Do I Regret Going To Private University? (A One-Year Review)

Ever wondered what are the pros and cons of attending a private university in Singapore? Jerica Ong, a 2nd year student in Bachelor of Arts (Communication) talks about her Singapore Institute Management - University at Buffalo (SIM-UB) experience.

17 May 2024



"Despite being a communication major, I'm often required to take modules outside of it," Jerica shared. Some classes she has attended include psychology, sociology, computer science and linguistics.

"This is all part of the University at Buffalo's all-rounded curriculum," she continued. While the courses may seem unrelated to some, she found it interesting as it allowed her to broaden her knowledge, especially in unfamiliar topics.

Jerica also pointed out that transitioning from her polytechnic background to university life was easy as the grading system works similarly.

"University at Buffalo's grading system is pretty similar to polytechnic, comprising of factors like attendance, class participation, assignments and quizzes," she pointed out. "The good thing about it is that we don't have a bell curve for our grades."



"Aside from the course content, I truly appreciate the professors I've met at the University at Buffalo so far," Jerica revealed.

"Even when I'm learning modules that I don't find interesting or practical at that time, seeing how enthusiastic and competent my professors are in their fields makes me want to learn more from them," she elaborated.

Jerica also noted that her professors are approachable and often encourage them to express any concerns they might have.



One thing to note about the University at Buffalo is that the school calendar is organised by trimesters. This means deadlines come at a faster pace.

"It can be difficult to strike a good school-life balance especially if you're taking lots of modules in one semester or if you're taking a 6-week programme during the summer semester," Jerica highlighted.

"It can be overwhelming to digest and grasp the content within the time frame hence, it's so important for you to have a good support system so that you'll be able to enjoy both your school life and personal time off school."

For example, Jerica made time for her hobbies such as content creation, watching her favourite shows and catching up with her friends while exploring the city.

She also tries to find joy in everyday moments to manage her stress.

“While it may not entirely resolve the challenges I face, it helps to remind me to not get too caught up with school and academics and that I should take the time to slow down and focus on the things I would like to do and achieve in this time frame,” she explained.


Another challenge Jerica faced was her expectations of the course.

"University at Buffalo's communication course takes on a more scientific and research approach, where we learnt about various aspects of communications such as interpersonal and organisational," she shared.

"I felt slightly disappointed as I thought I'd be able to study modules related to videography and design and develop technical skills from them."

To mitigate this problem, students may check out the course programmes on SIM's website. In it, they can find out more about the type of courses offered and choose a relevant programme.

Alternatively, potential students can also book an appointment with a programme counsellor to understand more about the courses. For more information, you may reach out to SIM here.



As one may expect, private university school fees in Singapore come at a higher cost as they are not subsidised by the government, unlike autonomous universities.

"If money is a factor for you," Jerica suggested, "I recommend doing extensive research before deciding on the University at Buffalo or any private university."

However, it is noteworthy that like most autonomous universities, SIM has a full fledge campus which gives students a holistic school experience.

SIM also partners with reputable universities across the globe to bring world-class education to local shores, making it more affordable than if students were to pursue a degree overseas.

Aside from a 360° university experience, SIM also provides students with a competitive edge in their career via Career Connect.

Career Connect aims to link students with potential employers through events such as career talks, career fairs, company visits and networking events.

They also offer internship and job opportunities, together with career counselling such as job profiling, resume review and interview roleplays, thereby increasing the employability of SIM students and facilitating their career transition and progression.

There are also different opportunities within SIM for students to offset their school fees.

For example, students can check out the bursaries available here.



All in all, Jerica does not regret choosing SIM-UB's Bachelor of Arts (Communication).

She elaborated: "I am enjoying most of the modules I've done and have met various people from different backgrounds."

Jerica was also able to compensate for some of the cons listed through means such as self-learning, internships and career workshops.

That said, she encouraged potential students to do detailed research before committing to their university and course of choice to avoid any regrets.

This article was originally published on Lemon8 and was adapted with permission.