Student and Graduate Publishing

WHERE TO STUDY: A GUIDE TO ASIA

Thursday, 14 August 2014 13:06

By Rylie Trott -

Studying in Asia has become one of the wisest choices a graduate can make, especially if you are interested in business.

The region is the world’s economic powerhouse and continues to grow and prosper. As a direct consequence of recent booms both in terms of economic and population growth, many educational institutions in Asia are experiencing very significant improvements in investment and standards. Therefore, Asia is a very attractive proposition for any prospective international students.

In a continent that is wealthy with powerful countries, such as Japan, Hong Kong and China the options for students wishing to get a head start with their international career are endless.

Currently, with reference to the QS University Rankings 2014 edition, the highest ranking universities in Asia are:
• National University of Singapore (NUS)
• Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
• University of Hong Kong
• Seoul National University (SNU)


• Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)

However these are by no means the only high quality educational options available to those wishing to study in Asia, with Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, India and Thailand also claiming universities in Asia’s top rankings. To help you choose which part of Asia suits you and your studies best, consult our guide to each of the highest ranking countries for international education below:

China
China is fast becoming one of the most popular study destinations for international students. The world’s second largest economy was the fifth most popular choice for US students in 2012 and has seen an estimated three-hundred and twenty thousand overseas students choosing to study there in the same year, an increase of fifty-five thousand since 2010.

One of the most attractive reasons for international students to choose to study in China,
is the recent and rising levels of investment in their higher education system. During the last decade, the number of colleges and universities in China has doubled to 2409, with many of them following a five-year plan focusing on developing technologies that increase competitiveness with the West.

With regards to the best places to study, China has twenty-five institutions in the QS World University Rankings of the academic year 2013 to 2014, with all but one of their US Ivy League equivalent C9 League universities being ranked within the top ten for Asia.

• Peking University


• Tsinghua University


• Fudan University


• Shanghai Jiao Tong University
• Zheijang University


•University of Science and Technology of China


• Nanjing University


• Xi’an Jiao Tong University

Japan
Japan has for a long time been a popular foreign study destination for students. Japan was only recently overtaken by China. For students with a particular interest in business, Japan should be a big contender as the country has proved on numerous occasions its economic strength and strong research and development ethics which underlies its successful international brands Toyota, Canon and Sony to name a few.

Most importantly, the Japanese government are keen to attract international students and has a set target of having three- hundred-thousand foreign students in the country by 2020, reaching its one-hundred- thousand mark in 2003. This plan makes Japan even more desirable and accessible for international students as they have introduced more courses taught either partly or entirely in English.

In terms of studying, Japan has over seven-hundred and fifty universities to offer, of which around eighty percent are private. Of their universities, the QS World University Rankings list for the academic year 2013 to 2014 included the following within the top sixty:
• University of Tokyo
• Kyoto University


• Osaka University

Hong Kong
Hong Kong has established itself as one of Asia’s dominant economic powers and is emerging as one of the region’s leading study destinations with its enchanting fusion of Eastern and Western cultures. Offering three universities ranked within the global top fifty and another three in the top three hundred, Hong Kong is one of the most appealing international study destinations and one of the world’s most impressive concentrations of internationally ranked institutions.

Taking these factors into account, it is no wonder the city is included in the world’s top ten cites for students with its traditional Chinese culture yet iconic skyline comprised of modern skyscrapers acting as a reminder of the city-state’s prestigious status for commerce, finance, trade and logistics. One of the main concerns for prospective international students is the language barrier. However, studying and living in Hong Kong is the perfect choice for anyone seeking a relatively accessible Asian destination, providing them with not only the experience of living in a diversified, multicultural society but also the opportunity to work in an environment that widely uses English within the education sector.

Hong Kong is the host to seventeen degree-awarding higher education institutions, of which eight are publicly funded and use English as the their main language for the majority of courses. Concerning the QS World University Rankings for the academic year 2013 to 2014, here are some of the most noteworthy entries:
• University of Hong Kong
• Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)


• Chinese University of Hong Kong


• City University of Hong Kong
• Hong Kong Polytechnic University


• Lingnan University

In relation to particular subject areas, Hong Kong is a particularly established in the areas of engineering and technology.

Singapore
Although it is one of the smaller Asian countries, Singapore is a big name in world research and innovation and has earned this title over the past few decades ranking second in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report for the year 2012 to 2013.

As a result of Singapore’s growing status in global competitiveness, the status of universities are also growing and gaining more recognition in the global education market. Studying in Singapore encompasses all of the requirements and desires of a student wishing to study abroad with is high-ranking universities, high quality of life and diverse student community, making it one of the best student countries according to the 2013 QS rankings.

Of the thirty-four universities in Singapore, two feature in the QS World Rankings for the current academic year and within the top fifty in the world. Each university is host to over thirty- thousand students. Courses are offered in a wide range of subjects, the most notable being mechanical, chemical, civil and electrical engineering; geography; computer science; materials science; politics; communication and media studies; statistics and modern languages. The most noteworthy universities to consider in Singapore, including the two previously mentioned are:
•National University of Singapore
•Nanyang Technological University
•Singapore Management University

Malaysia
As one of the world’s most politically stable countries,
not far behind Singapore in terms of regional economic prestige, Malaysia offers the same experience in terms of higher education, but a more relaxing and possibly sociable environment. One of the most diverse and vibrant urban areas of the country is west Malaysia, situated on the southern tip of the peninsula below Thailand. It is home to all of the highest ranking universities found in Malaysia.

Although in comparison to Asian higher education leaders China, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, Malaysia is a thriving contender as a destination for international students thanks to a heavy investment in the education sector. This investment has encouraged a plan for higher education expansion which includes welcoming international branch campuses which are run by universities based in other countries. Existing examples of this is the UK’s University of Nottingham and Australia’s Monash University. This initiative is of importance for prospective students as it will allow Malaysia to compete with the growth of transnational education globally by creating a large student village to attract leading institutions and top students.

As this process will not be completed until 2018, it is important to not overlook the indigenous universities offered by Malaysia that are ranked within the top four-hundred of the QS World University Rankings list for the past academic year, specialising in the fields of education, politics, engineering, law and mathematics:
•    Universiti Malaya (UM)
•    Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
•    Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
•    Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) 


South Korea 
Since its split from North Korea in 1948, South Korea has developed into an internationally recognised Asian powerhouse in the fields of technology, education and tourism especially. With education being taken so seriously as to warrant flight schedules being changed to lower noise levels for students during the exam period, it is no wonder universities in South Korea offer some of the best  facilities in the world with relatively affordable tuition fees. The country has grown into the world’s thirteenth largest economy and the third largest in Asia, with investment in education and research being one of the main factors. Concerning international students, South Korea has made plans to attract two-hundred- thousand candidates by 2020 and has already seen an extensive growth of seventy-thousand foreign students choosing it as a study destination in 2011. This aim of international synergy has initiated the opening of new international campuses for several South Korean universities, with five US universities also set to open branches at the new Songdo Global University Campus, including the State University of New York (SUNY).

There are currently more than three-hundred and seventy higher education institutions in South Korea, with no less than six top-twenty entries in the 2014 Asian QS University Rankings, including:
• Seoul National University
• Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)


• Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)
• Yonsei University


• Korea University

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