Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Sep 15, 2005
Industry & Economy
Singapore bid to attract student community from India
Tunia Cherian George
Mumbai , Sept. 14
SINGAPORE, which has always promoted itself as a tourist destination, wishes to broaden its visitor profile to include the student community as well.
The city-state has decided to promote itself as a `global school house'.
In keeping with this objective, PSB Academy, an educational institution set up by the Singapore Government, is working on expanding its base of Indian students. The institution, which enrolled its first Indian candidate a year ago, now has around 100 Indian students.
Singapore has about 50,000 foreign students currently, and it expects this to rise to 1.5 lakh over a period of time.
Next year, the PSB Academy will institute merit-based scholarships for its MBA programme, which is being offered in association with the University of Western Australia. The scholarship will be worth about Rs 1 lakh of the Rs 7.5 lakh course fee. The academy will also offer a Master of Information Technology course next year.
Ms Dora N.G. Ying Shia, Vice-President, International Student Admissions, said Singapore offered a high standard of education at about half the cost incurred in the US or the UK. For example, while a student will have to shell out $40,000 for an under-graduate course in Singapore, the same will cost up to $88,000 in the US, she said.
Besides, Indian students found it easier to adjust to Singapore than the West. Its proximity to India is an important advantage for students, Ms Dora said.
On its part, PSB sends officials to India frequently to meet prospective students, brief them on the courses available and help them with the application procedure.
According to Ms Dora, information technology and business administration courses were the most popular courses among Indian students. Also, PSB trained its students on how to make the best possible presentation while job-hunting.
"We teach our students how to fish for the best jobs rather than spoon-feeding them. This, we feel, teaches them survival in a competitive environment," said Ms Dora.
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