The University of Sydney vs NUS: Which Should You Choose?

The University of Sydney and NUS both provide a higher education experience. They have a long history of providing students with the skills to succeed in their careers. The University of Sydney vs. NUS: which University should you choose?

The University of Sydney is for you if you are looking for:

  • Living in one of the best and most liveable city in the world
  • You live in countries that are considerably closer to Australia than Singapore
  • Easier entry (much higher acceptance rate) australian universities.
  • Studying in the area:
    • Medicine
    • Science
    • Accounting and Finance
    • Law and Legal Studies

NUS is for you if you are international students looking for: 

  • Studying in the Asian region, especially in the southeast part of Asia
  • You live in countries that are considerably closer to Singapore than Australia
  • Enjoying the experience of a clean, modern, efficient, and fast-paced city life.
  • Studying in one of the best singapore university in the world
  • University with higher rankings in most subjects (top-ranked globally)
  • Studying in any area, especially:
    • Computer Science and Information System
    • Engineering and Technology
    • Natural Sciences
university of sydney vs nus
The University of Sydney. Credit: canva

In this article, we’ll look at some of the key differences between these two universities to help you make your decision.

About the University of Sydney

The University of Sydney is a public institution in Sydney, New South Wales, Western Australia. It was established in 1850, making it one of the oldest institutions in Australia and one of the world’s best universities. One of Australia’s six sandstone colleges is also one of its most renowned learning institutions.

The University of Sydney is located in Camperdown and Darlington, inner-city areas. It has been ranked the finest 10 in the world’s most beautiful universities by the British Daily Telegraph and the American Huffington Post.

This top University offers bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees through eight academic faculties and university schools.

The University of Sydney is a member of the Group of Eight, CEMS, the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

About the National University of Singapore (NUS)

The National University of Singapore (NUS) is a national research institution based in Singapore. NUS, the first autonomous University in Singapore, was founded as the Straits Settlements and the Federated Malay States Government Medical School in 1905.

According to most rankings, it is widely recognized as one of the finest institutions in Asia and worldwide.

The NUS has three campuses with 17 faculties and schools. Over 38,000 students from 100 countries contribute to the community’s rich social and cultural perspectives.

The City and Cost of Living

Sydney is one of the world’s most beautiful, safe, and liveable cities. You can walk around Sydney’s streets and use public transportation at any time of day or night because of its low crime rate. In addition, Sydney has been recognized for its gorgeous beaches (like Bondi beach) as well as its fantastic climate.

Sydney is the most outstanding student city in Australia. It’s the eighth-best student life city in the world, according to QS Best Student Cities 2022.

Singapore, a sovereign nation in Southeast Asia, is a modern, efficient, fast-paced, and yet still comfortable city to live in. Its good infrastructure, schools, and healthcare system make it a pleasant place for ex-pats of all ages to reside.

The country has a reputation for ex-pat life. In 2018, HSBC ranked the world’s best destination for ex-pats.

In general, the cost of living in Singapore is high. For example, the Economist’s Worldwide Cost of Living Report 2020 ranked this metropolis as the world’s fourth most expensive.

Living cost in Singapore is relatively the same as the living price in Sydney. According to Numbeo, you would need roughly 8,248.13S$ (8,193.17A$) in Sydney to maintain the same standard of living that you can achieve with 8,300.00S$ in Singapore (assuming you rent in both cities, data October 2021).

Here are several cost comparisons:

Cost of Living ComparisonSydneySingapore
McMeal at McDonald’s (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 8.97 US$ 6.13 US$
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 162.53 US$ 89.12 US$
Basic Monthly Utilities (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment 140.40 US$ 118.01 US$
Apartment Monthly Rent (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 1,422.22 US$ 1,439.36 US$
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 14.95 US$ 10.40 US$
Living Cost Comparison

McMeal at McDonald’s (or Equivalent Combo Meal)

  • Sydney: 12.08 S$ (12.00 A$) / 8.97 US$
  • Singapore: 8.25 S$ (8.20 A$) / 6.13 US$

Monthly Pass (Regular Price)

  • Sydney: 218.85 S$ (217.39 A$) / 162.53 US$
  • Singapore: 120.00 S$ (119.20 A$) / 89.12 US$

Basic Monthly Utilities (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment

  • Sydney: 189.05 S$ (187.79 A$) / 140.40 US$
  • Singapore: 158.90 S$ (157.84 A$) / 118.01 US$

Apartment Monthly Rent (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre

  • Sydney: 1,915.07 S$ (1,902.31 A$) / 1,422.22 US$
  • Singapore: 1,938.29 S$ (1,925.37 A$) / 1,439.36 US$

Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat

  • Sydney: 20.13 S$ (20.00 A$) / 14.95 US$
  • Singapore: 14.00 S$ (13.91 A$) / 10.40 US$

Source: Numbeo

World Universities Rankings

Top Universities RankingsUSYDNUS
QS World University Ranking / QS WUR 20223811
Times Higher Education / THE 20225821
QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022417
University Rankings

The University of Sydney

  • #38 in the world (Academic Ranking QS World University Ranking / QS WUR 2022)
  • #58 in the world (Times Higher Education / THE 2022)
  • #4 in the world (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022)

NUS

  • #11 in the world (QS World University Ranking / QS WUR 2022)
  • #21 in the world (Times Higher Education / THE 2022)
  • #17 in the world (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022)

Rankings by Subjects

The rankings are based on QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 (global rankings).

