Best value European universities for Asian students
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Best value European universities for Asian students

AS Asian students continue to consider foreign destinations for their higher education, universities in the West are constantly upgrading their services to appeal to this large, multicultural audience. Institutes in Europe, Australia and the US are investing in infrastructure, student experience, faculty and Asian recruitment events to attract the brightest minds in the region.

Value is an important factor for students from Asia, who have to invest substantially to receive an education in the West. When considering study options, students are becoming increasingly savvy and universities are working tirelessly to provide the best value for money. Today’s students are looking for a more holistic experience from their time studying abroad, ranging from student experience and campus facilities to work placements and travel opportunities.


Pic: HAN University of Applied Sciences.

Here we take a closer look at the value propositions offered by European universities and the return on investment Asian students can expect after their studies.

Value For Money: Europe, with its hundreds of institutes of higher education, provides students with academic excellence and practical learning. In terms of value for money and tuition fees, many European universities are extremely competitive when compared to their US and Australian counterparts. However, this remains a big investment for Asian students who do not enjoy the discount tuition granted to domestic European students. Budget-conscious international students rarely have such opportunities to save money, so finding the right balance of quality and price is critical.

Return on Investment: For Asian students, an education in Europe can involve higher tuition fees than those of universities at home, so the return on investment is a key factor. Europe offers high ROI to its student, and graduates from European universities are snapped up in the job market with attractive starting salaries. Students who return to Asia often find better jobs and are better paid than those with local qualifications as employers are looking for young professionals with an international education.

Shorter Courses: European universities provide students with the opportunity to fast track their education. This is tempting for students who wish to complete their degree in the shortest time possible, cutting tuition and living costs significantly. This is especially true when compared to a US education, where it often takes longer to secure a similar qualification. This flexibility makes Europe an attractive study destination for Asian students.

International Focus: There is an increased demand these days for graduates with international academic training. European universities are leading the way by adding an international focus to their teaching methods, their research, and the overall student experience. This is enhanced by countless exchange partnerships with universities around the world and visiting faculty and industry leaders from other countries.


Pic: Nyenrode Business Universiteit.

Diversity: Diversity is a hallmark of international education and an integral part of European culture. For many visiting international students this is often the first time that they are exposed to a melting pot of cultures and backgrounds. This is a strong foundation for a good student experience, and universities in Europe work tirelessly towards preserving and improving diversity in the classroom and on campus.

Modern Campuses: European universities are committed to providing their students with the best facilities available in modern education. In fact, they can be fiercely competitive in outdoing each other when it comes to the best classrooms, most comfortable accommodation and the most modern equipment.  This, of course, is good news for students who find state-of-the-art facilities on campuses that, in typically European fashion, are often steeped in history and culture.

Language: Another attraction to studying in Europe is the opportunity to immerse oneself in the local language. Of course, the majority of international students undertake their studies in English and all the top universities on the continent have an impressive range of English-language programmes. That said, studying here allows students to not just practice their English skills, but pick up a new foreign language – such as French or German, or maybe even Welsh! This is a challenge that many students take on, often taking up after-hours lessons to finesse their language skills.

Euro Trip: Europe is home to some of the finest educational institutions in the world. It is also home to some of the amazing cities and landscapes on this planet. Exploring this amazing continent is an education in itself. From its Alpine peaks and balmy beaches to its breathtaking cityscapes and rich culture, travel opportunities do not come much better than this. And with flexible European rail passes, budget airlines and ferries, and inexpensive car hire, travelling across Europe is a cinch.

Below we have selected six European universities that deliver on all the value propositions outlined above and offer Asian students an excellent price-to-quality ratio.



Pic: Nyenrode Business Universiteit.

Nyenrode Business Universiteit was on the leading edge of business leadership development when it launched in the 1940s. Today, it continues to set the standard for excellence in European business education. This prestigious Dutch University’s strong international reputation in the fields of management research and business attracts students from around the world.

Even the campus itself inspires excellence. Students spend their days around a castle that dates to the 1200s and is surrounded by a moat and beautifully landscaped grounds.

