Raffles Design Institute (Singapore) is a for-profit educational institution in Singapore dedicated to the professional design disciplines of fashion design , interior design , interactive media (multimedia design, animation and game design ), 3D ( product design , jewellery design and transportation design), and visual communication ( graphic design ). It was established in 1990 and was formerly known as Raffles LaSalle Institute. [2]

This establishment is operated by the Raffles College of Higher Education (RCHE), a subsidiary of Raffles Education Corporation (“RafflesEducation” or “the Group”) — a growing premier private education provider, owner and manager of education assets and facilities, and education-linked real estate investor and developer. RCHE delivers courses in Singapore, as well as internationally through its network of associate colleges. This network consists of 30 colleges and universities in 29 cities across 13 countries globally: Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Switzerland and Thailand. RCHE operates three education brand names, namely Raffles Design Institute, Raffles Merchandising Institute and Raffles School of Business. [2]


Founded in 1990, Raffles Design Institute is one of the first private institutions in Singapore to offer a Fashion Design course. 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 and accredited with the appropriate bodies, including the Ministry of Education (Singapore) . 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 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]


Students spend two years completing the Advanced Diploma in their respective fields and their final year will be spent fulfilling the requirements to obtain a Bachelor's degree . Students have the option of further continuing their studies for an additional year, thereby obtaining a Master's degree in their field. [6]

The following are degrees offered by RDI: [6]

Entry Requirements

Entry requirement for Diploma or Undergraduate Degree is High School Level-12 or equivalent. For Diploma student, they can continue their study to Bachelor or Undergraduate degree in Raffles. For Master or Graduate Degree, the entry requirement in bachelor's degree in Arts or equivalent area.


Over the years, students from Raffles Design Institute have participated in numerous competitions and garnered awards in many areas. Some of these awards include: [8]

  • Crowbar Awards
  • Triumph Inspiration Awards
  • HSBC Women’s Champions 2010 Caddy Design Competition
  • Singapore Jewellery Award 2010
  • 9th International Seoul Beautiful Bench Competition 2009
  • Grossé Jewellery Design Competition 2007
  • Vodafone id Dunedin Emerging Designer Awards 2007
  • Mercedes-Benz Taiwan Fashion Award 2006
  • Bombay Sapphire Designer Glass Competition 2005
  • 12th Mittelmoda - the fashion award (Grado Parco Delle Rose, Italy) 2004
  • 27th HEP Five Original Fashion Contest, Osaka, Japan 2004
  • Nippon Paint 'Colour My World' Competition 2003
  • The Smirnoff International Fashion Awards 2001
  • IKEA Design Award 1998


The Raffles College of Higher Education (RCHE) campus is located at 51 Merchant Road, in an area designated as Singapore's arts and culture hub. The campus sits on 1.2 hectares of land housing three buildings that previously formed Singapore's Central Police Station. [9]

The campus has a central library, seminar rooms, classrooms, audio and video editing labs, Microsoft Windows - and Macintosh -based computer labs, drawing rooms and studios which specifically catered for interior design, 3D design, fashion design and interactive media design. These facilities are complemented by other resources in the vicinity such as National Library, Singapore , Esplanade, Singapore and the Singapore Art Museum . [10]

The central library has more than 5,000 books and magazines and published materials by contemporary practitioners and features an extensive collection of audio-visual materials, as well as subscription to magazines and journals on design, Business , Psychology , Biotechnology and Information and communications technology . The entire campus is plugged into a Wireless Network so students can access these online resources. [9]

Affiliated institutes

Raffles Design Institute is officially affiliated with other institutes under the RCHE network. Each affiliated school operates independently but has a formal agreement to adhere to the academic policies, standards and programs set forth by RCHE. The affiliated institutes include Raffles Merchandising Institute (Singapore), Raffles School of Business (Singapore) and international RCHE institutes. [11]

Raffles Merchandising Institute (Singapore)

Raffles Merchandising Institute (RMI) is an educational institute dedicated to the professional disciplines of Fashion Marketing and Management , Retail Management, and Fashion Journalism . Established in November 2006, RMI is the newest and youngest member of the RCHE group. Before 2008, RMI was known as Raffles Merchandising School. [12]

Raffles School of Business (Singapore)

Raffles School of Business offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in Marketing, Management, Banking , Finance , Tourism and Hospitality Management, Applied Psychology , Information and communications technology and Biotechnology. Established in 1999, it was formerly known as Raffles Education Corp College. [12]

International campuses

Raffles College of Higher Education (RCHE) is associated with Raffles Education Corporation's network of colleges in major cities all over the world: Phnom Penh (Cambodia); Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Hefei, Langfang, Shaanxi, Tianjin (China); Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, , Mumbai, , New Delhi (India); ; Surabaya (Indonesia); Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia); Ulaanbataar (Mongolia); Auckland (New Zealand); Colombo (Sri Lanka); Singapore; and Bangkok [13]

The flexible inter-school transfer scheme allows students to study at any of these colleges and experience living in another country. Any subjects that have been successfully completed before the transfer can undergo accreditation and will be recognized at any college in the Raffles network. [13]

Closures and Loss of Accreditation

The campuses in Chandigarh and Kolkata (India), plus Dhaka (Bangladesh), all closed within 4 years of opening due to lack of students. During this period Raffles' partner in its Indian Joint Venture, Educomp Solutions Ltd., was reported to be struggling financially, and divesting from many subsidiaries. [14]

In 2012 the government of Vietnam ordered Raffles to cease operating the campuses in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh; [15] consequently 400 students had to be relocated to Singapore; Sydney, Australia; and Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

In 2013 Raffles Education Corp established a university in Negombo (Sri Lanka), and three colleges in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Batam and Medan (Indonesia). [16] However, the proposed university in Negombo Sri Lanka has yet to begin construction as of April 2016.

See also