Each region has its characteristics. East Asian universities are universities that have long held high positions in the rankings. The South and the South East are countries that have been under British influence for a long time. As a result, the British education system is visible in teaching here. And the universities of South-West Asia are developing rapidly rising higher in the world rankings every year.

Read more about the cost, scholarships, and features of studying in the most popular Asian countries among foreign students.

Tuition fees in Asia

The cost of education in Asian countries differs. For example, prices in China, Israel, and Turkey are relatively low — 4,000-5,000 USD per year. But Singapore and UAE can challenge USA and Great Britain the cost of education. In Asia, there are countries with very inexpensive learning. For example, you can find a bachelor's degree in India for 155 USD per year. But in terms of the quality of education, they are not very high[1].

The table below shows the approximate cost of education in the most popular Asian countries among international students.

CountryBachelor, avg. cost / yearMaster's degree, avg. cost / yearPhD, avg. cost / year
China3,990 USD4,988 USD5,487 USD
Hong Kong17,888 USD19,166 USD31,943 USD
Taiwan2,377 USD2,290 USD3,171 USD
Japan6,202 USD7,600 USD4,772 USD
South Korea10,857 USD13,477 USD14,600 USD
Malaysia5,270 USD5,691 USD7,377 USD
Singapore28,244 USD33,446 USD26,757 USD
UAE17,704 USD23,151 USD54,473 USD
Turkey5,000 USD5,000 USD500 USD
Israel3,000 USD5,000 USDFor free / 1,200 USD
Saudi Arabia14,000 USD15,500 USD16,200 USD

Features of education in Asia

Although many countries of the world, including Asian countries, have adopted the Bologna system of education, there are still striking differences between studying in Europe and studying in Asia. Here are some of them:

  • Age restrictions. In Europe, universities accept students regardless of age. The only exception is Hungary. There are more such examples in Asia. In China, Pakistan, Turkey, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia many universities have an upper age threshold for undergraduate applicants — from 21 to 35 years.
  • Directions of study. Most Asian countries have strong programs in engineering, technology, and medicine. If you open any subject ranking and look at the places of universities in the field of engineering, there will always be universities of China, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea[2][3] in the top 50 .
  • Method of teaching. In Asian universities, students attend more lectures. Discussions and interactions with teachers, and practical classes are less common here than in European universities.
  • State funding. In many Asian countries, higher education is financed by the state. This makes it accessible to more students — either the tuition is low, or the universities and the state offer generous scholarships.

Education in East Asia

China

Chinese education is valued no less than American or European. Some universities in the country overtake even universities of the prestigious Ivy League in the rankings. For example, Tsinghua University and Peking University are located on the 12th and 14th lines in QS 2023, and the famous Princeton and Yale — are on the 16th and 18th[4]. At the same time, prices here are quite affordable — an average of 3,000-5,000 USD per year.

You can enter China immediately after the 11th grade of school. But it's not worth the hassle. China is one of those countries where there are requirements for the age of the applicant. You can apply for a bachelor's degree in most universities, only if you are not older than 25-30 years old. The exact upper threshold depends on the university. For example, Donghua University accepts students under the age of 35.

You can study here in both English and Chinese. English-language programs are about 30%. But if the course you have chosen is only in Chinese, and you do not know the language, then you can still enter. In this case, you will spend your first year in China on language courses, and only then begin training on your program.

Read more

South Korea

Universities of South Korea occupy high positions in subject rankings. If you are planning to study technology or medicine, then this country is one of the ideal options:

  • SNU:
    • Engineering and technology in 41st place[5]
    • Clinical and health — 41[5]
    • Biomedical engineering — 16[6]
  • Yonsei:
    • Engineering and technology in 58th place[7]
    • Clinical and health — 32[7]
  • KAIST:
    • Engineering and technology in 35th place[8]
    • Life sciences54[8]
    • Physical sciences — 80[8]
    • Nanoscience and nanotechnology — 28[9]
  • ATTITUDE:
    • Engineering and technology in 55th place[10]
  • Korea University:
    • Biomedical engineering — 14[11]
  • Sungkyunkwan University:
    • Biomedical engineering — 14[12]

You can apply to South Korea after 11 classes of school education. But studying here is more expensive than in China — about 10,857 USD / year. Students can study in English — about a third of the programs here are in English. Those who wish to study in Korean language can take courses at university. They are available at almost every university, and upon completion, you can pass TOPIK and enter.