This is one the most highly acclaimed business schools in the world. The Financial Times places it in the top 50 business schools in Europe, and even higher for executive education. Every programme’s pricing structure is different, but all provide excellent value given the prestige a degree from Nyenrode carries combined with the salary increase that graduates can expect. Programme fees are all inclusive, covering tuition, books, accommodation and more. Read the full profile…



Pic: HAN University of Applies Sciences.

HAN University of Applied Sciences is an attractive choice for Asian students. This is one of the best applied sciences universities in the Netherlands and it offers excellent value for money compared to similar European institutes.

For international students who have set their sights on studying in Europe, it can be difficult to find affordable options. At HAN University, tuition and fees for Bachelor’s Degree students that hail from outside of the EU start at around €7,000, which is significantly less than students would expect to pay at other universities in the Netherlands and greater Europe.

Part of assessing a degree’s value potential involves weighing the sort of career options it affords. Applied sciences are highly lucrative, and graduates end up on the cutting edge of advancements in technology, design, communication and pharmaceuticals. In short, a career in applied sciences is highly relevant to 21st-century business and research, and professionals in these sectors reap major benefits. Read the full profile…



Pic: Swansea University.

Founded in 1920, Swansea University has a long history of academic excellence, ranking among the top 20 universities in the UK for teaching quality and student satisfaction, according to recent surveys and leagues. Home to 15,500 students representing 80 countries, the university prides itself on its diversity and international culture.

The university is an attractive choice for Asian students for its value proposition, not just confined to its international recognition in research and academic practices – it is ranked 36thin the UK for research quality (RAE 2008) – but for the shorter courses on offer that allow students to study their degree of choice at lesser expense than in other study locations. Further value is provided in the variety of subject choices; the university offers 500 undergraduate and 130 postgraduate programmes in Economics, Geography, Social Policy, Physics, English, and History, among others.

Swansea University has a tradition of excellence, demonstrated by its strong academic luminaries that include the UK’s first female professor, Mary Williams; Professor Oleg Zienkiewicz, renowned for developing Finite Element Analysis; and Professor EG Bowen, eminent X-ray and radar researcher.



Pic: Jacobs University.

Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany prides itself on its diversity and its ability to deliver a high-quality education to an international student population. More than three-quarters of students at this residential university are from outside Germany and a large proportion of these are from Asia.

For international students looking for a Western-style education, Jacobs offers something unique and abundant in value. The university is popular for its tailor-made programmes for international students, available through the Jacobs Visiting Programme. Students also get to experience life in mainland Europe while studying entirely in English. Jacobs’ close-knit student body ensures an intimate atmosphere and guarantees that all students receive the personal attention they need to flourish. The university consistently does well in German rankings and was ranked first in Germany for political science and second for sociology in 2011.

Jacobs offers an excellent choice of programs across a range of disciplines at undergraduate and postgraduate level. For those who want to take their studies to the highest level, the university also offers executive graduate and PhD programs.



Pic: University of Southampton.

The University of Southampton on the south coast of England has emerged as one of the country’s leading research-focused institutions over the past two decades. This is a popular Asian destination for higher education, and is rich in value partly due to its impressive choice of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, its location – considered one of the safest cities in the country – and its affordable tuition fees.

The University of Southampton is consistently ranked among the top 100 universities in the world and is one of the top 15 research universities in the UK. It was ranked 18th by The Sunday Times University Guide 2010, 14th in the Independent Complete University Guide 2010 and joint 19th in The Times Good University Guide 2010. This is a diverse and vibrant university where new international students find the right mix of the new and familiar, and emerge with qualifications that really turn heads in the employment market.



Pic: University of Twente.

The University of Twente is a leading choice for Asian students and invests extensively in its impressive range of programmes, professional networks and cooperation projects, and its popular campus experience.  This is an exciting option for students from Asia who are anxious to carve out a unique career path while getting acquainted with European business, politics and culture.

Research is an overarching theme of the academic experience here. The university is listed among the top 200 universities in the world according to the Times Higher Education Supplement. The Academic Ranking of World Universities takes it a step further and lists the University of Twente as one of the top 100 universities in the field of chemistry.

There are four well-known international undergrad programs taught entirely in English. On top of this, most of the graduate degree programs at the University of Twente have an international bent and are taught in English. This university offers high value to its international students through its scholarships, many of which are especially aimed at Asian students. This is definitely a university worth looking into for a truly continental European experience.