Choosing a Master’s Program in Asia

We continue to publish articles about master’s programs abroad. Today we will talk about studying in Asia. More recently, this direction was not so popular, but now a fairly large number of students choose Asian universities. Recall that in the last article we discussed the magistracy in Europe and the United States.

Recently, there has been a steady trend of improving the quality of educational services provided by Asian universities, which often compete with leaders in higher education in the United States of America and Europe. This, to a large extent, is facilitated by the increased investment in education and research that is carried out here.

The following advantages of education in most Asian countries can be distinguished:


  • international training standards;

  • high academic reputation of Asian universities;

  • availability of education and accommodation;

  • developed infrastructure;

  • simple immigration rules;

  • comfortable climatic conditions;

  • the possibility of mastering another culture;

  • development of language competencies;

  • acquisition of the ability to work in international teams;

  • integration into the foreign scientific and business environment;

  • globalization of professional connections and contacts.


Japan ranks third in the world in scientific funding and leads in the field of scientific fundamental research, especially in the field of high technology, biomedicine and robotics. There are 13 Nobel laureates among the Japanese. The Ministry of Education is pursuing a policy aimed at increasing the number of foreign students in the country’s universities to 300 thousand students. To do this, the state simplifies visa procedures, improves the conditions of student life, attracts those who want to learn Japanese to the country, and also helps foreign graduates of Japanese universities in employment.

Requirements for future students in different universities may differ. Sometimes it is required to pass a nationwide unified exam or pass entrance tests. A prerequisite for all foreign students is the availability of a certificate of passing the qualification exam in the Japanese language.

Tokyo University (Tokyo University, Japan) is one of the leading universities in Japan and the Asian world, its graduates were outstanding political and public figures, scientists, among them – fifteen prime ministers of Japan. Today, it has about thirty thousand students receiving a bachelor’s or master’s level. In the scientific laboratories of the university, research is conducted on space topics or seismology issues. The University of Tokyo is considered one of the most prestigious universities in many fields. Among its competitors are other universities that before the war were part of the Imperial Universities, especially Kyoto University.

Kyoto University (Kyoto University, Japan) is known as the alma mater of the first Nobel Prize winner Hideki Yukawa, who conducted research in the field of physics. In the future, four graduates were also awarded the outstanding laureate title. Thanks to a powerful scientific and teaching base, the university has developed and implemented popular master’s programs that can significantly improve the level of knowledge in the field of exact sciences and acquire the most important professional skills.

Osaka University, Japan was established in 1724. The educational brand unites two hospitals, five research institutes and twenty-seven schools. Twenty-four thousand students study at the university.


Singapore’s education system is recognized as one of the most effective in the world. It is an indicative fact that Singaporean schoolchildren and students are winners of many subject Olympiads. In addition to Singapore’s universities, more than a dozen of the world’s leading universities have opened their branches in this city-state. The government provides billions of dollars in financial injections into the development of the educational sector.

The advantages of studying in Singapore are obvious: education in English, the British education system, world standards of training that meet the requirements of the modern economy, safety and high quality of life. Singapore inherited a 12-year system of secondary education from the British, so applicants with a diploma of 11 classes need to complete a preparatory program or unlearn one course at a Russian university and provide the results of an English proficiency test (IELTS or TOEFL). When entering the National University of Singapore, you will need to be tested.

National University of Singapore, Singapore, which was established in 1905. It is the largest university in the country both in terms of the number of students and the programs of study. Currently, the educational institution implements world standards in the field of higher education, paying special attention to the issues of the Asian world. The university has fourteen faculties that offer a wide range of programs.

Education in NUS is based on a modular system. This system includes features of the British system, such as small groups of students in their studies, and features of the American system of loans. Students can study electively in different faculties during the first two semesters. It is also possible to study in a double bachelor’s degree program: Bachelor of Arts, Social Sciences and Technology; Bachelor of Arts, Social Sciences and Law, Bachelor of Business and Engineering, and Bachelor of Business and Law.

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is the main technological university in Singapore. It offers a wide range of technological and economic disciplines. NTU is a founding member of the World Union of Technological Universities.

Its main campus and garden (Yunnan Garden campus) covers 200 hectares in the southwest of the island. It is the largest campus in Singapore with 16 dormitory buildings for students and a hall for doctoral students. NTU became the Olympic Village for the first Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010.

South Korea

The country is one of the world leaders in the number of students among the population. Now in South Korea, a large-scale reform is underway aimed at improving the quality of higher education. In order to attract foreign students, the government has developed a scholarship program Global Korea Scholarship (GKS), aimed at supporting foreign students who study in Korea.

Universities organize exchange programs with foreign educational institutions, hire foreign professors to increase the “coefficient of internationality” and rise in international university rankings.

