The future is in Asia. In 2019, the continent with the highest GDP is Asia at US$32.78 billion, according to the International Monetary Fund. For the past 40 years, China’s GDP grew at an average annual rate of 10 percent, triple the rate in the United States over the same period. In one report, consulting firm PwC estimates that the world’s largest economy by 2030 will be China. Southeast Asian countries are estimated to be the fourth-largest market in the world behind the US, China and Europe.
What all these data translate to is immense opportunities for high-skilled graduates from postgraduate programmes at the Asia and the Pacific’s (APAC) top engineering schools.
Reaping the most benefits will be STEM graduates. As the APAC becomes the global digital powerhouse – especially with East Asian countries surpassing the West in artificial intelligence – engineering graduates from universities located in the APAC will be the biggest beneficiaries of this Asian pivot.
Several factors will make this possible; in recent years, APAC universities have been rising up global league tables. In 2017, China’s two flagship universities – Tsinghua University and Peking University – entered the world’s top 40 for the first time. This year, Tsinghua University is number one in Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2019, followed by the National University of Singapore.
The more a nation dominates Asian business and politics, the more they dominate rankings. This can be seen in Reuters’ Most Innovative Universities rankings, which ranks universities based on their contributions to science, their inventions in new technologies and support of new markets and industries. Among the best performing countries on this list’s top 100 are APAC powerhouses like Japan, South Korea, China and Singapore.
With world-class universities spurring transformative education, advancing one’s engineering qualifications here means being close to the world’s most innovative economies. This increases one’s chances of making history through the many ground-breaking developments taking place, from autonomous DNA robots for cancer therapy to the world’s largest amphibious aircraft to the world’s first quantum communication satellite
As international students, crossing national borders to the world’s most populous region presents an unrivalled opportunity to develop cross-cultural competencies. The world is getting smaller, and the future workplace will be one that is more than likely to connect with the world’s largest economy. A study abroad experience in APAC will go a long way in helping one enter into local markets and expand one’s networks in these regional circles. With soft skills like cultural intelligence and critical thinking ever more important as humanity enters the Fourth Industrial Revolution, engineering graduates with this suite of soft skills will thrive in the now and the future.
These are the APAC’s top engineering faculties and schools for the engineering leaders of tomorrow:
With Asia set to become the world’s largest economy, and Singapore its gateway, the country’s flagship university is where engineering innovation to transform the world will take place.
The engineering faculty at NUS is one of the leading engineering schools in the world. NUS Engineering offers 16 Master’s degrees by coursework, in both traditional areas (eg. Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering) and non-traditional specialised areas (eg. Supply Chain Management (SCM), Safety, Health and Environment (SHE), Offshore Technologies (OT)).
Its graduate programmes are suitable for both part-time students who have day-time jobs, and full-time students. Micro-credentials offered here include Graduate Certificates in many hot areas, including the Internet of Things and Technological Innovation Management, which are tailored to the working adult. Here, instructors of graduate courses are either highly accomplished, tenured or tenure-track faculty members, or experienced industry adjuncts.
In its laboratories and research centres, the latest equipment and technology-enhanced learning methods are employed. Step outside of campus and a study abroad adventure awaits at the multicultural city that serves as a gentle introduction of the West to Asians, and of Asia to Westerners.
With all this going on, graduates of the school’s postgraduate programmes are highly sought after, advancing to PhD studies either at NUS or elsewhere or to impressive positions in industry in Singapore or other countries.
At Australia’s largest and top faculty of engineering, the quality of teaching and research outcomes places the school in many reputable rankings. In the QS World Rankings by Subject 2019, it’s ranked the number one engineering faculty in Australia and 38th in the world. It also received a five-star rating in three key categories: employability, teaching and research for five years straight. In the ARWU/SJTU as well as NTU rankings, it is the top engineering faculty in Australia.
Its slogan, “Innovation in Action,” underscores its reputation as an international pioneer in solar cells, quantum computing, artificial intelligence and bioengineering.
Offering more engineering disciplines than any other university, studying here means the opportunity to develop career paths in multiple industries.
For its Master of Engineering programmes, the two-year programme lets those with a Bachelor of Engineering degree expand their knowledge and skills in engineering management, acquiring an in-depth knowledge of a particular specialisation while gaining technical expertise. The five specialisations are professionally accredited by Engineers Australia (or in the process of being accredited). Students also complete 60 days of relevant industry training, either in Australia or overseas, so they are industry ready.
But it’s the impact of its graduates that truly shows the university’s greatness, according to Professor Mark Hoffman, Dean of Engineering.
“UNSW graduates more engineers and has more engineering alumni than any Australian institution. UNSW Engineering is number one,” he said.
Enrolling over one-third of HKUST’s student body, more than 2,200 postgraduates from all over the globe are studying at the School of Engineering’s six departments and divisions: Chemical and Biological Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electronic and Computer Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Decision Analytics, and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering as well as Division of Integrative Systems and Design (ISD).
HKUST may only have 28 years of history, but it is one with highly reputable in the world stage, consistently placing at the top of league tables with major engineering schools around the world. In the QS World University Rankings in Engineering and Technology 2019, HKUST was ranked 18th in the word. It is also ranked 23rd in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019 by Subject (Engineering and Technology).
Its academic reputation is what attracts aspiring engineering leaders to this Asian university, as does its world class research. Choose from its MPhil and Doctorate Research Postgraduate Programmes and Inter-Disciplinary Research Programmes or Master of Science (MSc) programmes. In addition to this, the school also offers interdisciplinary programmes by bringing together the expertise of two departments with other schools at the university.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International