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Top 15 Asian Universities Offering the Best Education for International Students

Asia is home to some of the top universities in the world, providing high-quality education at an affordable cost along with rich cultural experiences for international students. With rising economies and innovation, Asian universities continue to climb global university rankings every year.

We have compiled this definitive list of the 15 best Asian universities for international students looking to study abroad in 2024 based on rankings, academic excellence, global reputation, international diversity, cost of attendance, and student feedback.

Comparison of the Top 15 Asian Universities for International Students

UniversityLocationTimes Higher Education World Ranking 2023International Student PercentageTuition for International Undergraduate Student (Per Year)
National University of SingaporeSingapore#1140%$16,100
Tsinghua UniversityChina#1620%$7,500
University of Hong KongHong Kong#2137%$15,100
Nanyang Technological UniversitySingapore#2440%$16,800
Peking UniversityChina#2710%$10,000
University of TokyoJapan#307%$5,400
Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyHong Kong#3536%$16,700
Seoul National UniversitySouth Korea#3711%$5,600
Kyoto UniversityJapan#4412%$5,400
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and TechnologySouth Korea#465%$6,600
The University of MelbourneAustralia#4840%$38,400
Fudan UniversityChina#5116%$6,000
Zhejiang UniversityChina#5420%$7,500
The Chinese University of Hong KongHong Kong#5933%$13,500
The University of SydneyAustralia#6043%$35,500

1. National University of Singapore

Asian universities for international students
Source: iStock

The National University of Singapore (NUS) is ranked 11th in the world in 2023 and 1st in Asia by Times Higher Education. Over 40% of its student population is international, originating from 100 countries.

NUS excels in various disciplines like engineering, life sciences, computer science, business, law, design, public policy, and more. It is also the oldest university in Singapore with the most extensive college system. Its 16 colleges provide student housing and organize academic and non-academic activities.

With a tuition fee starting from $16,100 per year, NUS offers one of Asia’s most diverse campuses with dedicated resources and groups catering to international students. It also provides ample global internship and study abroad opportunities with partner universities worldwide.

2. Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University is one of China’s most prestigious institutions ranked at #16 in the world university rankings. As one of the nine elite C9 League Chinese universities, Tsinghua is an institute known for its engineering, computer science, and business programs.

Nearly 20% of its over 45,000 students come from 114 countries abroad to experience China’s rich culture while paying an affordable undergraduate tuition fee of around $7,500 per year. Students gain access to ample resources, innovative labs, and opportunities to join over 200 student organizations on campus.

3. University of Hong Kong

As Hong Kong’s oldest university established in 1911, the University of Hong Kong (HKU) is ranked 21st globally for its academic excellence and pioneering research across various disciplines like business, engineering, education, humanities, architecture, law, and health sciences.

HKU currently has over 37% international students from 100 countries, making it a vibrant global university focused on diversity. As an international student, you get to study a UG or PG program in Hong Kong paying an average annual fee of HK$15,100 per year with access to several scholarships. HKU also has dedicated dormitories to house most non-local UG students on campus.

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4. Nanyang Technological University

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore is a global top 25 technology-focused university known for its engineering, business, and communication programs. Over 40% of its 33,000 plus student population comprises international students from over 70 countries who pay around S$16,800 per year in tuition fees.

NTU features technologically advanced labs, facilities, and maker spaces with opportunities for overseas exchange programs. It helps students develop industry-relevant skills through internships and encourages entrepreneurship via co-working spaces, incubators, and acceleration programs.

5. Peking University

A part of the C9 League, Peking University (PKU) is regarded as the most prestigious university in China. PKU is ranked 27th globally with strength across humanities and sciences. Over 45,800 students study at PKU, including over 4,500 international students from 164 countries.

Undergraduate international students pay yearly tuition fees of around $10,000 at PKU. PKU’s beautiful campus environment coupled with dedicated cultural groups, worldwide exchange programs, internships with Chinese companies provide international students an excellent China experience.

6. University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo (Todai) is Japan’s most prestigious university constantly ranked the best in Asia. Todai ranks #30 in world university rankings and has educated several Japanese leaders and Nobel laureates across disciplines like science, economics, arts, and literature since its establishment in 1877.

Around 7% of Todai’s 30,000 plus student body comprises international students who pay an annual tuition fee of over ¥570,000 ($5,400). Studying at Todai provides international students world-class education coupled with access to advanced facilities and cultural student circles of Japan.

7. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Ranked #35 globally, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) was established in 1991 as a research-focused technological university in Hong Kong. This young global university is renowned for its science, technology, engineering, business, and management programs.

Over 36% of its students come from abroad spanning over 50 countries to study at its technologically-advanced campus. International students pay around HK$130,000 ($16,700) per year to access the university’s extensive innovation ecosystem and opportunities. HKUST provides dedicated accommodation, activities, and support communities catered to international students.