In some private universities in South Korea, applicants only need to show a Russian diploma of secondary education and the results of tests for knowledge of the English language (IELTS or TOEFL). For admission to state universities, foreign applicants pass a single exam on an equal footing with citizens of the country and the TOPIK test (Test of Proficiency in Korean).

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) is South Korea’s leading teaching and research university located in Daejeon. It was founded by the Korean government in 1971 as the first national scientific, research and technical institute.

Since 1971, KAIST has been funded by the state. Initially, the institution was staffed by a significant number of talented engineers and scientists who were educated in the United States. From the very beginning, the emphasis was placed on theoretical and applied research. Kaist is now the main hub for strategic research projects in South Korea. Approximately 400 university professors conduct research, collaborating with educational and industrial organizations from around the world. KAIST offers scholarships and support to international students.

Seoul National University (SNU) is the largest and most famous university in South Korea, located in Seoul. The university retained its base after the devastating events of the Korean War, today it is increasing its scientific, personnel and technical potential. The structure of the higher education institution combines several areas that allow you to choose one of the master’s programs. Twenty-six thousand students study at the university.


The Chinese government is working very seriously and systematically on the prestige of Chinese education: universities receive huge budgets for equipping the technical and administrative base, for research and for inviting foreign specialists. For example, the budget of Peking University is comparable to the budget of Harvard. A large number of scholarships are allocated for foreign students, especially for teacher training programs for Chinese as a foreign language.

Separately from mainland China, it is worth noting the universities of Hong Kong, where the colonial influence of Britain has left a legacy of the popularity of the English language, so many courses are taught in English, which attracts foreign students. Five of Hong Kong’s nine universities are on the list of the top 200 universities in the world.

In order for you to be admitted to the bachelor’s program at the state university of the PRC, you need knowledge of the Chinese language, which is confirmed by the HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi) certificate, with the exception of English-language programs. Some of the most prestigious universities additionally require entrance exams. Anyone can enroll in language courses, there are no special requirements except for the age of 18 and graduation from upper secondary school.

Peking University – also known by the abbreviated name “Beida” – founded in 1898, the largest university in China, one of the oldest universities in the country. Its structure includes 30 colleges and 12 faculties. Training is conducted in 93 bachelor’s, 199 master’s and 173 doctoral specialties. The university has 216 research institutes, two engineering research centers have the status of nationwide. The local library has more than eight million books and 10,000 titles of Chinese and foreign magazines. The total area of book depositories and reading rooms exceeds 50 thousand square meters – this is the largest library in Asia.

By the number of professors, scientific advisers of doctoral students, academicians of the Academy of Sciences of China, the Academy of Engineering and Technical Sciences and, in fact, the students themselves (there are more than 35 thousand of them here), Peking University ranks first in the country.

A large number of foreign students also study here. About two thousand foreigners are permanently accommodated on the campus. 40 percent of them are Koreans, the remaining 60 consist of citizens of Europe, North America, Australia and Asia.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is a public research university located in Hong Kong. Founded in 1991, it consists of four schools that provide bachelor’s degrees in business, engineering, social sciences and humanities. According to various rankings, it is one of the three leading universities in the city, as well as among the best universities in China and Asia.

The University of Hong Kong specializes in research in biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, environmental protection and materials science. The School of Sciences operates the Biotechnology Research Institute, the Central Biological Sciences Research Laboratory, the William Mong Institute for Nanotechnology and Science, the Materials Characterization and Preparation Center, the Research Farm, and the Botanical Garden. The School of Engineering manages a geotechnical centrifuge, an Innovation Laboratory (a joint project of the university and Huawei), the Key Information Technology Laboratory (a joint project of the university, the Ministry of Education of China and Microsoft), the Center for Global and Public Commitments (supports the university’s robotics team).

Today, China is doing everything possible to become one of the leaders, increasing the pace of development in the educational sphere. Tsinghua University (China) was opened in 1911, it currently employs highly qualified teaching staff, which has its own achievements, which have gained fame in the scientific world. Twenty-eight thousand students study at the university, including citizens of foreign countries who are trained in bachelor’s and master’s programs. In 1952, the university was transformed: the faculties of law, agriculture, sociology and humanities were withdrawn from its composition and Tsinghua remained a purely technical university. However, by the end of the 1970s, the educational institution had regained its multidisciplinary character. Currently, in most rankings, Tsinghua is called the number 1 university in China.

The list of Asian universities is extensive, we recommend viewing the special ranking QS University Rankings: Asia 2014.

The possibilities of master’s programs offered by the world’s leading universities make it possible to acquire stable positions in the modern employment market, given the increased requirements for the educational level for certain professions, which include medicine, statistics, psychology and others. The advantages of obtaining a master’s degree are also an increase in wages, improving the professional level, which is an extremely attractive factor for serious employers.

The presence of master’s education and the right choice of the appropriate program will expand the scope of communication in the professional sphere, creating new successful contacts that contribute to self-realization and the search for the ideal way to be as useful as possible to society.

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