Study in Singapore or Hong Kong?

Why you should consider the Singapore
Institute of Management (SIM)


SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 6 November 2018
As two of the world's busiest port cities and Asia's
well-established financial hubs, numerous comparisons have been drawn between
Singapore and Hong Kong. Let us look into some of the differences that may help
students decide where to further their education abroad.


Paying the price for quality living

Both Singapore and Hong Kong are consistently ranked among the world's
best places to live in, with Singapore topping Mercer
2018's annual list
 and ECA
International shows' 2017 annual survey for the 18th year

as the most liveable Asian city.
Quality does come at a price. So it's not
surprising that both cities are also on the list of expensive places to live
in, with costs in Hong Kong pegged by
at 10% higher than Singapore. Backing this is Mercer's findings which puts Hong Kong as
the most expensive city in the world for expatriates
, while
Singapore places fourth.


  • Housing in Singapore is close
    to 40% cheaper than in Hong Kong

Hong Kong's real estate is known to be the most expensive in the world. While
the monthly rent for a furnished 45m2 studio in a normal area would
cost about US$1,426 (HK$11,191) in Singapore, a comparable unit in Hong Kong
would set you back by US$2,184 (HK$17,140). Electricity and gas about 30% cheaper
in Singapore, though internet fees are higher by about 30%. If sharing,
off-campus student accommodation rates for a single bed with cleaning and
utilities included would start from approximately US$523 (HK$4,107) in
Singapore and from US$675 (HK$5,300) in Hong Kong.


Costs aside, other factors such as variety of accommodation choices,
pollution and area/population density should also be taken into consideration. Generally,
Singapore fares better in these areas, especially if you prefer living in a
less congested environment with better air quality.


  • Food in Singapore is cheaper overall
    than in Hong Kong

 Among the items compared were the cost of 12 large eggs -- US$2.93
(HK$23) in Singapore vs. US$4.46 (HK$35) in Hong Kong; a basic lunch in the
business district -- US$8.79 (HK$69) in Singapore vs. US$11.85 (HK$93) in Hong
Kong; and bread for two -- US$1.78 (HK$14) in Singapore vs US$2.04 (HK$16) in
Hong Kong.


  • Public Transportation on par
    for Singapore and Hong Kong

Singapore is often labelled as the most expensive city, but that's only
if you plan to own a car considering all the additional taxes and premiums one
needs to pay on top of the vehicle's selling price. While buying a car seems
cheaper in Hong Kong, soaring parking fees have caused many car owners to feel
the heat. As reported by South China morning post, the price of a parking lot in residential areas could outperform
home prices
and costs an
average of HK$1.4 million
Otherwise in both cities, public transport
costs on buses, trains and taxis are affordable and almost on par with each
other. For instance, a monthly public transport ticket would cost around US$69
(HK$543) in Singapore and US$66 in Hong Kong.


World-class education that gets
you ready for the future


According to an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) index, Singapore's
education system is ranked #1 in Asia and #5 in the world in preparing students
for the future
. Hong Kong comes in at 14th place. Key
factors supporting Singapore's top ranking are its pool of effective teachers
and beyond classroom initiatives to help students make connections between
concepts learned and practical real-world applications.


Students looking to study for an internationally recognised degree will
find no shortage of options available in both Singapore and Hong Kong. Both
cities have universities
that are ranked among the world's top 50
. Students wishing to
enhance their proficiency in English though will find that Singapore,
being the #1 most English-proficient city in Asia, has a far greater edge than
Hong Kong
whose English standards have been on a continuous decline,
according to EF Education First's annual index. 


In Singapore, universities and institutions are also known to partner
top overseas universities to offer their programmes locally, making it possible
for students to pursue a UK, US or Australian degree in the country. Popular
choices include the University
of Birmingham (UoB available under SIM GE)
with programmes taught
100% by UoB lecturers; and the University
of London (UOL available under SIM GE)
which interestingly has
established its largest pool of first-class honour students in the UOL network. 


Potential career opportunities for


Lured by business-friendly policies, politically stable environments, excellent
infrastructure and a constant inflow of global talent, many multinational
corporations have chosen to base their regional headquarters in Singapore and
Hong Kong.


With its longstanding reputation as a banking and finance hub, aided by
its proximity to China, Hong Kong seems to enjoy greater financial activity
with many more banks calling it home. However, Singapore has surpassed Hong
Kong to be the world's third most dynamic financial centre based on Global
Financial Centres Index 2016 rankings. In addition, Singapore's position as a gateway
to Asia and its push towards innovation and technology has made it the undeniable
choice for technology and pharmaceutical firms such as SAP, Facebook, Pfizer
and GSK to set up their regional headquarters.


Graduates looking to stay on and build their careers in either city
should also be aware of the differences
between Singapore's Central Provident Fund (CPF) and Hong Kong's Mandatory
Pension Fund (MPF).
While CPF contributions are higher for both employees
(20%) and employers (16%) compared to MPF (5% each), members can use it for a
variety of purposes such as housing, children's education, medical and hospitalisation
care, annuity and investment. The MPF, on the other hand, is purely for
retirement needs and may be less comprehensive in taking care of its members'
immediate and long-term needs.


Understanding such information may help students decide which city is
more suited for them for overseas study, career advancement and perhaps
permanent residence. To learn more about your education options in Singapore at
SIM GE, please visit here
or contact Robert Kong at +65 9115 4307, email [email protected]

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