Leading engineering schools for Asian students
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Leading engineering schools for Asian students

Many of the economies in Asia are faring well despite the financial trouble that much of the West finds itself in. Countries and municipalities in the East are finding that they still have capital to invest in their own resources and development. In many cases, they even have funds to funnel into less developed economies.

The University of Melbourne

Pic: The University of Melbourne.

All of these investments, added infrastructure and resource development are creating a glut of project sites, manufacturing plants and development schemes. This, in turn, fosters a profound need for qualified and competent engineers – a need which students from Asia are stepping up to fill.

Many countries in Asia are built over vast deposits of coal, rare metals, tin, gems, petroleum and copper, among other valuable resources. Mining and land development engineers are involved in the location and extraction of these resources; chemical and metallurgical engineers oversee their transformation into production materials; and mechanical, electrical, civil and industrial engineers head up projects in which these materials are used. They’re quite literally involved every step of the way.

Graduates of reputable schools of engineering are among the world’s most employable professionals. They’re desperately needed in one form or another across practically every sector of manufacturing, production and public works. And assuming current trends continue, the average engineer’s marketability is only going to get better.

With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that so many students in Asia are currently pursuing engineering degrees overseas. In some cases, they’re even intentionally pursuing them in third-party developing economies, where they’ll graduate with ties to markets in which their home countries are currently stepping up investments.

Witwatersrand University graduation

Pic: Witwatersrand University graduation.

Asian economies eyeing Africa
Africa as a continent is expected to be the site of the next big development boom, and global companies are keeping a close eye on African economies. Leading nations around the world are taking notice, with India and China showing particularly strong interest.

China surpassed the US as Africa’s largest trade partner in 2009, with particularly strong ties to the South African market. This relationship was reinforced in July 2012, when Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao promised to push for stronger China-Africa relations at the Fourth Conference of Chinese and African Entrepreneurs.

South Africa hosts an influential Indian population. This group played a pivotal role in the push to end apartheid, and support from the Subcontinent during this time laid groundwork for a strong relationship between these two countries. Bilateral trade targets between India and South Africa nations are set to reach US$15 billion by 2014.

Pathways at the University of Johannesburg

Pic: Pathways at the University of Johannesburg.

Economists point to the opportunities this unleashes on African economies, but Asian students seeking an engineering degree also have cause to take notice. With countries like India and China intent on looking to Africa as a source of resources, a dizzying amount of infrastructure will need to be developed first.

Asian students with internationally recognized South African credentials will be in prime position to take on projects like these. They experience and networks that they have established in Africa will put them at the top of Asian recruiters’ lists of potential engineers and project managers.

Below we have listed eight engineering schools across four continents that offer Asia’s next generation of engineers a wealth of exciting opportunities.

Students on the stairs at Linköping University

Pic: Students on the stairs at Linköping University.

Linköping University is one of Sweden’s finest institutes of higher learning. It’s known for its pioneering approach to education as well as for the close ties that it forges with industry players. The school’s master’s-level engineering programs are conducted in English and target a broad body of international students. Linköping is famous for crafting interdisciplinary programs, bridging areas of specialty such as engineering and medicine. A degree from Linköping is synonymous with innovation and versatility. Graduates benefit from the university’s focus on interdisciplinary crossover, and they’re equipped to bring their knowledge and skill set to bear in a broad range of contexts. Read the full profile…

Melbourne’s School of Engineering is Australia’s oldest and best-regarded engineering faculty. It was founded in the 1860s, just a few years after the University of Melbourne itself was founded. But longstanding history aside, it’s the faculty’s ongoing research, distinguished faculty and cutting-edge facilities that have earned it a position on 21st-century shortlists. And from an international perspective, it’s difficult to imagine a better city to live in than Melbourne. This is a celebrated city of culture that has been singled out by The Economist as one of the world’s most livable cities three times in recent history. And on the School of Engineering grounds alone, around 35 percent of the 4,000 students enrolled hail from outside of Australia. In all, roughly 40 different countries are represented. Read the full profile…

Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) was formed in 2004 through a merger of three existing technical schools. As a combined force, these technical institutes have become something of a ‘mega-university’ by South African standards, hosting more than 50,000 students across three campuses. The vision of TUT is singular: to train up human capital in the South African labor market, producing skilled laborers, specialists and university graduates in order to accelerative the developing of this rapidly emerging economy. And while the university resides over the southernmost reaches of Africa, its sights are set on the entire continent. As such, it’s rapidly becoming one of Africa’s best recognized and most influential technical colleges. Read the full profile…

Tshwane University

Pic: Tshwane University

Regularly listed as a top-five university in South Africa, the University of the Witwatersrand is also listed among the top 300 according to the Times Higher Education – QS World University Rankings. For Asian students set on earning continent-spanning engineering credentials in Africa, this is inevitably a top pick. Wits boasts an impressive legacy in South Africa and abroad. Anchored to its central Johannesburg campus, the university has produced four Nobel Prize laureates since the early 1980s – one each for chemistry, literature, peace and medicine. It also maintains a diverse student body, nearly 15 percent of which are Indian immigrants and nationals. Read the full profile…

One of South Africa’s leading centers of higher learning, North-West University is also a key player in Africa at large. With greater numbers of Asian students looking for educational opportunities in emerging markets, universities like NWU are stepping into the spotlight. In developing nations, the push for development and infrastructure is creating job opportunities for engineers and advanced technical specialists. With that in mind, many of the prospective students that consider North-West University are particularly interested in earning engineering credentials that are recognized around the world. Read the full profile…

NWU group project

Pic: NWU group project.

University of Johannesburg’s Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment offers a wide range of diploma and degree programs across all major engineering disciplines. This is one of the largest engineering schools in South Africa, and it’s well-positioned in Gauteng Province at the economic crossroads of the country. This province constitutes less than 1.5 percent of the nation’s land area, yet it’s responsible for 33 percent of South Africa’s GDP. Enlarge the scope, and this single South African province generates 7 percent of the entire African continent’s GDP. This is prime staging ground for development projects launched across Africa’s southern region. For Asian students on an engineering career track, UJ is a promising place to be based. Read the full profile…

With well over four centuries of tradition behind it, the University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s most prestigious. Science has been taught here (albeit as a ‘natural philosophy’) since the 16th century, though engineering as we think of it today wasn’t codified as a subject until much more recently. Needless to say, a degree in engineering from the University of Edinburgh carries the sort of weight that most schools couldn’t dream of offering. For highly qualified international students with monumental drive, there are few universities to compare with U of E.

Caltech is one of the finest technology institutes in the US – or the world, for that matter. Times Higher Education World University Rankings has gone so far as to name it the best university in the world for Engineering and Technology as well as Physical Sciences. Times also found that Caltech’s faculty are the most-cited in the world. With accolades like that behind it, it’s hard for prospective engineers to ignore. The emphasis is on research, and students are prepped for advance doctoral work in their area of specialty.