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

In 2011, Forbes magazine published an article by Norm Augustine, an aerospace businessman and government advisor. He outlined an interesting comparison between China and the United States. When the article was published, eight out of the nine top political posts in China were held by engineers. By contrast, virtually no high-ranking politicians in the US had backgrounds in engineering.

This is an enlightening way to contrast Eastern and Western hemispheres. Across Asia, resources are being mined, new technologies are being pioneered and massive infrastructure is being built at breakneck speed. The push for development in Asia is so strong  that it’s palpable – so strong, in fact, that engineering credentials qualify a person for leadership at the highest level.

The same article points to the fact that 70 percent of engineers who graduate with PhDs from US institutions are foreign-born. These international students enroll in Western universities for the high-powered credentials, but relatively few of them stay in the US to work after graduation. Instead, they are returning home to a prosperous job market.

There’s no question that innovation is going to be essential to progress for the foreseeable future. Around the world, populations are booming and resources are dwindling. Technology is going to be the key to developing new energy sources and sustaining the world’s increasing expectations in terms of quality of life and mobility. Teams of engineers and scientists will contribute to all of these breakthroughs.


Pic: NC State graduation.

China has assumed the top position in many of the world’s technology fields. The country’s high-tech exports have surpassed those of the US, the previous world-leader since WWII. China also produces more automobiles than the US and Germany combined. India is close behind in high-tech research, development and production.

The list goes on predictably. China is home to the world’s fastest high-speed train, leads the world in wind- and solar-power production and is poised to seize first place in a host of other categories.  The message is clear: engineers with world-class credentials have exciting opportunities in Asia.


Pic: USQ graduation.

Choosing the best engineering school

Reuters publishes the ‘Essential Science Indicators’ listing, which ranks countries according to the number of scientific papers published and cited. Between 1991 and 2011, the US, Germany and England had the most citations in the world. Canada, the Netherlands and Australia were also in the top ten.

Bear in mind, Japan and China also made the list at fourth and seventh, respectively. However, it’s worth noting that English is spoken as a native language in five of the six countries listed above, and it’s a strong second language in the Netherlands. Studying engineering in any of these countries includes the added benefit of developing highly marketable English-language proficiency.

Asian students are still looking west for engineering credentials. World-renowned research output in North America, Europe and Australia explains why so many aspiring engineers in Asia head overseas for their higher education. By the same token, their return home after graduation accounts for skyrocketing patent applications and high-tech production statistics across the continent.


Pic: Bangor University students.

The following are among the leading engineering schools for Asian students:


Founded in 1850, the University of Sydney is Australia’s oldest university and continues to be one of the most popular places for Asian students to earn engineering credentials. With that in mind, the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies is highly competitive, with a full roster of ambitious, international students enrolled. With so much talent in the mix, it’s no surprise that the University of Sydney has garnered so much international acclaim. Since it was founded, the university has been connected to three Nobel Prize Laureates. Include the list of global leaders among the science and engineering community that have graduated from the University of Sydney, and the list grows much longer. Read the full profile here…


With a student body in excess of 34,000, North Carolina State University is a comprehensive research institution that has achieved major recognition for its international leadership in science, technology and engineering. Engineering is a forte at NC State, as evidence through the fact that one out of six students enrolled study under the College of Engineering. The faculty and staff are committed to playing an active role in improving quality of life around the world, and this leads to an engaging and meaningful academic environment. According to the Wall Street Journal, job recruiters rank graduates from NC State’s College of Engineering as some of the most attractive job applicants in the country. This marketability applies to international markets as well, and students from Asia who earn engineering credentials at NC State are poised to take on high-profile positions on cutting-edge projects at home at abroad. Read the full profile here…


Germany’s science and technology prowess is recognized around the world, and Asian students who pursue engineering credentials in this country have an immediate advantage over their peers. International students with their sights set on engineering do well to give Germany strong consideration, as this country has more Nobel Prizes in science than any other country on Earth. Jacobs University Bremen is a particularly strong contender for engineering studies. The university has received broad national recognition for its engineering and science programs, but it fares well internationally, as well. In fact, more than 80 percent of the students enrolled here hail from outside of Germany, representing well over 100 nations. Read the full profile here…


Pic: Jacobs University.