8. Seoul National University

Seoul National University (SNU) is ranked 37th internationally with the highest number of Korean Nobel Laureates associated with it. As South Korea’s foremost university, SNU offers UG and PG degrees spanning humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering with global partnerships across 260 institutes worldwide.

Around 11% of SNU’s enrollment constitutes international students representing over 80 countries annually paying an average tuition fee of $5,600 per year. SNU provides several scholarships, Korean language programs, global internships, dedicated dorms and an International Student Ambassadors group.

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9. Kyoto University

Kyoto University is Japan’s second oldest university and is ranked 44th internationally with notable alumni including Nobel laureates and a Japanese astronaut. This leading comprehensive research university offers a variety of UG and PG programs in sciences, engineering, humanities and law including 13 graduate schools, 5 research institutes and 17 facilities.

Over 5000 international students from 118 countries study at Kyoto University, paying a yearly undergraduate tuition fee of around $5,400 (¥570,000). Studying in Kyoto provides exposure to traditional and modern Japanese culture with dedicated support for international students regarding academics, daily life and campus festivals.

10. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) is South Korea’s top technological university focused on research and entrepreneurship. Ranked 46th globally, KAIST provides dedicated scholarships for international students including the Global IT Technology Program (GITTP) taught in English.

Around 5% of KAIST’s over 10,000 student body comprises international students from over 45 countries yearly paying a tuition fee of about $6,600 per year. KAIST also organizes dedicated orientation and buddy programs targeted toward international students.

11. The University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne is Australia’s top university constantly featuring among the top 50 worldwide across disciplines like science, biomedical sciences, engineering, education, law, business, and arts. Ranked #48 globally, 40% of University of Melbourne’s over 90000 strong student body is international, representing over 160 countries.

International students pay around A$38,400 per year for undergraduate studies. The University of Melbourne provides several scholarships, a student equity program, buddying services by current students and access to rich art forms and sporting culture.

12. Fudan University

Part of China’s prestigious C9 League is Fudan University known for its liberal arts and science disciplines. Ranked 51st globally and within top 100 worldwide for 33 subjects, Fudan offers over 30 international dual degree programs. Around 16% of Fudan’s 45,000 plus students are international, representing over 100 countries.

Fudan charges international students an annual undergraduate tuition fee of $6,000 approximately. Located in Shanghai, studying at Fudan provides international students the opportunity to experience one of China’s most cosmopolitan environments with exposure to commerce and culture.

13. Zhejiang University

Zhejiang University (ZJU) is one of China’s oldest higher education institutes ranked 54th globally known for its science, engineering, agriculture, management, arts, economics and law programs. Around 20% of its 58,500 students are international, hailing from over 150 countries.

ZJU charges international students an annual tuition fee of RMB 50,000 ($7,500) with a variety of merit-based and Chinese Government scholarships available. Located in picturesque Hangzhou, ZJU advances cultural exchange via dedicated international student groups, language partners and traditional Chinese festivals on campus.

14. The Chinese University of Hong Kong

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has a rich heritage as Hong Kong’s second oldest university ranked 59th globally across disciplines like business, economics, science, engineering, communication, and law. Around 33% of its 20,000 students are international, hailing from over 50 countries to experience CUHK’s multicultural campus.

Undergraduate international students pay around HK$100,000 ($13,500) tuition fee annually (minus accommodation). CUHK provides merit-based scholarships, internships with multinational companies in Hong Kong and ample volunteering opportunities.

15. The University of Sydney

The University of Sydney is Australia’s oldest university ranked 60th globally known for subjects like veterinary science, medicine, project management, psychology, architecture and aeronautical engineering. Around 43% of University of Sydney’s over 65,000 student body is international, spanning over 170 countries.

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International students pay around A$45,000 ($35,500) as tuition fees annually. The University of Sydney provides specialised services like airport pick-up, accommodation, buddy networks along with over 450 clubs and societies managed by students themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which university is the cheapest for international students in Asia?
Seoul National University in South Korea is the most affordable top university for international undergraduate students in Asia with an annual tuition fee of around $5,600 USD.

Which Asian university has the highest percentage of international students?
The University of Melbourne in Australia has over 40% international students, the highest among the top universities in Asia.

What is the best Asian country for international students?
Singapore is regarded as the best Asian country for international students based on university quality, English proficiency, safety, cultural diversity and student visas. Prominent options include National University Singapore and Nanyang Technological University.

Can international students easily get jobs in Asia after graduation?
Yes, countries like Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia have structured post-study work visa programs allowing eligible international graduates to work or find jobs for up to 2-4 years after graduation.

Do Asian universities offer scholarships for international undergraduate students?
Yes, most of the top Asian universities provide various merit-cum-means scholarships

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