Top 10 MBA Programs in Asia 2019

Top 10 MBA Programs in Asia 2019

The QS Global MBA Rankings 2019 have been released today, ranking business schools from around the world. The rankings are also split up into regions: Asia, Europe, Canada, Oceania, Latin America, and the US.

MBA programs worldwide were ranked based on the indicators of employability, entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, return on investment, thought leadership, and diversity.

In this article, we’re taking a closer look at the top MBA institutions in Asia, which features 23 business schools from across the continent.

This year, the business hub of Singapore and financial capital Hong Kong have the most b-schools in Asia’s top 10, landing three spots respectively. Find our the rest of the top 10 below.

10. Indian School of Business, Hyderabad

Indian School of Business, Hyderabad

The Indian School of Business (ISB) was established in 2001, with high hopes to put India on the global map of management education. ISB has pioneered new trends in management education in India and established itself as a world class management institution. And by landing the 100th spot in our global ranking, the business school has secured itself as a top 100 school. In Asia, ISB ranks ninth for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, 10th for employability, 14th for return on investment, 15th for thought leadership, and 19th for diversity.

9. IIM Bangalore, India

IIM Bangalore, India

The second Indian institution (and IIM institution) in our Asia top 10 this year is IIM Bangalore. Founded in 1973, it was the third IIM to be established in the country. Regionally it ranks sixth for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, fifth for employability, eighth for return on investment, 10th for thought leadership, and 20th for diversity.

Students on the US$30,646 12-month MBA program are a little older with an average age of 30 with seven years’ work experience.

8. The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Hong Kong

CUHK Business School, Hong Kong

CUHK Business School is the second-oldest university in the territory, and if that wasn’t enough, the business school has produced four Nobel laureates. Ranked 6rth in the world, CUHK Business School ranks fifth for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes in the region, sixth for thought leadership, ninth for return on investment, 11th for employability, and 11th for diversity. The b-school is ranked 64th in the world.

Students can expect to study in a medium-sized class of 74 students, however 94 percent of students are international, 31 percent of students are female, and 10 nationalities are represented on the course. The 12-month program costs US$70,384, and with a post-graduate salary of $62,357 up from US$43,022, it'll be a nice little downpour for graduates.

7. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong

HKUST, Hong Kong

Founded in 1991, HKUST is the youngest institution in the region. The business school is highly regarded around the world and ranks 53rd in the Global MBA Rankings 2019. In the Asia region, it comes second for thought leadership, sixth for employability and sixth for diversity, eighth for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes and 10th for return on investment.

Similar to CUHK Busines School, HKUST boasts quite large classes with 122 students. However, more nationalities are represented with 27 in the cohort, and there are 92 percent international students on the program. The 16-month course costs US$75,300, with a slight jump in salary post-MBA at US$83,385 from US$64,590.

6. Nanyang Business School, Singapore

Nanyang Business School, Singapore

Jumping up from 10th place in last year’s rankings, as Singapore’s oldest business school Nanyang Technological University has a lot to offer MBA students. And it’s not just the regional ranking Nanyang has excelled in, as it soared from joint 72nd in the world in the Global MBA Rankings 2018 to 52nd in our 2019 Global MBA Rankings. In the regional rankings, it comes first for diversity, third for thought leadership (up from seventh), sixth for return on investment, ninth for employability (up from 14th), and 14th for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes.

The 12-month MBA program costs US$47,328, with an average jump in salary from US$30,722 to US$70,758 post-MBA. The average student is aged 28 with five years’ work experience. Class sizes are quite small with 76 students, but there are 18 nationalities in the cohort, with 93 percent international students.

5. IIM Ahmedabad, India

IIM Ahmedabad, India

As the first Indian institute on our Asia ranking there’s a lot of benefits at IIM Ahmedabad. Founded in 1961, it was the second Indian Institute of Management to be established. The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are a group of 20 public, autonomous institutes of management education and research across India. Ranked joint 48th globally, in the Asia region it ranks fourth for employability, third for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, fifth for return on investment (jumping from 10th in 2018), 11th for thought leadership, and 20th for diversity.

The 12-month program costs US$24,960, with graduates earning on average US$44,458 compared to $19,964 before their studies.

