Top 25 APAC universities for international students
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Top 25 APAC universities for international students

HIGHER education is becoming increasingly global as universities across the world are structuring their curricula and activities according to international standards. As universities raise their bar, competition is becoming more intense and universities across the Asia-Pacific region are quickly gaining ground on their Western counterparts. Australia and Asia are increasing their global portfolio – with state-of-the-art research centres, innovative teaching methods and an integrated cultural experience for international students.

Asian students account for a large proportion of the student fraternity in Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries, having discovered that an education in the region is of high quality and comparable to universities in the West – all the while at an affordable rate.

So what makes APAC universities increasingly popular among international students?


Pic: Charles Darwin University.

In the case of Australia, the continent has the advantage of value for money for an international audience. Australian universities have lower fees when compared to many of their Western counterparts. Coupled with reasonable living expenses, these are major factors that make an Australian education a popular draw among international students.

Another major attraction for international students, especially those from Asia, lies in the pleasant sub-tropical climate that Australia is famous for. This guarantees a unique lifestyle, offering a range of activities to choose from.

An Australian education boasts of high-standards of teaching and research quality, and is a definite stop for a one-of-a-kind academic and living experience.

Asian universities, on the other hand, are seen as the sleeping giants of the higher education world. The continent is home to some of the finest institutions that offer supreme value for money. Highly experienced staff and a breathtaking cultural experience are what make an Asian education exceptional.

Asian universities often encounter a lack of prestige on an international scale, but this is quickly changing as they are climbing the world rankings as institutions of repute. As costs of living are much lower than in the US or the UK, this builds the region’s reputation in the education sector, and it is proving to be a popular choice among today’s students.

Continue reading for a list of 25 universities across the APAC region which are renowned for providing a quality education and an enriching student experience.


Pic: Monash University.

First opened in 1958, Monash University has since become one of Australia’s top educational institutions, offering a wide variety of courses in arts, commerce, engineering, education, law, medicine and science. It is one of Australia’s Group of Eight (Go8) universities because of its high standards of research, teaching and scholarship. Monash itself is split into several campuses, each of which focuses on a different area of study. For example, the Caulfield campus contains the main offices of the Faculties of Business and Economics, Art and Design, and Information Technology, while the Parkville campus focuses on Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. This ensures that students in each field will study in an environment that is uniquely tailored to their specific needs. As well as allowing students to undertake a number of quality courses, the university also focuses on research that tackles present-day issues, such as climate change, cancer and terrorism. Read the full profile…

Located in the heart of Kowloon, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has been continuing a tradition of excellence in learning since 1937. The university, formerly known as Hong Kong Polytechnic, received full university status in 1994 and today proudly boasts of a student population of more than 28,000. With a mission to provide high quality education, PolyU offers a wide variety of programmes designed to meet industrial, commercial and community needs in an attempt to prepare students for the challenges that they are bound to encounter in their careers. These programs are considered to be among the finest in Asia and work rigorously towards honing the skills of their students. It is no wonder then that over the years, Hong Kong Polytechnic University has groomed more than 284,000 graduates – many of whom are leaders in their fields. Read the full profile…

The University of Sydney was first founded in 1850 and has grown to become one of Australia’s most prestigious educational institutions. With its wide variety of flexible degrees, students are encouraged to take their studies in a direction that suits them best. By enrolling in the University of Sydney, students will join notable alumni, such as former Prime Minister John Howard, former Governor-General William Deane, Tim Friedman from the Whitlams, and Nobel Prize winner Sir John Cornforth. The University of Sydney is also one of the top in the world in terms of research and offers a unique breadth of programs and research opportunities in each of its 16 faculties. The university is also very internationally focused and welcomes students from all over the globe. International students will find themselves learning at a university rich in history and culture, with the best facilities possible. Read the full profile…


Pic: The University of Sydney.

