In India, in the past decade, the costs of pursuing an MBA program have risen exponentially with foreign partnerships like Kelloggs, ISB (Hyderabad) and the ubiquitous IIMs ruling the roost. Not surprisingly, studies show that the cost and Return on Investment (ROI) for an Indian MBA are not comparative to that of other Asian countries. In this perspective, Singapore tops the list for having three of its universities in the top five QS Global 200 MBA Rankings, leading with INSEAD–Singapore. Even the much-lauded S P Jain School of Business has its campus in Singapore, a strategic move by far.
Reputed world-class institutions like the INSEAD France/Singapore, Nanyang Business School and the School of Business at the National University of Singapore are world-class institutions and rate among the Top 20 business schools, worldwide. In fact, in the Global MBA Ranking 2016/2017 published by the Financial Times (FT), INSEAD France/Singapore even dethroned the most hallowed Harvard Business School to claim top spot as the numero uno business school, worldwide. Given the impressive credentials offered by the Singaporean business schools, it’s little wonder then that the Gen-Next future entrepreneurs and business magnates are making a beeline to gain access to their privileged programs. After all, nearly twelve of Europe’s top listed companies are helmed by CEOs who are INSEAD Singapore graduates, which is twice more than any graduate MBAs from their home-grown competitors!
Apart from the standard living expenses, the cost of an MBA in Singapore is far reasonable when compared to the average spending on the prohibitively expensive study-abroad destinations like US or UK. Moreover, the current immigration reforms have raised pertinent questions on the fate of international students who will be graduating in the coming years. Such indecision does not plague the graduates at Singapore’s top B-schools and to add to it, they are prize picks for the several international conglomerates, who have their Asian offices headquartered in Singapore. However, admission to these hallowed institutions is most certainly a challenging task although not impossible.
While NUS’s website states that there is no minimum GMAT score, the average score of the admitted graduate is around 680-700/800, which is in addition to the requirement that the candidate fulfills the stipulated work experience that varies for the different schools. NUS requires a minimum of two years of full-time post-graduation experience, as do Nangyang School, NTU and Singapore Management University. The only exception to this rule is INSEAD-Singapore, which mandates two to five years of full time, post qualification experience and it would follow that if the candidate has demonstrated management potential, the chances of an admit increase considerably. Also, since the mode of instruction is the international business language, English, non-native speakers would need to prove their proficiency with standardized tests like IELTS/TOEFL, with a minimum band score of 6/90 respectively.
Let’s go on to discuss the costs of pursuing an MBA at one of these premier institutions. At an annual fee of SGD$62,000, NUS Business School, Singapore has the most reasonable tuition fee and the term of the course is 17 months, when compared to INSEAD-Singapore’s 10-month program at a marked SGD $110,277. This means that you would spend seven more months at NUS, where the living expenses for the additional time would up the ante significantly. However, Nanyang Business School at NTU-Singapore is not far behind with an entirely modest fee of SGD$55,000. There is also the option of applying to Singapore Management University and James Cook University, both of which are sought after for their programs. The average cost of an MBA in Singapore can be roughly estimated at SGD$60,000, excluding the living expenses and other incidental costs like examination fees, books etc. Also, you need to remember that living expenses vary on the kind of lifestyle you like to afford, the average cost of rent, utilities, food, phone etc. can vary between SGD$30,000 to SGD$70,000 per annum. But this is substantially less when compared to the fees for a hybrid MBA at ISB, Wharton, NMIMS or any of the premier business schools in India, which would set you back by a cool INR 38 lakhs on an average, excluding living expenses. With Singapore, you have the added advantage of remaining on the continent, while capitalising on the cosmopolitan and world class environment of Singapore, the Southeast Asian gateway to the West.
Further, Singapore is the only country in Asia to be ranked at No. 5 in the United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Index, bested only by Norway, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, and Denmark. But none of these countries have the added advantage of the world-class business schools as does the Lion-city, Singapore. With these multi-faceted advantages, your choice of pursuing an MBA in Singapore will indeed be the best decision you would ever make.