4. National University of Singapore, Singapore

National University of Singapore

NUS is well-regarded as one of the largest and oldest tertiary educational institutions in Singapore and offers one a valued MBA program. It ranks fourth in our Asia ranking and 40th in the Global MBA Rankings, sliding up from 42nd in 2018. In terms of specific criteria, it ranks second for diversity, fifth in the region for thought leadership, third for employability, fourth for return on investment, 13th for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes.

The world-renowned institution offers a 17-month MBA program which costs US$49,638. MBA students may see a rise in their salaries however, jumping from US$37,574 pre-MBA to US$70,898. The average student is aged 29 with six years’ work experience. Class sizes are medium sized with 112 students, but there are 22 nationalities represented in the cohort, with 87 percent international students, and 36 percent women.

3. University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

University of Hong Kong

In the Asia rankings, the University of Hong Kong ranked first for return on investment (ROI) opportunities, fourth for thought leadership, seventh for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, eighth for employability, and 10th for diversity.

The 14-month program costs $70,639, with an average post-MBA salary $92,400. But as the average pre-MBA salary is $44,440, that’s quite an impressive jump for students. There’s quite a diverse cohort at the b-school with 19 nationalities and 97 percent of international students making up the class, as well as 36 percent of the student population identifying as female.

Mr. Sachin Tipnis, Senior Executive Director (Marketing & Admissions) of MBA and EMBA-Global Asia Programs says, “Our location in the heart of Hong Kong, a city with a rich business and entrepreneurial heritage, confers immense advantages upon our students.

“Hong Kong’s vibrant economic environment attracts businesses from all over the globe. Dynamic Hong Kong is an upbeat, ‘can do’ city whose business advantages are legendary: This goes well with our moto: Learn Business Where Business Is.

“Our biggest advantage in small class size (60 students each full-time batch), resulting in a much personalised career services support. We are able provide customised training, coaching, mentorship, and job search strategies to our students and this leads to successful employment outcomes.”

But what does Tipnis think of the importance of rankings? He says, “Rankings are very good starting point. The best way to use rankings is to look at the breakdown carefully and match the ranking parameters or indicators (sub-heads) to what you will like to achieve from your MBA.

2. CEIBS, Shanghai

CEIBS, Shanghai

CEIBS is ranked second in the region, with good scores for all ranking indicators, achieving the highest score in the Asia region for entrepreneurship and employee outcomes.

The MBA program is 18-months and costs US$55,860. The average salary achieved by MBA graduates is US$65,577, up from US$33,203 before undertaking the MBA program. The class is also made up of 40% women and 34% percent international students.

When asked why students should study an MBA at CEIBS, Professor Juan Fernandez, CEIBS Associate Dean and MBA Director says, “For me, it boils down to two key factors that appeal to both conservative and adventurous young professionals alike.

“Firstly, as a top ranked MBA program, students can be confident in the knowledge that the experience they have at CEIBS, our faculty, facilities, curriculum and connections are comparable with the other top tier programs from around the world.

“Secondly, for those adventurous spirits, you will be joining an MBA program in Shanghai at a unique time in history with the digital revolution in full swing. We are touching distance from the action, so our students and alumni are given many opportunities to play their part in the rise of China on the global stage.”

1. INSEAD, Singapore

INSEAD, Singapore

As well as ranking first in Asia, INSEAD is also ranked sixth globally. Although INSEAD has a campus in Asia, it also offers MBA at permanent campus’ in Fontainebleau, France (and the Middle-East), making it eligible for the Asia and Europe rankings. In our ranking indicators, INSEAD landed its highest scores in thought leadership, followed by employability, and thirdly return on investment (ROI). But with an over 90 percent overall score, it’s easy to see why it landed first spot.

INSEAD’s MBA program is one of the shortest available with only 10 months of study, however, as the course costs $100,909, the program may seem very expensive. Tuition fees cover all printed course materials, access to the INSEAD library and on-campus information technology services, language tuition and testing*, student council fees, gym access, business cards, printing and health insurance. The average MBA student is aged 29 with six years of work experience.

Written by Niamh Ollerton

Niamh is Assistant Editor of TopMBA.com, creating and editing content for an international MBA student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of the business world.  

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