Singapore is recognised globally as a renowned education hub and offers many different types of schools for students of all types and age groups. The Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE) oversees and supervises all education providers to ensure quality education is offered by all schools in Singapore- therefore, you can be assured of top-notch quality from a Singapore education that is favoured worldwide.

While the many school types in Singapore differ in terms of operation, teaching methods and curriculum, they can be commonly classified under the following four main categories.



The most common type of school in Singapore is the public, or government, school which is fully funded by the MOE and offers high-quality education at standardised rates. These schools follow the national curriculum at the pre-tertiary level and are mainly catered to local students which results in stricter admission criteria for international students. As these schools are funded by the government, school fees are tiered with heavily subsidised school fees for Singapore citizens, subsidised school fees for permanent residents and international students having to pay the full school fees.



Private schools in Singapore must be registered with the Committee for Private Education (CPE) and require EduTrust Certification in order to admit international students.

Private schools at the pre-tertiary level mostly offer courses that closely mirror the national curriculum and prepare students for national examinations such as the GCE O-Levels and GCE A-Levels . Local students are only allowed admission to such private schools after being granted permission from the Singapore MOE. Some of these private schools also offer courses that prepare students for the Admission Exercise for International Students (AEIS), which is the official and only channel for international students to get into a local government primary or secondary school.

Private universities offer a wide variety of courses which are available to both local and international students. Many of these universities offer external degree programmes by well-established foreign universities, opening the gates for students to receive their education by such foreign universities at a much lower cost.



Similar to private schools, international schools in Singapore must be registered with the Committee for Private Education (CPE) and require EduTrust Certification in order to admit international students.

However, the main difference between these two school types is the curricula offered. Unlike private schools, most international schools offer curricula that are predominantly either UK based, such as Cambridge IGCSE and Cambridge International A Levels or a mix of UK based curricula and the International Baccalaureate (IB), with certain international schools offering country specific curriculum such as Advanced Placement (AP). Tuition fees for international schools in Singapore are relatively expensive and can range from S$15,000 to more than S$40,000 depending on the school and your education level.



Local-international schools are private schools run by the boards of other locally renowned institutions and have the liberty to enforce their own curriculum. However, they must follow mandatory policies set by the MOE that include the country’s policies on bilingualism.

Their strict adherence to student population diversity ensures students are immersed into the local environment while also having the opportunity to build up a multi-national social circle and learning a different curriculum. Tuition fees are also slightly lower than international schools which makes local- international schools very attractive options for international students.

There are currently only three local-international schools in Singapore namely, Anglo-Chinese School (International), Hwa Chong International School, and St Joseph’s Institute International School.

Learn more about studying in Singapore with some commonly asked questions by our students

FAQ about studying in Singapore

Learn more about how to apply to the various schools in Singapore

How to apply to Singapore schools