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Japan

Japan is home to renowned technology and innovation companies such as Mitsubishi, Canon, Toshiba, Casio, and Sony. Therefore, it is not surprising that international students come to this country to study engineering and technology. For example, the University of Tokyo is ranked 17th in the QS ranking in this area[2].

You can also enter here after the 11th grade. And education is also available in English — in the country's universities, there are about 500 programs that teach in this language[13]. However, there are more of them in master's and doctoral studies. Students pay an average of 6,202 USD per year for tuition.

Read more

Education in South and Southeast Asia

Singapore

Education in Singapore may not be the most obvious option. But on the territory of this small city-state, there are two universities that occupy high places in all known rankings:

NUS and NTU are especially strong in engineering and technology, computer science and media.

However, the competition for admission to these universities is very high, so, for safety reasons, it is worth applying to other universities in the country. There are a lot of private universities and branches here. For example, Australian James Cook University Singapore or the French business school INSEAD Asia Campus.

Studying in Singapore is more expensive than in other Asian countries. For example, for a year of a bachelor's degree, you must pay an average of 28,244 USD.

Not all universities accept after 11 classes of the school. You need to contact the admissions office directly and find out if your education is enough to enroll.

Read more

India

India ranks second after China in terms of the number of universities — there are more than 1000 of them[17]. And about 100 of them are included in various ratings. However, unlike other universities in Asia, India cannot boast of high positions. So, for example, the best result among the universities of the country is Indian Institute of Science — in the QS rating, it is in 155th place[4].

But we always advise looking at subject ratings. Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in the overall ranking takes 172 place. But in the direction of engineering and technology — 65[2].

Tuition fees are low here. For a year of bachelor's degree, students pay about 3,000 USD. Another advantage is the easy admission process. You can apply right after the 11th grade. There is also a system called DASA. Through it, documents can be sent immediately to three universities. Training takes place in English.

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Malaysia

Malaysia is one of those countries in Asia where you can't enter right after 11 grade of school. You have to take Foundation courses or finish IB / A-level. Universities in Malaysia are very young — the first, University of Malaya, was founded only in 1962. But it is already in 9th place among universities in Asia[18].

Since Malaysia used to be a British colony, now about 60% population speaks English[19]. Therefore, there are more than 2,000 English-language bachelor's programs here. And master's and doctoral studies are entirely in English.

Education here costs less than in neighboring Singapore — an average bachelor's degree is 5,270 USD per year. A master's degree — 5,691 USD. There are also many branches of British, Australian, and American universities. Education in them is cheaper than in head universities — you can get a diploma from, for example, an Australian university for half the price.

Read more

Education in Southwest Asia

UAE

Interest in higher education in UAE continues to grow. More than 80,000 foreign students came to this country in 2022[20]. And it's not just about the economic well-being of the Emirates or their popularity as a tourist destination. The rapid growth of the quality of education is also attractive. In just 3 years Universities in the UAE climbed 40-80 lines. For example, in the 2020 QS ranking Khalifa University was in 268th place, and in 2023 already in 181st[4].

One of the strongest programs in the universities of the UAE is the oil and gas business. In 2022 Khalifa University was on 20th place in the world in this area in the QS ranking[21].

The cost of studying in the UAE is one of the highest in Asia — an average of 14,980 USD per year for a bachelor's degree and 23,151 USD for a master's degree. However, most universities provide good scholarships and discounts to students with high academic performance. Payments can cover up to 100% of the cost of education. But more often it is 30-50%.