Rankings by Subjects (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021)USYDNUS
Art & Humanities2315
Life Science & Medicine2227
Engineering & Technology659
Natural Sciences6212
Social Sciences & Management329
Computer Science & Information System504
Art & Design#51-10028
Accounting & Finance2113
Business & Management Studies4312
Law & Legal Studies1410
Global Rankings by Subjects

The University of Sydney

  • Art & Humanities: #23
  • Life Science & Medicine: #22
  • Engineering & Technology: #65
  • Natural Sciences: #62
  • Social Sciences & Management: #32
  • Computer Science & Information System: #50
  • Art & Design: #51-100
  • Accounting & Finance: #21
  • Business & Management Studies: #43
  • Law & Legal Studies: #14

NUS

  • Art & Humanities: #15
  • Life Science & Medicine: #27
  • Engineering & Technology: #9
  • Natural Sciences: #12
  • Social Sciences & Management: #9
  • Computer Science & Information System: #4
  • Art & Design: #28
  • Accounting & Finance: #13
  • Business & Management Studies: #12
  • Law & Legal Studies: #10

Campus Locations

The University of Sydney

The University is located across two inner-city suburbs – Camperdown and Darlington community.

The main campus has been ranked in the top 10 of the world’s most beautiful universities by The British Daily Telegraph and other sources, such as Oxford.

NUS

The NUS main campus is in the southwestern part of Singapore, near Kent Ridge, with 150 hectares (370 acres).

The Duke-NUS Medical School, a postgraduate medical school jointly established with Duke University, is located on the Outram campus.

The Faculty of Law and Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy is located at the Bukit Timah campus, home to the Singapore Management University.

The Yale-NUS College, a liberal arts institution affiliated with Yale University and slated to combine with other NUS institutions by 2025, is located in University Town (also known as UTown).

Faculties/Schools and Programs

The University of Sydney

Undergraduate Studies Degree and courses

Architecture, Design, and Planning

  • Bachelor of Architecture and Environments
  • Bachelor of Design Computing
  • Bachelor of Design in Architecture
  • Bachelor of Design in Architecture

Arts and Social Sciences

  • Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Advanced Studies
  • Bachelor of Economics
  • Bachelor of Education (Health and Physical Education)
  • Bachelor of Education (Primary)

Dentistry

  • Doctor of Dental Medicine

Engineering, Project Management, and Information Technologies

  • Bachelor of Advanced Computing
  • Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Aeronautical), (Biomedical), (Chemical and Biomolecular), (Civil), (Electrical), (Mechanical), (Mechatronic), (Software)
  • Bachelor of Project Management

Health Sciences

  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Diagnostic Radiography), (Exercise and Sport Science), (Exercise Physiology), (Occupational Therapy), (Physiotherapy), (Speech Pathology)
  • Bachelor of Oral Health

Pharmacy

  • Bachelor of Pharmacy
Postgraduate Programs

Architecture, Design, and Planning

  • Master of Architectural Science (Audio and Acoustics)
  • Master of Architectural Science (High Performance Buildings)
  • Master of Architectural Science (Illumination Design)
  • Master of Architectural Science (Sustainable Design)
  • Master of Architecture
  • Master of Architecture
  • Master of Design (Design Innovation)
  • Master of Design (Design Innovation)
  • Master of Design (Strategic Design)
  • Master of Heritage Conservation
  • Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts
  • Master of Urban Design

Science

  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Sydney Medical School

  • Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Medicine

Sydney Nursing School (Nursing and Midwifery)

  • Bachelor of Arts and Master of Nursing

The University of Sydney Business School

  • MBA

NUS

The 17 Schools in NUS include:  

  • Arts and Social Sciences
  • Business
  • Computing
  • Continuing and Lifelong Education
  • Dentistry
  • Design and Environment
  • Duke-NUS Medical School
  • Engineering
  • Integrative Sciences and Engineering
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Music
  • Public Health
  • Public Policy
  • Science
  • University Scholars Programme
  • Yale-NUS College
Undergraduate Studies Degree
Postgraduate Programs

Cost (Tuition Fee)

Estimation tuition fees for both universities are:

  • University of Sydney: From $AUD 36,000 to 57,000 per year (27,000 – 43,000 US$ per year)
  • NUS: From 17,550 to 64,650 S$ per year (13,025 – 47,968 US$ per year)

Acceptance Rate and Admission

The University of Sydney

The University of Sydney’s acceptance rate is 30%. This indicates that the University’s admissions procedure is highly competitive. Nevertheless, the University of Sydney remains a popular choice for Australian and other countries students wanting to pursue higher education in Australia.

Standard applicants must have a minimum grade point average of 5, as determined by the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). To be considered, rural students must earn at least a 4.5 UAC GPA.

NUS

Because NUS is a highly desired institution with rigorous requirements, its acceptance rate is highly competitive, only about 5 – 7%.

Suppose you are an overseas applicant wanting to attend NUS. In that case, you must have completed or will have completed 12 years of general education by July of the year of application.

Application

The University of Sydney

  1. Choose a course 
  2. Check your eligibility
  3. Gather your documents
  4. Check your finance
  5. Submit your application (select the ‘Apply now’ button on your course page)

NUS

  1. Understanding admission requirements
  2. Apply ​onlin
  3. Upload supporting documents and make application fee payment
  4. Check application status

FAQs

Is NUS prestigious?

NUS is a prestigious university in Singapore, Asia, and the world. It has been ranked among the top five universities in Asia since 2013 by QS World University Ranking.

Which University is better NUS or NTU?

NUS is ranked in the top five universities globally, while NTU ranks among the best in Asia. Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is also one of the youngest institutions in Singapore and has achieved many milestones since its establishment in 1981. Also, check Australian National University.

Is the University of Sydney Recognised in Singapore?

Yes, the University of Sydney is recognized in Singapore.

Is the University of Sydney a good school?

The University of Sydney is a good school. It ranks among the top 50 universities in all major university rankings globally. In addition, it has been ranked number one in Australia by QS World University Ranking every year since the 2010/2011 academic session.