Leading international business schools for Asian students
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Leading international business schools for Asian students

A business degree from a leading international business school is perhaps one of the most valuable degrees a person can hold in today’s economy. While the headlines are rife with bad news about weakening currencies and recessions, there are also great opportunities for those who approach the business, economics and finance sectors with a fresh, innovative and well-informed mindset.


Pic: Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University

Corporations around the globe are becoming more attentive to social responsibility and sustainable business practices and development. Business students, whether they are recent graduates of an undergraduate program or mid-career executives seeking to update their skill set, will find that the assets gained in a top international business programme will lead them to exciting new opportunities in the changing markets.

Of course, the dire situations in some markets call for strong, ethical and creative leadership and the best business schools are updating their curriculums and providing that.

While the Master of Business Administration is an internationally popular educational route, many schools are now offering specialised master’s programmes in focused areas of business as well.

Some have even opened up Bachelor of Business Administration programmes, which creates a unique opportunity for undergraduates. With a BBA in hand, they will have an edge over competitors for high-level jobs and have a strong grasp on not only the fundamentals of business but insights into management and leadership as well.

Additionally, a business degree can prove valuable in a number of industries and the skills and experience gained in a business programme translate well to many careers.

Holding an advanced business degree boosts one’s earning power significantly. MBA graduates in certain private sector positions can earn nearly USD$100,000 per year in the United States. Those who go on to their Ph.D. and Doctor of Business Administration degrees can earn significantly more than that, and have numerous opportunities for career advancement.


Pic: Athens University of Economics and Business

International business programs nearly always include some type of study abroad or exchange experience, which is essential for fully grasping the nuance and complexities of the global business community. Within the classroom, students from all over the world work side-by-side, analyzing case studies, completing business projects and exchanging perspectives and ideas that will shape their worldviews when they transition into the next phase of their careers and lives.

Asian students have the unique opportunity of choosing to remain in the region and study at a world financial center such as Hong Kong or Singapore, or to go abroad and train at a Western school, therefore gaining insight into varying markets. Whichever area of the world they choose to study in, they will learn and be held to the highest professional standards, which they will carry throughout their careers.

Business degrees, particularly those from reputable international schools, also open doors to promotions and opportunities that would not be open to employees otherwise. The training and qualification that come with a degree from a renowned business school speaks volumes about an individual’s capabilities.

Studying at an international business school also allows students to gain knowledge about a region of the world in which they have an interest, but little experience living and working in. An Asian student who aspires to work for a corporation in the Middle East or Europe may choose to study at a university in that part of the world and thereby gain important cultural insights that will influence their thinking and decision-making when working there.

The following universities are home to some of the best international business schools in the world. Each offers degree programmes that are grounded in solid business principles and practice, but are unique to the school, city and country in which they are held. All have thriving international communities on campus and instill students with a global professional vision.

The Cass Business School is part of the City University of London system, and promises its students innovative, relevant and forward-looking education, training, consultancy and research. With an ideal location in London, at the heart of one of the most fast-paced and significant financial centers in the world, Cass Business School provides unique opportunities to all those who study here. Cass boasts impressive statistics that will be attractive to any student or professional seeking keen business knowledge and an edge up on the competition. Cass is currently ranked in the top 10 UK business schools for business, management and finance research. Read the full profile…


Pic: Cass Business School

The EBS Business School is a premier business educational institute in Germany. It is home to one of the most highly regarded faculties for business studies in the country, and focuses on the education and training of specialists and managers for the global economy. With outstanding contacts to over 200 international organizations and 200 partner universities worldwide, EBS Business School offers its students excellent opportunities to achieve their career goals. EBS Business School has a long-standing reputation for excellence in education and a global perspective that allows the school to train future business leaders on an international level. Read the full profile…

The Henley Business School at the University of Reading enjoys a strong reputation as one of the top business schools in the UK, and the world. In 2011, The Economist magazine named Henley the number one business school in terms of student quality and potential to network. The Financial Times ranked the school 33rd on its list of the best European business schools. Henley Business School is located in Reading, a plum spot for business professionals. The area has been referred to as the Silicon Valley of the UK, and some of the top companies in the world are here. Read the full profile…

