Small but densely populated, Singapore's reputation as a center of educational excellence has flourished in recent years. The National University of Singapore (NUS) now ranks 22nd in the world, according to the QS World University Rankings® 2014/15, and the young but upwardly mobile Nanyang Technological University (NTU) currently stands at 39th, thanks in part to its success in attracting top international academics and students.
Alongside increasing prominence in the global higher education sector, Singapore remains renowned for its prosperity and low levels of crime and unemployment. In keeping with the city’s clean-cut, corporate reputation, Singaporean graduates are much sought-after by international employers, especially throughout Asia.
The downside to Singapore's high standard of living? Correspondingly high prices. Singapore is ranked the 4th most expensive out of 214 cities in Mercer’s 2014 Cost of Living Survey, and tuition fees have also increased over the past year, particularly for international students.
On the plus side, one thing you certainly won't need to shell out for in Singapore is central heating; its position next to the equator means it is equally scorching all year round. And if you fancy exchanging the concrete jungle for the real thing, Singapore is surrounded by tropical scenery, both throughout adjacent Malaysia, and in nearby exotic destinations such as Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
QS ranked universities
More about Singapore
Number of universities ranked by QS
Top ranked institution
National University of Singapore (22nd in the world)
Students (% of total population)
1.2% (based on ranked institutions)
31.0% (of students at ranked institutions)
Average tuition fees
Global Liveability Ranking
52nd (out of 140)
Mercer Cost of Living rank
4th (out of 214)
Cost of a Big Mac
Cost of an iPad
Numbeo safety rank
7th (out of 372)
Numbeo pollution rank
187th (out of 299)
Transparency International score
5th (out of 177)
Sources: QS World University Rankings; Global Liveability Ranking (The Economist’s Intelligence Unit); Big Mac Index (The Economist’s Intelligence Unit); iPad Index (Commsec); Cost of Living Survey (Mercer);Corruption Perceptions Index (Transparency International).