Raffles Design Institute Singapore
51 Merchant Road


Coordinates1°17′20″N 103°50′37″E / 1.28882°N 103.84366°E / 1.28882; 103.84366Coordinates: 1°17′20″N 103°50′37″E / 1.28882°N 103.84366°E / 1.28882; 103.84366
TypePrivate, for-profit
Established1990; 31 years ago (1990)
DirectorOng Kai How
PrincipalGiuseppe Spinelli
Campus size1.2 hectares (12,000 m2)
Campus typeUrban
Colour(s)Orange, gray   

Raffles Design Institute is a for-profit,[1] design-centric educational institution headquartered in Singapore. Its flagship campus (i.e. Raffles Design Institute Singapore) was established in 1990 by the company Raffles Education Corporation Limited.[2] It is not related in any way to the highly regarded Raffles Institution.


Founded in 1990, Raffles Design Institute is one of the first private institutions in Singapore to offer a Fashion Design course.[citation needed] Within five years, multiple design disciplines including Interactive Media Design, Visual Communication, Product Design, Jewellery Design, Interior Design, Games Design and Animation Design were introduced.[3]

In 2004, Raffles Design Institute received the Singapore Quality Class Award for Private Education Organizations, ensuring that all courses were registered with the appropriate bodies. In 2005, the CaseTrust for Education Award for Private Education Organizations was awarded, which is an indication of approval by The Consumer Association of Singapore Enterprise. In 2008/2009, Edupoll recognized Raffles Design Institute as one of the Top Ten Education Provider [sic] in Singapore and the Largest and Most Global Private Education Provider in Singapore.[4]

Since February 2010, Raffles Design Institute, Raffles Merchandising Institute and Raffles School of Business were re-organized as institutes of Raffles College of Higher Education.[5]

Controversies of international campuses

Raffles International College Bangkok

Raffles International College Bangkok, originally known as Raffles Design Institute Bangkok, is a 2.25 hectare campus located in the Bangna district of Bangkok, Thailand. It was awarded the title of "Best Design School" for outstanding achievement in the advancement of Arts and Design by Her Royal Highness Princess of Thailand Soamsawali in March 2007.[6] However, in 2010, the school was found to be operating without the permission of the Higher Education Commission of Thailand, and had action taken against it by the Thai authorities.[7] As of November 2017, Raffles has still not acquired a valid international college license.[8]

Campus Closures and Loss of Accreditation

Raffles' partner in its Indian Joint Venture, Educomp Solutions Ltd., was reported to be struggling financially, and divesting from many subsidiaries. This coincided with the closure of many of its colleges in India.[9]

In 2012, the government of Vietnam ordered Raffles to cease operating the campuses in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh (as Raffles had never obtained a license to provide higher education), and consequently 400 students had to be relocated to its other campuses.[10]

In 2013, Raffles Education Corp established a university in Negombo (Sri Lanka), and three colleges in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Batam and Medan (Indonesia).[11] However, the proposed university in Negombo Sri Lanka has yet to begin construction as of April 2016.[citation needed]

In October 2016, Raffles Design Institute shut down its Indian campus in Koramangala, Bungalore without warning, leaving over 160 students stranded with their education.[12] By November 2016, the Raffles schools in Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai had been shuttered.[13]

In March 2016, its Australian campus, Raffles College of Design and Commerce, lost TEQSA accreditation.[14] On 26 November 2018, it applied to withdraw registration as an Australian higher education provider and began the process of closing down.[15] Approval to withdraw was granted on 20 December 2018.[16]

Raffles International Institute, its Ulaanbaatar campus (which has been operating since 2005, originally as Hartford Institute) failed to gain government recognition as a university and has never been accredited in Mongolia.[17]

See also


  1. ^ Tierney, William; Hentschke, Guilbert; Lechuga, Vicente (1 March 2012). For-Profit Colleges and Universities: Their Markets, Regulation, Performance, and Place in Higher Education. Stylus Publishing. p. 159. ISBN 978-1579225285.
  2. ^ "Raffles Education Corporation". www.raffles-education-corporation.com. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  3. ^ "EdNet Education Center". Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  4. ^ "Singapore, Raffles Design Institute". Archived from the original on 10 October 2011.
  5. ^ Brett, Jeremy; Queenie Chan; Melody Chan; Skye Skagfeld (May 2010). "Raffles Pulse May 2010" (PDF). Raffles Design Institute News. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 March 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  6. ^ "PressReader.com - Connecting People Through News". www.pressreader.com. Retrieved 17 September 2018.(registration required)
  7. ^ "Thailand acts against Raffles Design school". www.asiaone.com. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  8. ^ "How Unregulated For-Profits Degrade Higher Education: The Case of Raffles Education Corporation". Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  9. ^ The Rise and Fall of Educomp Rohin Dharmakumar, Forbes India, 8 April 2013.
  10. ^ Crackdown on foreign-linked colleges has many baffled, stranded. University World News, 3 June 2012.
  11. ^ Annual Report 2013 Archived 27 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ "160 students in a fix as Raffles design institute shuts down". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  13. ^ "Not just Bengaluru branch, 3 other Raffles colleges shut down". The Times of India. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  14. ^ TEQSA (25 January 2016). "Re-registration 25 Jan 2016". www.teqsa.gov.au. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  15. ^ TEQSA (26 November 2018). "Raffles College applies to withdraw registration". www.teqsa.gov.au. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  16. ^ TEQSA (20 December 2018). "Raffles College Pty Ltd: Withdraw registration 20 December 2018". www.teqsa.gov.au. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  17. ^ [1] Mongolian National Council for Education Accreditation