Local, Overseas Or Private: Pathways After “A” Levels



Choices, choices, choices. Has your child just received his “A” level results? Is he fazed by so many different pathways? This article summarises the main pathways “A” level graduates can take for their future education.


Local universities

In Singapore, it is not easy to enter a local university. In fact, only about 65% of JC students meet the requirements. Nevertheless, there are currently 6 local universities: National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT). However, SUTD and SIT admit few A-level students as they are mostly reserved for local polytechnic graduates (“A” level students can still qualify, of course!). NUS and NTU offer all disciplines of study while SMU does not have some faculties such as engineering, biological sciences, etc. Most of Singapore’s local universities are internationally recognised and have high world rankings that are comparable with top UK, AUS, US universities.


Overseas universities

If your child decides to study overseas, he will be in good company. You are not a minority actually. In fact, there are Singaporeans everywhere overseas. Our strength in national examination rankings and strong English standards make Singapore students attractive to overseas institutions. However, not all overseas universities have easier entry than the local universities. Some top UK universities like Oxbridge, Australian universities like University of Melbourne, Monash University, Australian National University and the American Ivy League’s require stellar “A” level grades – for starters. In addition, many ivy league overseas universities look at more than just grades.


Private schools

There are many private schools in Singapore that hail from overseas. Some of these universities have partnered with local private educators like MDIS, SIM Global and Kaplan. They offer part-time degrees as well. These schools are more flexible and accept students from many different pathways.