The University of Loughborough’s School of Business and Economics is held in esteem by professionals, academics and students. The overall study experience at Loughborough is such that those who go here have helped rank it the school with the Best Student Experience five years in a row. Longborough also enjoys the elite distinction of being in the one percent of business schools in the world to have EQUIS accreditation from the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD). This school is an international institution, and pushes itself and its student to stay relevant and maintain a powerful presence in the business school field. Read full profile…

The Kemmy Business School at the University of Limerick in Ireland offers an impressive array of business degree programs. The state-of-the-art Kemmy Business School building opened in 2008, and has become a center for research and study in all aspects of international business practice and culture. Kemmy enrolls about 3,000 students currently, and has a staff of about 100 highly qualified instructors. Undergraduate, postgraduate and professional degrees are all available at the school. Kemmy is accredited through the European Foundation for Management Development. The school operates with the goal to “inform and shape thinking to meet challenges in work, business and society.” Read full profile…

The Nanyang Business School in Singapore is one of the leading educational business institutes in Asia. The school combines excellence in academics with an ethical philosophy designed to shape future business leaders. Sustainability is at the core of the Nanyang experience. This refers not only to environmental awareness, but economic security and community interests as well. Nanyang graduates are taught to be progressive, innovative thinkers who bring to the table a broad but focused worldview. In 2009, Nanyang was ranked number 24 on the Financial Times list of top global MBAs. That was the first time a Singaporean University had broken the top 25. Read the full profile…

The Hong Kong University Business School officially came into being in 1995, when it was transformed from the Department of Management Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences. For the past 17 years, it has been on a steady trajectory of improving its academic and networking offerings, and today stands as one of the top business schools in Asia and the world. HKU Business School will appeal to a broad range of prospective students, as its course offerings are numerous and varied. The HKU business faculty come from a range of professional and academic backgrounds, and all are well-qualified members of the teaching community. Read the full profile… 


Pic: European Business School, Germany

The Athens University of Economics and Business is a top business school in Greece and in the world. It is the oldest school of its kind in Greece, and has developed a well-earned reputation for teaching students with the highest academic and business standards. AUEB’s business course offerings include a world-class MBA International available to students from around the globe. The MBA International is a world-class programme that is particularly well-suited to the global, dynamically changing, and technology-driven business environment that exists today. The MBA International, offered exclusively in English, is accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA), and attracts students from more than 20 countries. Read the full profile…

As the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world, the University of Glasgow has cultivated a rich tradition of academic research and excellence. This has been passed on to the prestigious Business School, which is a global leader in business research and thinking. Glasgow offers ungraduate, postgraduate and Ph.D. degrees, and each provides unique background and training in the various fields of study. Undergraduate degrees may be pursued in Accountancy and Finance, Business and Management, Economics, and Business Economics. A lengthy list of Master’s of Science degrees are offered in a range of subjects related to the financial and business management arenas. Read the full profile…

The Newcastle Business School is part of Northumbria University, and enjoys a well-earned reputation as a reputable and forward-thinking business institute. The Northumbria University system aims to provide an outstanding student experience underpinned by high academic quality. The school is committed to maintaining an international community on its campus and is an attractive option for business students from all over the world. Northumbria University provides students with high quality teaching that is informed by internationally excellent research, and students benefit from excellent campus facilities. Northumbria also enjoys strong links with employers, which reinforcesthe University’s first rate record in graduate level employability. Read the full profile…

The Suliman S. Olayan School of Business at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon stands apart as one of the best business universities in the Middle East and strives constantly to higher levels of excellence for itself and its students. OSB’s Business School’s stated vision is to “to be become globally recognized as the leading business school between Europe and South Asia in terms of academic research, teaching excellence and business impact.” The business school is open to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. OSB is a name that is well-regarded among Middle Eastern academic and professional communities and is a top training ground for future leaders and innovators. Read the full profile…

Established in 1990, the Judge Business School at Cambridge is one of the best in England and graduates students who are intelligent, creative, thoughtful, and the most promising in their academic fields. Judge Business School offers MBA and Executive MBA programmes, as well as master’s degrees in Finance, Innovation, Strategy and Organization, Management Science and Operations, Technology Policy and several other areas. Beyond the master’s programmes there are a Ph.D. course and postgraduate diploma in entrepreneurship. The Judge Business School runs multiple executive education courses as well, which are meant for corporations and professionals looking to take their services and strategies to the next level.