You can enter the UAE immediately after the 11th grade. But be careful, there are many branches of British and American universities. The rules for enrolling in them will be the same as in universities in the UK or the USA. For example, to enter Middlesex University Dubai, you will have to complete a year of the preparatory program or complete IB / A-level.

You don't have to learn Arabic for study. Almost all universities teach in English.

Read more

Israel

Israel is a multinational country. In 2021 alone, 25000 people emigrated here. Of these, 30% from Russia, 15% from France and 14% from the USA[22]. Therefore, you will not feel lonely in Israel, and at the same time you will practice English — about 85% of the population speaks it.

However, programs of study in English in Israeli universities about 10 times less than programs in Hebrew. Therefore, you have to learn the national language. This can be done at the Mekhina preparatory courses. They last 1 year and can also compensate for the academic difference — it will not work to enter Israel after 11 grades of school. Applicants also take a local entrance exam — a psychometric test. It tests knowledge in a specialized subject, the level of English or Hebrew, and the ability to think logically.

For a year of undergraduate studies, students pay an average of 13,000 USD, in a master's program — 16,000 USD, and in a doctoral program — 10,000 USD. Not the lowest prices, but in Israel, you can save. Many universities have need-based scholarships — financial assistance to students with low family income.

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Turkey

Education in Turkey is one of the cheapest in the world if we talk about public universities. For example, at Middle East Technical University the minimum cost of the undergraduate program is 96 USD / year, and the master's program — 80 USD / year. If you do not want to pay a lot for education, you will find a suitable option in this country. But the areas of medicine and engineering are always more expensive than other programs. This is worth considering.

In private universities, prices are, of course, higher — an average of 5,000-9,000 USD, depending on the language of study.

You can study here both in English — about 1000 programs, and in Turkish. But there will be more courses in the national language.

You can enter Turkey after the 11th grade of school. Some universities even recognize the USE as an entrance test which is obligatory in Russia. For example, Middle east technical university[23]. Other universities may require you to take a local standardized YÖS test or an American SAT.

Read more

Popular scholarships in Asia

GKS

Global Korea Scholarship is the largest government scholarship in South Korea. It covers the costs of

  • Accommodation — 674-749 USD / month
  • Medical insurance — 15 USD / month
  • Language courses — 599 USD / 3 months
  • Tuition fee — up to 3,744 USD / sem
  • Research costs — 157-180 USD/sem
  • Flight

Who can get it:

  • Bachelors under the age of 25
  • Master's and doctoral students — under 40
  • Researchers

MEXT

MEXT is a scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Education. There are seven funding options in total. Moreover, each program has age restrictions:

  • Young leaders program — under 40 years
  • For bachelors — under 25 years
  • For undergraduates and doctoral students — under 35 years
  • For students of vocational colleges — under 25 years
  • For students of technological colleges (the cuddle) — under 25 years
  • For bachelor students from non-Japanese universities who study Japanese language and culture — from 18 to 30 years

The scholarship covers all tuition fees and flights. And also every month students receive payments: from 780 USD to 1,614 USD, depending on the program.

Turkey scholarships

If you are applying to Turkey for a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree, then pay attention to the Turkey scholarships program. To get it, you must be under 21, 30 or 35 years old and have a high academic performance — above 70-75% of the final result at the previous stage of study.

Turkey scholarships covers:

  • Cost of education
  • Accommodation
  • One-year Turkish language course
  • One-way ticket
  • Monthly payments of 32 USD at the undergraduate level, 45 USD at the master's level and 58 USD at PhD level
  • Medical insurance

CGS

Chinese Government Scholarship (CGS) is a scholarship from the Chinese government. Students of all levels of education can get it: bachelor's, master's, and doctoral studies. As in many Asian countries, there is an age limit here. For example, bachelors over 25 years old will not be able to get it. And for muster's and doctoral students, the restrictions are 35 and 40 years, respectively. CGS covers

  • The full cost of education
  • Language courses if necessary
  • Monthly payments in the amount of
    • Bachelor — 348 USD
    • Master's degree — 417 USD
    • Doctoral studies — 487 USD
  • Medical insurance
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