First established in 1885 by Christian missionaries, Yonsei University is the oldest private university in Korea and is widely regarded as one of the top three comprehensive universities in the country. Yonsei’s main campus is spacious and picturesque, located minutes away from the economic, political, and cultural centres of Seoul’s metropolitan downtown. Yonsei has 3,500 distinguished faculty members who are conducting cutting-edge research across all academic disciplines. There are 18 graduate schools, 22 colleges and 133 subsidiary institutions hosting a selective pool of students from around the world. There are currently 29,950 students at Yonsei University; around 4,000 of these are international students. Read the full profile…

Charles Darwin University (CDU) was officially founded in 2003, although the seeds of its birth go all the way back to the 1950s. With a five-star rating from the Good Universities Guide, it is easy to see that this is a university that can produce students ready to compete on the global stage. In particular, it is world-renowned for its research expertise in environmental studies of tropical and desert regions within Australia and the Asia-Pacific. As well as this, the university also offers a wide range of courses in other disciplines, such as law, medicine, science and economics. From basic educational courses to advanced research programs, Charles Darwin University has much to offer. Read the full profile…

Founded in 1956, Hong Kong Baptist University is one of Hong Kong’s leading educational institutions. For ambitious students with the drive to carve out a career in one of the fastest growing consumer markets on earth, HKBU offers the perfect starting point. HKBU provides an intimate environment with small class sizes so students get the individual attention they need to excel. But despite its relatively small enrolment, HKBU is amassing a hefty network of graduates. For those about to graduate, these high-profile professionals become a direct resource for career opportunities. As with everything in Hong Kong, there’s a strong sense of internationalism at the school. Students have the opportunity to travel overseas to study in places like the UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore and the US. There are also opportunities for regional placements in mainland China and Taiwan. Read the full profile…


Pic: Griffith University.

Griffith University has come a long way since it first opened its doors in 1975. It is now regarded as one of Australia’s most innovative tertiary educational institutions and has even been described as one of the more influential universities within the Asia-Pacific region. It was the first institution in Australia to offer degrees in environmental science and Asian studies and continues to break new ground in both of these fields to this day. Griffith is now a multi-campus institution spanning three cities between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. With over 300 degrees in 10 faculties, ranging from education to criminology, the university can provide students with the essential skills and knowledge that they require to commence their chosen career paths with ease. Read the full profile…

Ranked as the 31st best university in the world, Tokyo Institute of Technology is one of Japan’s leading educational institutions. It is the largest in the country to focus primarily on science and technology, although it does offer courses in other subjects as well. With its diverse range of undergraduate, postgraduate and research programs, the institute is a place in which students can develop their knowledge and skills, and gain an opportunity to further the world in which we live. It is one of Japan’s top research institutions as well, producing practical results in computing, automobiles, communications and health. In addition to its educational offerings, the institute also boasts a number of student support facilities, counselling services, and sporting arenas which come together to create a more fulfilling learning environment.

The University of Queensland (UQ) is one of Australia’s premier learning and research institutions, internationally renowned for its highly awarded teaching staff, world-acclaimed researchers and superior campus facilities and services. UQ’s long-standing reputation for quality is reinforced by affiliations with prestigious national and international groups, including the Australian Group of Eight (Go8) and Universitas 21. UQ also consistently performs well in respected international rankings. In 2011, UQ was ranked in the Top 100 worldwide by the 2011 Times Higher Education Supplement. Today, close to 40,700 students, including over 8,700 international students from about 120 countries, study across four superb south-east Queensland campuses at St Lucia, Herston, Ipswich and Gatton. Read the full profile…


Pic: The University of Queensland.

The National Taiwan University (NTU) is ranked within the world’s top 100 and currently stands as one of Asia’s best educational institutions. In terms of academic performance, it places alongside the Tsing-Hua University of Beijing. As for research output, NTU is also number one, a title that it holds with the Hong Kong University for Science and Technology. Currently, there are more than 8,000 courses on offer each semester, and students can enroll in a number of undergraduate and postgraduate programs covering disciplines from science and engineering to arts and law. The university boasts of state-of-the-art facilities, an experienced team of professors and lecturers, and a range of student services aimed at enhancing the overall university experience.

