to COVID-19."