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

The global business environment is changing at an alarming rate. Dramatic shifts in economic influence, the emergence of a new class of Asian powerhouses and the reality of struggling economies in North America and Europe have laid the groundwork for seismic developments on the world stage. And no one is more aware of this than the executives of modern multinational companies.

This spells an enormous opportunity for prospective business student in Asia. Employers around the world are increasingly keen to hire internationally minded professionals – especially those with cross-cultural training who approach business issues from a post-recession perspective. These are the up-and-coming professionals who are going to define the way the world conducts business over the next decade.

Asia’s rise to prominence

Asian economies emerged from the global recession much more gracefully than their Western counterparts. The Eastern continent’s rise to power and influence was already well underway, but economic hardship in the West accelerated the process. Today, there are countless indicators of robust growth all across Asia. Asian students from several countries are leading in standardized test scores; China and Japan are dominating clean energy investment; and venture capital investment is increasingly moving in an East-West direction. Data points, trends and projections are literally reorganizing at this very moment.

These developments are unfolding quickly – maybe too quickly. According to the Graduate Admission Council (and as reported in Bloomberg BusinessWeek), Asia is leading a global surge in MBA applications. Asian firms are scrambling to fill a widening gap between its robust business prospects and its existing talent base. Matt Symonds, an internationally known MBA writer, also published an op-ed in BusinessWeek last year. He points to a grim reality – the majority of Chinese managers have less than five years’ experience under their belts.


Pic: Students at UNCG Bryan School of Business & Economics.

In so many words, Asian students earning business credentials now will have their pick of high-powered career opportunities when they graduate. This is a time-sensitive window of opportunity.

Choosing the right business school

In the rush to earn a business degree, it’s important to take time on the selection. The school you choose is going to have a profound effect on your future employment options, and the degree you earn will stay with you for the rest of your life. Choose wisely, and you’ll be miles ahead of the competition upon graduation.

Most of the best business schools are still in the West – particularly in North America and Western Europe, which have been global hubs of international trade, innovation and investment for centuries. Tides are certainly shifting, but prestige, legacy and experience aren’t qualities that can be manufactured. They’re cultivated over time.


Pic: Adam Smith Business School.

The best schools have no problem attracting leading faculty members with impressive industry experience. That said, they’re also wise enough to partner with emerging universities in other parts of the world. They develop networks, conduct research in collaboration with leading multinational firms and don’t shy away from testing traditional theories against 21st-century data. They have their ears to the ground, so to speak.

Look for business schools that have robust alumni networks, which open shortcuts to promising career opportunities. There’s as much to be said for schools that aggressively pursue industry partnerships and placements. After all, experience is a priceless commodity in Asia’s emerging business economy. Students who undertake an industry placement already have experience upon graduating.

With that in mind, the following are among the leading business schools for Asian students:


The Bryan School of Business & Economics is one of the largest business schools in North Carolina, and it offers one of the most competitive business educations in the US. Prestige and value-for-money converge on a business degree from the Bryan School, which makes it as attractive to international students as it is to those based in the US. Read the full profile here…


The Fogelman College of Business and Economics operates through the University of Memphis in the US. As a public institute, the University of Memphis is able to offer a far more affordable business education than the average private school. However, it delivers this along with substantial prestige and AACSB accreditation. On that count, the FCBE holds its own with an elite 5 percent of business schools worldwide. Read the full profile here…


Pic: The University of Memphis.


Prestige is not a new concept at the University of Glasgow. Founded in 1451, this is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world. But age aside, a longstanding commitment to teaching excellence, pioneering research and leading-edge scholarship ensure that the university’s legacy is backed by consistent and demonstrable present-day results. Read the full profile here…


Bryant University is based in Rhode Island, USA. Its standing as a world-leader in international business education is exemplified by its introduction of new coursework. A new undergraduate major along with three specialist MBAs all have strong international underpinnings. A strong international perspective prevails. Read the full profile here…


Bolton is a university on the move. Rapid development is underway, along with the introduction of several new programs. Among these is the Bolton Business School. When it launched in March 2013, it became the most recent reminder of this UK university’s extraordinary rise to prominence. Read the full profile here…


Pic: University of Bolton students find time to relax in the Student Union.


INSEEC heads a network of international business schools. It offers a range of MBAs and master’s of science degrees across a network of international campus. Based out of France (but with coursework available in English), INSEEC provides access to an enhanced network that includes 30 francophone countries, 110 million native French speakers and another 190 million second-language speakers around the world.


Part of the University of New South Wales (UNSW), the Australian School of Business is the country’s leading business school. The school has led the rankings for years, thanks in no small part to its leadership in research and flexible degree programs. Its position in the Asia-Pacific region makes this an even more attractive destination for internationally minded Asian students.


EBS was Germany’s first private higher-education institute. When it opened its doors more than 40 years ago, it was a veritable pioneer in German education – powered by an entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to research and innovation. Those same qualities along with the chance to master two or more foreign languages make EBS a top choice for today’s international students.