Seoul National University (SNU) offers students an educational environment in which their personal development and career goals will flourish and grow. The campus offers a rich, intellectual community in which progress where innovation and harmony are encouraged both in the classroom and the laboratory. SNU is now ranked 47th in the world and offers a diverse range of courses within fields ranging from the humanities to the sciences. It is also Korea’s leading research university, with modern facilities and liberal education methods that encourage students to push the boundaries when it comes to their personal performance and how we view the world.

Consistently ranked as one of the top universities in Asia, the National University of Singapore approaches both learning and research with a global attitude, giving students the skills and the knowledge that they need to compete in today’s world. Its programs are designed to produce quality graduates who have been enriched through a combination of broad-based education and cross-disciplinary courses. On campus, the community is highly multicultural as well, and the university now welcomes students from all corners of the globe. As well as a vibrant, rich environment in which to study and develop intellectually, students are also encouraged to learn other skills through its many cultural societies, sports clubs and support services.

The University of Hong Kong is ranked within the top 25 universities in the world thanks to its qualified academic staff, extensive course diversity and high standards of education. Its 10 faculties offer programs in a variety of areas, including health, science, law, arts and education. From the classroom to the laboratory, the university focuses on bringing out the best in its students, moulding them to be the leaders and thinkers that tomorrow needs. From basic undergraduate courses to advanced research programs, there are plenty of chances to grow and develop both professionally and personally. There is also a wide range of extra-curricular activities and support services to be found on campus, ensuring that students can learn and grow within a well-rounded academic and research environment.


Pic: The University of Western Australia.

Established in 1911, the University of Western Australia (UWA) is a leading research university and has an international reputation for excellence, innovation and enterprise. A member of the Australian ‘Group of Eight’ research universities it is responsible for almost 70 percent of the university-based research and development in Western Australia. UWA is committed to the achievement of the highest quality research and scholarships by international students. The university places particular emphasis on the ‘student experience’ and has been ranked in the top five universities in Australia by the National Union of Students for its excellence and commitment in this area. Read the full profile…

The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) is one of the leading educational institutions in Asia. It is the only research university in Hong Kong that deals solely with science and technology, and is also the only one to have a campus designed specifically for PhD students. Those striving for the pursuit of excellence will find everything that they need at HKUST. With its diverse range of learning programs, extensive international connections and highly trained academic staff, it is easy to see why this intellectual powerhouse is driving forward progress and innovation in today’s world. Additionally, thanks to the range of sporting clubs, extra-curricular societies, support services and food and beverage outlets found at HKUST, students will have everything they need to grow academically, socially and personally.

With its seamless integration of the past and present, the Chinese University of Hong Kong is one of the regional leaders when it comes to academic achievement and research. Offering an extensive variety of undergraduate, postgraduate and research-based programs, plus an impressive variety of clubs, societies and student support services, the university produces graduates who are knowledgeable, skilful and socially and morally developed. Whether looking at the humanities or the sciences, students will find a wide variety of learning centres, such as lecture halls, classrooms and laboratories, in which they can reach their personal and academic goals. The university is also a culturally rich place in which people from all walks of life are welcome to study together and develop themselves within a positive learning environment.

As the first national university in Japan, the University of Tokyo is now one of the country’s leading research institutes. Potential students will find a myriad of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as a number of more advanced research-based programs. Across disciplines from medicine to commerce, the university provides plenty of opportunities to grow and develop on a personal and professional level. Within this academic environment, students will find high tech facilities and a team of qualified professors, lecturers and instructors that will promote intellectual development and the acquisition of skills and knowledge which are relevant at the professional level.


Tokyo at night. Pic: AP.