The University of Western Australia is located in Perth on Australia’s west coast. It’s one of Australia’s ‘Group of Eight’ universities and enjoys high standing in the Asia-Pacific region. Research conducted here garners a great deal of attention abroad, and Shanghai-Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities lists UWA among the global top-100 universities. The engineering programs on offer provide students with a balance of hands-on practice and theory, with generous support from faculty and staff. The university is unambiguous about its aspirations: to graduate future CEOs of engineering organizations. With that in mind, several engineers have recently been inducted into Engineers Australia’s list of the ‘Top 100 Australia’s Most Influential Engineers’ lists. Read the full profile here…


The Faculty of Engineering, Science and the Built Environment has been in operation at London South Bank University (LSBU) for more than a century. The university collaborates with several institutes of higher education in Asia, including the Beijing Institute of Technology, Northwestern Polytechnical University and Hunan University. These links contribute to dynamic East-West exchanges that are driving innovation in the 21st century. Strong links to industry also play a key role at LSBU. The university operates a range of government-funded Knowledge Transfer programmes that involve collaboration with more than 100 industries spanning multiple industries. This grounding in industry paves the way for up-to-date facilities, highly relevant course material and the opportunity to gain experience through an industry placement. Read the full profile here…


Pic: London South Bank University.


NHTV Breda opened in the 1960s and has developed into one of the leading international institutes of applied sciences in the Netherlands. In all, more than 7,000 students are enrolled, and they comprise a diverse student body that represents more than 70 different nations. As expected, this fosters an international atmosphere ideal for training 21st-century professionals with a global mindset. This strong international mindset makes NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences particularly attractive to students from Asia. Nine bachelor’s and two master’s programs are conducted in English, and these account for roughly half of the student body. For students with an interest in engineering and urban development, NHTV’s logistics coursework is of particular interest. Read the full profile here…


Pic: NHTV Breda.


Hungary’s leading institute of technology has been offering English-language engineering programs since the 1980s, graduating more than 5,000 full-time international students since then. Situated in Eastern Europe at the crossroads of Asian and Europe, this is an ideal destination for Asian students looking for cross-cultural education. The Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics is on the cutting edge of technology, and English-language curriculum has been in place since the early 1990s. At the BSc level, students can focus on either software engineering or electrical engineering, with further specializations in software technology and info-communication available to EE students. Read the full profile here…


Pic: Budapest University of Technology and Economics.


Bangor University is a UK leader, and according to Times Higher Education, it ranks well inside the top 300 universities worldwide. Asian students seeking engineering qualifications gravitate to the university due to its research prowess and affordability factor. The School of Electronic Engineering offers a range of specialized programs in electronics engineering. Much of the curriculum is planned through collaboration with the School of Computer Science, ensuring interdisciplinary relevance and a lively academic environment. Read the full profile here…


The Faculty of Engineering and Surveying is one the University of Southern Queensland’s founding faculties. This is a leader in engineering studies both in Australia and the world at large, and its location in the Asia-Pacific region makes it an ideal place for Asian students to earn world-spanning engineering credentials. The Faculty of Engineering and Surveying facilities are state-of-the-art, housed in a multi-storey building with three connecting laboratory blocks. In addition to this, four hectares of land are set aside on the outskirts of campus for engineering and agricultural studies. Read the full profile here…


England’s University of East Anglia is located in the midst of an energy-production hub, and as such enjoys strong links with key industry players in clean energy development. Currently, the UK graduates 12,000 engineers every year, despite the fact that nearly 2.5 times as many are needed to meet industry demand by the year 2017. With that in mind, students that that take on work placements through East Anglia have the opportunity to begin their career in the UK upon graduating.