The tides are changing in the global scientific community. According to a report filed by a US government agency, an important shift has taken place in global R&D investment. The US has been the uncontested powerhouse in science spending for some time now, but in the first decade of the 21st century, ten Asian nations collectively outspent the US. In fact, these ten countries accounted for roughly one-third of all R&D spending around the world.

York University science student

Pic: York University science student.

That’s only one way of framing the surge of scientific research in Asia. In another example, a joint study conducted by researchers in Australia and Vietnam found that the ASEAN scientific community published three times as many scientific papers between 2001 and 2010 as it did the decade before. This is a clear and present trend; and it shows no signs of stopping.

Asia’s already taking on leadership roles in the scientific community. Just this year, China’s National Natural Science Foundation set aside US$3.9 billion for scientific research; India unveiled the ‘Grand Challenges’ program, which aims to support breakthroughs in everything from child healthcare to agriculture; and the Sri Lankan government launched a new office to foster scientific innovation.

Roskilde University students

Pic: Roskilde University students.

The explosion of scientific interest across Asia is sending ripples off-continent as well. For example, the Chinese Academy of Sciences is currently setting up research centers outside of Asia in order to promote scientific cooperation with developing nations.

These are just a few of the highlights, but the message is clear. Asian students who earn high-caliber science credentials now have a bright and prosperous future ahead of them.

Study session at Inholland University

Pic: Study session at Inholland University.

Earning science credentials in the 21st-century
When it comes to finding reputable science programs, competition for access to leading universities within Asia is stiff – almost prohibitively so. To this end, many students look east to Australia, or west to Europe and North America.

Universities in all three of these regions are well-networked, attract highly esteemed academics and conduct a great deal of innovative research. And while, in Asia, the students are locked in cutthroat competition for admission to leading universities, there are different dynamics at play in the West. In this part of the world, the competition is between universities trying to attract the best and brightest students. And make no mistake: they’re keeping a close eye on the current developments in Asia.

Studying science at Glyndwr University

Pic: Studying science at Glyndwr University.

Universities across the West are working hard to establish ties with institutions in the East. They’re forging partnerships with Asian universities, establishing study-abroad partnerships and scouting for chances to collaborate on research. In some cases, they even offer steep discounts, grants and scholarships to international students with high marks. After all, the world judges a university by the caliber graduate it produces. For the moment, many of the strongest academic candidates are coming out of Asia – particularly in the sciences.

Universities in the West are eager to attract international students, and they’re rolling out strong incentives to that end. With that in mind, take a look at the following of leading science programs for Asian students:

ROSKILDE UNIVERSITY – DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE, SYSTEMS AND MODELS
Roskilde University’s International Study Programme in Natural Sciences offers unconventional degree programmes in Denmark. In fact, there are as many natural science programs at NSM as there are candidates to pursue them. Students literally get an education as unique as they are. Read the full profile here…

Roskilde University campus

Pic: Roskilde University campus.

YORK UNIVERSITY – FACULTY OF SCIENCE
Tucked into the heart of Canada’s most dynamic and cosmopolitan city, York University has its eyes to the future. A recent influx of investment has produced a spate of innovation along with a new school of engineering and life sciences building. For up and coming students of science, this is a university to watch. Read the full profile here…

On Campus at York University

Pic: On Campus at York University.

GLYNDWR UNIVERSITY – INSTITUTE OF HEALTH, MEDICAL SCIENCES AND SOCIETY
Ranked fourth in the UK for its intake of overseas students (according to the Daily Telegraph), Glyndwr University is a prime candidate for Asian students pursuing an internationally recognised science degree. This university emphasizes career-focused degrees by conducting practical research, investing in world-class facilities and employing instructors with strong professional backgrounds. Read the full profile here…

Students on Glyndwr University campus

Pic: Students on Glyndwr University campus.

INHOLLAND UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES 
Inholland University operates eight campuses across the Netherlands and specializes in applied sciences. It’s an ambitious institute with 32,000 students from more than 110 nations enrolled. The university offers roughly 90 bachelor’s degree programs covering everything from technology to economics. Read the full profile here…

Inholland University campus in Amsterdam

Pic: Inholland University campus in Amsterdam.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY – COLLEGE OF THE SCIENCES
CWU is a public university, but it defies stereotype of cavernous lecture halls and professors who can’t be bothered to learn student names. Classes are small, the student to faculty ratio is favorable and the scientific research conducted here is cutting-edge. Even undergraduate students help coauthor papers that the university publishes.

UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA – FACULTY OF SCIENCE
The Faculty of Science at UEA is comprised of six schools of study and two research centers. The school hosts a robust contingent of international students that represent more than 100 nations. Student satisfactions runs high, according to national surveys, and the research conducted here is world-leading.