Asia's best universities for postgraduate study
A Master's from a university in a booming Asian city can give you a competitive edge. Source: Shutterstock

A few decades ago, the international student mobility trend largely leaned from East to West, meaning more Asian students travelled to Europe or the US in pursuit of higher education.

But globalisation and the boom of economic cities in Asia like Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore means the direction of international student mobility is increasingly going both ways.

With much investment going towards higher education in these countries, universities are offering more English language programmes and hiring more diverse faculty members to attract more international students.

Students from all over the world are heading to top-ranked universities in Asia for their graduate qualifications.

There are many advantages to studying in Asia. Lower cost of living and fees included. The lower exchange rates in certain Asian cities makes studying abroad here more affordable for students from Western countries.

It’s also a great way to get out of your comfort zone and see the world from a new perspective. Students who travel abroad for their studies, even if just for a semester, find it a rewarding experience, academically and personally.

Employers are also looking more favourably towards prospective employees who have spent time abroad and thus gained global exposure.

Plus, developing Asian cities are thriving and many companies – both international and local – are offering qualified students attractive job packages if they have experience working abroad.

Popular Master’s degree programmes in Asia include Leadership, MBA, Marketing, Social Work and Special Education.

Here are four top universities in Asia for Master’s degree programmes delivered in English.

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Consistently ranked the No.1 university in Asia, a Master’s Degree from this university posits graduates as competitive contenders in their respective fields.

According to the website, “These programmes offer excellent opportunities for students to further develop their potential as intellectual leaders for a wide range of career paths. NUS is home to students and faculty members from many countries. Its faculty members have an international reputation for research excellence in many fields.”

Located in sunny Singapore, the cost of living in this small but wealthy city is one of the highest in Asia, but it’s strategic position on the continent and its thriving economy offer plenty of job prospects upon graduation.

Tsinghua University

This top university in China is a close second behind NUS in terms of both rank and reputation.

Situated on the site of the former imperial gardens of the Qing Dynasty and located amongst a number of historical sites in Beijing, it is one of China’s most prestigious universities, committed to creating innovative leaders and global citizens.

Academic excellence aside, this institution gives students the chance to gain a quality graduate education in one of the world’s most dynamic cities.

The University of Hong Kong

Another highly-ranked university in Asia, The University of Hong Kong is world-renowned for academic excellence, global connections and cutting-edge research.

Its modern campus in this booming city makes it an excellent place for aspiring graduate students, offering programmes with international focus from a uniquely Asian perspective.

Studying in Hong Kong is sure to be an unforgettable experience with its vibrant city life, melting pot of cultures and plethora of work opportunities.

University Malaya

Located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this public research university is the oldest in the country, and is climbing the rankings every year. In fact, the institution recently became the first Malaysian university to make it onto Times Higher Education’s Top 40 Asia University Ran­kings 2019, landing at No.38.

Recognised for its research efforts and outstanding teaching quality, University Malaya (UM) is a good choice for international students who wish to study at a quality institution in Asia.

Its central location in the warm and tropical country makes it easy for students to travel around the region – plus, they get to enjoy the cultures and cuisines that stem from this diverse population.

Though the city has all the fixings of a bustling, thriving city – such as world-class infrastructure and international corporations – it offers a lower cost of living and cost of tuition compared to cities like Singapore and Hong Kong, making it more accessible to students all over the world.

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