Pic: University of Glasgow Business School, Scotland

The Copenhagen Business School is one of the largest in Europe, with a student body comprised of 18,000 individuals, plus 600 researchers and 600 administrative employees. Programmes here run the gamut from bachelor degrees to Ph.D., and can be undertaken in a wide range of study areas. The teaching method in the MBA and master’s programmes is stimulating but rigorous, and requires extensive reading and analysis of course materials. Discussion and interaction are integral parts of the learning style at CBS. The results of these teaching styles are the intellectual and focused students who graduate from CBS programmes each year.

The ESSEC Business School has its finger on the pulse of two of the world’s most important markets. With two campuses in France and one in Singapore, ESSEC students are immersed in the trends and business culture of the European and Asian economies. In addition to the interactive and comprehensive nature of the academic programmes, ESSEC students can enhance their learning experience by joining student associations and forming personal and professional bonds with classmates. Academic offerings at ESSEC include a bachelor of business administration, global MBA, MBA in International Luxury Brand Management, MBA in Hospitality, Executive MBA, Master of Science in Management and Ph.D.

International students are warmly welcomed at the HEC Monstreal Business School, and can thrive in the multilingual environment, where a mastery of French is a prerequisite for admission and a strong knowledge of English is advised. Students with an array of business interests will find a suitable program at HEC, including master’s degrees in Laws and Taxation, and Electronic Commerce, and a Ph.D. in Administration. There is also a bachelor of business administration available to undergraduates. In addition to HEC’s academic degree tracks, the school holds more than 70 training seminars that are open to managers, professionals and executives.

The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business is notorious in the United States for being one of the best programmes in the country. The fast-paced programme in the heart of one of America’s major cities makes it a perfect training ground for those looking to work in major Western and international markets. The Booth School supports several MBA programmes, including full-time, weekend and evening tracks, which allow working professionals to pursue an advanced degree while continuing to work in their respective fields. Chicago Booth boasts a long list of alumni who are notorious for being innovative and influential thinkers in the business world.

Thunderbird has for more than 60 years set itself apart as a leader among international business schools. It holds numerous number 1 rankings, including Best in International Business among full-time MBA programmes, International MBA, Internationalism of Alumni, and Executive MBA Management Skills Taught. Thunderbird is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The programmes here range from MBAs to Masters of Art and Science, to dual degree tracks. Thunderbird is quite international, with half of its students enrolling from outside the United States.


Pic: American University of Beirut Suliman S. Olayan School of Business

The NUS Business School teaches students in its BBA, MBA, Executive MBA, MSc and PhD degree programmes to be smart, conscientious thinkers. Students here are immersed in Asian culture and the Asian economic market and are prepared to work in this dynamic region. Courses are taught by an impressive faculty that includes graduates of such prestigious universities as Harvard, Wharton, MIT, and Oxford. Forbes recently named the NUS Business School the top in Singapore and in Asia for two-year MBA programmes. The school is quite international and maintains close ties with universities in North America, Europe, Australia and other Asian institutions.

The Desautels Faculty of Management school at McGill University, which is among the best universities in Canada, caters to a range of student groups, from undergraduates to seasoned executives and doctoral candidates. Desautels has been named a top international business school by such reputable publications as BusinessWeek, Canadian Business, Forbes, Financial Times and The Economist. The Desautels experience includes living in lively Montreal, a culturally rich and diverse city. The Desautels curriculum combines research and practical learning into all degree programmes. More than 25 percent of undergraduates, 50 percent of MBA students and 75 percent of Ph.D. candidates are international students.

As one of the largest business schools in the Asia Pacific region, the Melbourne Business School has stood out as an institution that is committed to producing quality students who are effective leaders in the global business community. Courses at Melbourne include MBA and Executive MBA programmes, a dual Law and MBA degree, and postgraduate diplomas in management and marketing. Customised study programmes are also available through the Mt. Eliza Executive Education programme. The business school also operates three research centres: The Asia Pacific Social Impact Leadership Centre, The Centre for Ideas and The Economy, and The Centre for Ethical Leadership.