Through its range of quality engineering courses and research facilities, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore is ranked within the top 10 in the world. Future students can enrol in programs based around a number of disciplines from arts to education. The main focus is on science and technology though, and the university boasts state-of-the-art facilities, a team of experienced academics, and a curriculum which is built around world-recognised industry standards. From course-based undergraduate programs to research-intensive postgraduate degrees, NTU is designed to produce graduates who are skilled, knowledgeable and confident in their chosen fields. As well as providing a solid educational foundation, the university also offers a number of student support services, plus a collection of clubs and societies aimed at providing a balanced learning environment.

Korea University (KU) has set its sights on becoming one of the world’s leading educational institutions. It is nationally recognised as having excellent standards of teaching and academic achievement, and consists of 81 departments covering disciplines from engineering to economics in which students have access to a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs. KU is well known for its degrees in Asian studies, international studies, law, medicine and business administration. Overall, it is a progressive, internationally focused setting in which students can develop their knowledge and skills through coursework and in the field. Besides having a reputation for quality teaching materials and extensive research opportunities, KU also looks after its students with a range of support services, high tech facilities, and a diverse number of clubs and societies.

Found in the world’s top 200 universities, the University of Auckland is an internationally focused institution in which students from all over the globe can learn the skills and the knowledge that they need to succeed in their chosen careers. As testament to this, it is part of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, a consortium of the best research-led higher educational institutes in the region. Students will find a diverse range of course and research-based study opportunities within any of the university’s eight faculties at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. With a team consisting of some of the best academics in the country, students will be given a solid foundation to start their professional career.

Kyoto University is one of the more rapidly developing educational institutions in Japan, and now boasts an impressive array of courses from bachelor degrees to doctorates. With 10 undergraduate faculties, seventeen graduate schools and over forty research centres on campus, students can undertake a study program that gives them whatever they need to reach their personal and professional goals. By encouraging scholarly discussion and development in all areas of research, Kyoto University has succeeded in pushing the boundaries in areas ranging from science and technology to the humanities. Thanks to the state-of-the-art facilities, the team of qualified academics, and the focus on innovation and critical thinking, students can then be sure that they are studying within an environment that is specifically tailored to their needs.


Pic: The Australian International University.

The Australian National University (ANU) is world-renowned for its high standards of research and academic achievement. Containing seven collages, each with its own collection of smaller faculties, ANU offers students the diversity that they require to develop themselves along the path of their choosing, reaching their own personal and career goals. Primarily dealing with graduate research and the need to study and investigate areas of national and global importance, the university also offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate programs. Offering a variety of support services, clubs and societies, as well as numerous specialised research and fieldwork facilities, ANU really caters to each student’s needs when it comes to academic and professional development.

As one of the most important educational institutions in China, Peking University offers a range of programs to students from all over the globe. Its courses focus primarily on science, engineering and technology, although there are offerings to be found in other disciplines as well. From undergraduate to postgraduate, each program contains in-depth material and practical research skills taught by expert instructors who promote the need for an individual to better themselves and the nation. Peking University embraces a range of modern learning approaches, giving students plenty of chances to achieve their personal and career goals within a nurturing, stimulating environment. As well being a setting in which excellence in academic performance and research is encouraged, students will also receive a solid foundation to help them commence on their chosen career paths.

Over the past few decades, Tsinghua University has grown and developed into one of China’s most comprehensive research institutions. It boasts an impressive range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs across 14 schools, including history, economics, management and arts. The philosophy of the university is to train students by providing them with the proper knowledge, skills and attitude to succeed in their chosen fields and make the world a better place. Since its courses foster internal talent as well as scientific research and critical thinking, students will get the opportunity to develop themselves within an educational setting which is stimulating and highly rewarding.

Ever since its foundation, the University of Malaya (UM) has been a place where students can advance their knowledge through a range of quality learning and research options. Through its extensive selection of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, UM is well on the way to becoming an internationally renowned institution where higher learning, research and innovation are combined to further the nation and the world. As one of Southeast Asia’s top centres of learning and research, the University of Malaya offers an environment in which academic development, critical thinking and cutting edge research come together in the one place.