Top 5 universities in Asia
Students biking in front of the main entrance of the famous and prestigious Tsinghua University building in Beijing, China. Source: Shutterstock

When it comes to study abroad destinations, many tend to gravitate towards traditional favourites such as the US, UK, Canada or Australia.

But recent concerns from the likes of Brexit to immigration and visa changes in the US have, to a certain extent, affected these crucial decisions. Add issues such as living costs, tuition fees and globalisation to the mix and the resultant effect is a gradual shift from US and Europe to non-traditional options in Asia, a region that will soon become home to two-thirds of the global middle-class.

If you’re looking for a study abroad experience that is both academically rewarding and personally enriching, there are many institutions in Asia that won’t disappoint.

Here we look at the region’s top five for 2019, according to the prestigious QS Asia University Rankings 2019 launched last October.

In the latest rankings, a total of 505 Asian universities made it to the top World rankings, compared to 450 for 2018. This proves that Asian universities are steadily increasing in excellence and popularity, year on year.

The universities are ranked based on a methodology which assesses their performance using several indicators, including factors such as the number of staff with PhD, and each university’s proportion of inbound and outbound exchange students.

Here they are by ranking order:

1. National University of Singapore (NUS)

National University of Singapore. Source: World 100 Reputation Network

As one of the world’s leading universities, currently placing 11th in the world university rankings, this prestigious university is home to 17 faculties across three campuses.

It is renowned for its international approach to education and research, combined with preserving a focus on Asian outlook and expertise.

The student population encompasses over 38,000 students from 100 countries.

2. University of Hong Kong (HKU)

University of Hong Kong Source: Wikipedia

The oldest tertiary institution in Hong Kong, HKU is consistently ranked among the world’s leading research-intensive universities.

Its dentistry program has been No.1 in world rankings by subject for three consecutive years.

Ranked 25th in the world and up three places in 2019 to rank second in Asia, HKU receives high scores across all academic aspects, performing impeccably well for academic reputation, its proportion of international faculty members and international students, as well as inbound and outbound exchange students.

3. Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Nanyang Technological University Source:

At No. 3 on the list is another prestigious university in Singapore. NTU currently places 12th in the world university rankings, and first place among the world’s best young universities.

NTU received exceptional scores for those used to measure citations per paper, international research network, international faculty, inbound exchange, and outbound exchange.

Known as an extremely eco-friendly and energy-efficient campus, its 200-hectare (500 acres) garden campus has frequently been named among the Top 15 most beautiful in the world.

3. Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University. Source: Carlson School of Management

Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, ties with NTU for third place. One of the leading institutions for engineering and computer science programs, it has been consistently ranked in the top 20 in the world for both disciplines, according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject.

Ranked 17th in the world university rankings, and having gone up six places to rank joint third in Asia this year, the university excels in a range of academic factors, achieving particularly impeccable scores for both its academic and employer reputations.

4. Peking University

West Gate of Peking University. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Peking University in China is the oldest institution in China, founded in 1898. It has contributed to major historical events such as China’s New Culture Movement and the Tiananmen Square protest of 1989.

The major research university has risen four ranks from last year and is currently ranked 30th in the world university rankings. It achieved perfect scores for both its academic and employer reputations.

Currently ranking 30th in the world university rankings and fifth in Asia, having risen four ranks from last year, the university continues to impress throughout all academic factors, achieving perfect scores for both its academic and employer reputations.

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