Options for Students Whose Overseas Study Plans Have Been Disrupted

Published Date: 06 July 2020 12:00 AM

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1. Due to COVID-19, students planning to study in overseas universities or who are already midway through their overseas studies, may now be considering alternative plans. The Ministry of Education, together with the Autonomous Universities (AUs), is working to help the following groups of affected students.

Fresh school leavers

2. For fresh school-leavers who were planning to study overseas but now wish to enrol in the AUs due to COVID-19, the AUs had extended their application window by two months (i.e. til mid-May 2020), so that they could apply even if they had missed the initial March deadline to do so.

3. To cater to this group of students, more places have also been set aside in AY2020. Around 2,000 more offers were made this year by the AUs across a range of courses, while maintaining admission standards as the application pool is stronger this year. Overall, MOE expects the AU Cohort Participation Rate to increase slightly this year from the originally planned 40%, by up to two percentage points.

Transfer applicants

4. For existing Singaporean students who are already studying in an overseas university but wish to switch to studying locally, they can write directly to the AUs' admission offices, and their applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, including whether credit transfers can be granted. So far, the AUs have received a small number of such applications. The AUs 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.

CET modules and enrolment for a semester

5. Students who are midway through their studies at overseas universities but prefer to wait for some months before resuming their studies overseas, can also sign up for Continuing Education and Training (CET) modular courses offered by the AUs. These include the SkillsFuture Series courses, which are short, industry-relevant courses over the eight emerging areas of data analytics, finance, tech-enabled services, digital media, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, advanced manufacturing and urban solutions. Alternatively, students can apply to enrol in an AU for one semester to continue their learning but they would need to discuss with their overseas university whether credit transfers are possible.

6. Interested applicants can contact the AUs' admissions offices for more information. The AUs are also updating their websites to provide the necessary information to these students. Contact details can be found in the Annex.

7. 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.

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