About B-schools of Asia

While opting to pursue management studies continues to be a popular trend among Indian students, the destination where one can acquire a management degree are, thankfully, multiplying by each day. Today besides the much sought after B schools in the US and the UK countries such as Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong too, are becoming favored destination for aspiring management graduates with an increasing number of reputed institutes setting up their campuses in these countries.

In 2007 there were over 86,000 students of 120 nationalities in Singapore, an increase of 7.5 per cent over the preceding year. India today, contributes the fourth largest number of international students in Singapore. Many Indian and international institutes of repute have opened campuses in Singapore and Dubai that ensure quality management degrees recognized both locally and nationally. Besides the Hong Kong University (HKU) is also gaining considerable recognition for pursuing management degree, albeit at a slow pace.

In order to gain admission to HKU, one needs to have at least three years of full time work experience along with an excellent GMAT score (generally above 650) and a good percentage (first class) at the bachelor’s level B-Schools in Singapore generally follow the requirements criteria adopted by other institutes cross the world. However entry requirements vary from institutes to Institute and from course to course. Universities consider various factors such as post academic record standardization test scores extracurricular activities, essays and so on. One needs a good profile, with a great GMAT/CA score and two years of work experience. Though the eligibility criteria for every school may vary, most institutes require students to appear for GMAT and TOEFL/IELTS.

Commencement of the admission process also varies. Terms for business and management courses begin between June and August. Application deadlines for the intakes are between February and April.

The costs of pursuing a management degree in Singapore and Dubai are not very low, when compared to schools in the US. In fact, in some cases it may almost be the same. However, if one considers the cost of living along with the tuition fees, then the entire cost of pursuing a management degree in Singapore or Dubai decreases significantly. In the US, the average cost is between Rs 20 to Rs 30 lakh depending upon the state and university. For a degree from Singapore or Dubai, this could vary between Rs Six to Rs 12 lakh. Tuition fees in Singapore have remained affordable. The cost of living in Singapore is significantly lower than that of many developed countries, making Singapore an affordable option of international students. If you consider pursuing an MBA from US B-schools, the expenses are steep and everybody may have a tight budget. Besides, rather than pursing an MBA at a US school ranked between positions 20 to 30, it made sense to study from a higher ranked one in Asia. GD who is planning to pursue management course from HKU worked out the cost to be fifty percent less than a US degree with great quality of education.

So, does obtaining a management degree from Singapore make more sense? Students should compare individual universities and not countries. National University of Singapore (NUS) may be better than City University in the UK. However, studying in Oxford may be more advantageous that studying at NUS. Singapore is acknowledged as a global business hub and is home to more than 7000 MNCs and 100,000 dynamic SMEs in businesses ranging from Hotel and Tourism, banking, new media to design and technology. This gives students tremendous career and networking opportunities post their education. Also, for students who want to work in India after completing their master’s abroad, a Singapore degree gives knowledge relevant to the Asia Pacific region. However, according to experts, while an MBA from NUS or INSTEAD in Singapore has good job prospects, Dubai and Hong Kong are yet to catch up. Dubai is a relatively new destination for MBA aspirants. Most schools are yet to make their mark. Also, employers in India are still not very confident of employing graduates from HKU, as they prefer student with US and European MBA degrees. However, this is fast changing. Another factor to be kept in mind, when considering a management degree from HKU is that knowing Mandarin is necessary though not mandatory. This at times causes language problems for Indian students.

Finally, most Asian institutes offer campus recruitments, as is the norm. However, individual skill sets and knowledge give one the upper edge. Most organizations will not accept even students who have a foreign degree, unless they prove their worth. The University and the student’s performance in the course are crucial factors for employment.

Indian B-schools like Kellog Wharton at Hyderabad and IIMs MBAs are also in demand from developed countries besides India and other Asian countries. They are also working with a few Australian and corporate firms of Newzealand.