Based on the latest information from the QS University Rankings: Asia, the top 10 Asian universities which have attracted the largest number of international students are currently based in Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and Singapore.
The University of Hong Kong (HKU) currently has the highest percentage of international students among the universities assessed in the ranking, with international students making up 37.7% of its student population. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is only very slightly behind, with 37.4% of its students coming from outside Hong Kong.
Singaporean institutions National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) are also proving highly attractive to international students, respectively attracting 33.5% and 34.2% of their student population from overseas. Malaysia is another major importer of international students.
These leading players in international student recruitment are often Asian universities that have already established a high level of global prestige. Meanwhile the projected growth of Asian economies and the ASEAN Economic Community will only accelerate the rise of Asia’s top universities in the world university rankings, making them more globally visible and attractive to both students and academics.
Indeed, in March 2013 an OECD report predicted that the Chinese economy could grow to overtake that of the US as soon as 2016. With the increasing momentum of Asian universities, who knows what could happen in 30 years’ time? It may be sooner rather than later that top Asian universities start to genuinely challenge the ability of the US Ivy League and the UK Russell Group universities in attracting the best minds from around the world.