Southeast Asia has long been known as an important part of the world trading system and is currently known internationally as key business hub, with countries such as Malaysia and Singapore representing modern commercial and industrial business cores. Southeast Asia has become a popular location for international students to study business and gain industry experience while they do. Whether at undergraduate or postgraduate level, business students in Southeast Asia work towards qualifications that are recognised internationally by employers and higher education institutions alike.

Excellent business schools

Southeast Asia boasts 36 business schools that make it into Eduniversal’s top rankings, which rates business courses from 154 countries. Three of these schools were awarded the top rating, five palmes – denoting universal business schools with a strong global influence – with five achieving four palmes, 11 with three and 12 two. The quality of these business schools, and the others within the region are constantly reaching new, higher levels and represent the importance of professional, qualified graduates to businesses in Southeast Asia and the wider world.

Offering a broad range of business courses

Educational institutions in Southeast Asia offer a huge variety of business courses, catering for students from a range of backgrounds and ability levels. Courses include:

  • Bachelor of Business
  • Bachelor of Management
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • International Master of Business Administration (IMBA)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing
  • Certificate in Management Studies
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Financial Markets Analysis
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Analysis
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Treasury Management
  • Master of Applied Finance

Some of the above are highly specialised, a feature of higher education in Southeast Asia. Institutions such as INCEIF in Malaysia offer a range of high quality programmes focusing on Islamic Banking & Finance, an area of ever increasing importance in the world of global business. Malaysia also boasts plenty of institutions with opportunities for students to study part of their course in Malaysia and part at a foreign university partner, through ‘twinning’ programmes, transferable credit and associate degrees. These provide students with plenty of flexibility and add further value to their business studies. Professional education in Indonesia is characterised by emphasis on the development of practical skills, while many Singaporean institutions offer excellent research intensive programmes that compete with the best in the world.

Many of Southeast Asia’s educational institutions are known for their cutting-edge facilities, offering students the latest technology and equipment so that they are able to tackle their studies with confidence. As well as attracting students from around the world, members of teaching staff at the region’s business schools are experts in their field, equipped with the teaching experience to pass on their skills and knowledge effectively.

Excellent career prospects

The scope for business graduates based in Southeast Asia is extremely broad, ranging from directly relevant opportunities such as management consultant, human resources director and chartered management accountant roles to more specific opportunities such as retail manager, marketing executive and distribution manager roles. In addition to the exceptional teaching standards at the region’s business schools, students are often given the opportunity to gain work experience within some of the world’s leading businesses and corporations. By the time they graduate, international students are ready to embark on high-level careers equipped with the knowledge, skills and experience they need to excel in the global business world.

Why study in Southeast Asia?

Whilst each country in Southeast Asia varies greatly, the region is known for being extremely welcoming to international students, making it easy for them to study in some of the most exciting & beautiful areas of the world and to have a fantastic time while they gain their qualifications. The most popular student destinations, such as Kuala Lumpur or Singapore are home to a diverse range of nationalities, bringing together people of all language groups, religions and cultures. International students can find plenty of ways to celebrate their own cultural events as well as experiencing traditional Asian culture and also the many others represented in the region. Southeast Asia offers some of the world’s most incredible and impressive attractions for those who wish to explore, from stunning beaches, awe inspiring historical monuments, rolling, unspoilt landscapes to cosmopolitan & vibrant cities.

How much does it cost?

Fees vary depending on the type and duration of course taken. However, the cost of living and studying in many parts of Southeast Asia can be extremely affordable when compared to other regions such as North America, Australia and Europe. International students will be able to find affordable accommodation options as well as reasonably priced places to eat, drink and relax during their free time.

Read on for more information on some of Southeast Asia’s leading institutions offering world class business courses:

Established by Bank Negara Malaysia to develop talent for the global Islamic finance industry, INCEIF – the Global University of Islamic Finance – is on its way to becoming a respected leader in Islamic finance. Just six years after its inauguration, INCEIF is consistently producing graduates in Islamic finance studies, the majority of whom have found employment in regulatory bodies, academic and financial institutions all over the world. Fuelled by an increasing appetite for Shariah-compliant products from increasingly sophisticated consumers and investors, the Islamic finance services industry is experiencing growth which can only be sustained through innovations delivered by a new generation of creative business thinkers. Read the full profile…

S P Jain School of Global Management is a world-leading business school with campuses in Singapore as well as Sydney and Dubai. The school has an educational ethos committed to creating global business leaders for the 21st-century workplace. With an innovative multi-campus learning model and a unique business curriculum, SP Jain offers a learning experience that is modern, relevant and truly international. SP Jain has redefined business education to reflect the latest ideas, thinking and practices in business. While the curriculum is deeply rooted in business fundamentals, equal importance is given to the development of business skills in students – global intelligence, real-world skills, smart-decision-making and corporate readiness.

Universiti Sains Malaysia, situated in Penang, was established in 1969 as the second university in Malaysia. USM was the first university in Malaysia to be selected by the government to participate in the Accelerated Programme for Excellence (APEX), helping the institution towards achieving world-class status. USM Graduate School of Business (GSB) specialises in providing structured, supervised research across business related fields, applying theory to real business issues. This expertise, combined with the School’s strong links with business and commerce ensure that students graduate with the knowledge and skills required to be work ready for top careers in some of the world’s most exciting and challenging industries.

Singapore Management University (SMU) is internationally recognised for its world-class research and distinguished teaching. Established in 2000, SMU is known for its highly interactive, collaborative and project-based approach to learning, and for its technologically enabled pedagogy of seminar-style teaching in small class sizes. Home to around 8,800 undergraduate, postgraduate, executive and professional, full- and part-time students, SMU is comprised of six schools: School of Accountancy, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, School of Economics, School of Information Systems, School of Law, and School of Social Sciences. SMU offers a wide range of bachelors’, masters’ and PhD degree programmes in the disciplinary areas associated with the six schools, as well as in interdisciplinary combinations of these areas.

Situated at the heart of the multicultural Malaysia, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) is one of the world’s premier Islamic universities. The University offers an extremely high standard of education to students from a range of backgrounds, which is delivered by an international group of lecturers and experts and complemented by Islamic teachings and values. IIUM welcomes international students from all over the world. Foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate courses are offered across a range of areas and specialisms.