By Jumana Abuwala

Studying in an international university is an invaluable jewel to any resume. For entry-level jobs, the university one went to can be a huge factor that employers consider. However, not everyone wants to move to a different continent or spend a fortune on their undergraduate studies.

For your benefit, GradConnect has compiled a list of international universities with campuses in Asia and/or the Middle East that will allow you to have access to the best standards in education while being fairly close to home. Note that the list is in no way meant to be a ranking. All the universities in this list have excellent opportunities and facilities for prospective students.   

1. NYU Shanghai/Abu Dhabi

New York University (NYU) now has campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. The Abu Dhabi campus offers courses in Art and Humanities, Engineering, Social Sciences and Science alongside offering multidisciplinary options as well. The staff is as diverse as the city itself, having been sourced from 49 countries. Given the fact that UAE is an expensive country in general, the costs are fairly high at USD 47800 per year in fees.

The Shanghai campus on the other hand, is slightly cheaper with tuition fees priced at USD 46000 per year. The living costs here, however, are much cheaper and the overall costs including meals, accommodation and travel would be about USD 10000 cheaper for those at the Shanghai campus. 

2. Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi

This is an Emirati university that works in collaboration with the 760 year old French university in Paris. Located on the tech-savvy Al-Reem Island, this relatively small university (student population: 700), is well on its way to achieving the standards of its main campus in France. All degrees except the Bachelor in Physics are offered in French and the university also offers a year long intensive French course for those who need to solidify their language skills before starting their undergraduate studies. The tuition fees will set you back USD 50 600 for a 3-year degree. Alternatively, you could do a year long French as a Foreign Language course for USD 11500.

3. University of Nottingham Malaysia/China

University of Nottingham, originally a British university now boasts 2 campuses in Asia. The Malaysia campus is located in the Semenyih district and is less than 2 hours from Kuala Lumpur. This scenic campus is best known for Engineering courses but offers a plethora of courses at the Pre-University, Undergraduate and Post-graduate level. The per year tuition fee ranges from USD 9050 to USD 15000 depending on the course.

The China campus is located in the city of Ningbo, which is a hybrid between a college town and a commercial city. This offers a truly unique experience for students at a tuition fee of USD 13000. Both campuses allow students to complete a portion of their studies at the Nottingham campus. 

4. Technische Universitat Berlin at El Gouna (Egypt)

Technische Universitat Berlin has a satellite campus in Al Gouna, Egypt. The campus offers courses that are especially relevant to the region such as Energy and Water engineering courses. German and Germany-educated scholars run the university. The campus acts as a research center and thus only offers masters programs at the moment.

5. Texas A & M at Qatar

Texas A & M University at Qatar is a branch of the same university in the US. Located in the ‘Education City’ of Al Rayyan, the campus offers undergraduate courses in Engineering, most notably Petroleum Engineering that is especially relevant in the Qatar context. The university also offers Liberal arts and science courses. The entry requirements are the same as those in the US branch. The tuition fees are at USD 14000 per semester but everyone can apply for financial aid from the Qatar Foundation. The Education City is also home to a branch of Cornell, making this an interesting study environment that encourages learning and sharing of ideas.

6. Monash University, Malaysia

Located in the model town of Bandar Sunway, surrounded by the Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, the Sunway Pyramid mall, the Sunway Medical Center and much more, this is the perfect balance between a college town and a bustling city. Kuala Lumpur is just 20-30 mins away from Monash Malaysia by taxi. Sunway University College is a mere 10 minute walk from Monash while Taylors University is 10 minutes by taxi.Therefore the area predominantly caters to international and local students alike.

Per year tuition costs for Business or Arts courses is approximately USD 10000, approximately a third of the cost in the Melbourne campus. This is truly a bargain as living costs in Malaysia are much cheaper than in Melbourne, making this a top choice for Bangladeshi students. Students at this campus can go on exchange programs to Monash Melbourne for up to a semester, to Monash South Africa for up to a year and to a Monash Arts center in Prato for up to a month for no added fees. 

7. James Cook University Singapore

James Cook University Singapore (JCU Singapore) is a branch of JCU in Australia. The university is ranked in the top 4% of universities in the world, making this a university of great standards.

JCU Singapore offers pre-university courses in English language and foundation programs for those who do not meet undergraduate entry requirements. The undergraduate and postgraduate courses offered span across the fields of IT, education, psychology and environmental sciences etc. The undergraduate tuition fees range from USD 48000 to USD USD 58700 depending on the course.

8. Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus

This is a campus of the established Swinburne University of Technology in Australiaand it operatesin much the same way that Monash and Nottingham do: offering students easy mobility to the mother campus in Australia alongside providing access to their partner universities also. This campus is located in Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, in the Western region of Malaysia. A hub for tourists who want to experience the natural beauty and cultural diversity of Sarawak, Kuching is much cheaper in terms of living costs compared to KL and it’s suburbs.  Engineering undergrad will cost you only USD 8500 per year for 4 years. This is definitely cheaper than Monash and other established universities in Asia of similar international repute.

9. Carnegie Mellon Qatar

Another jewel of the ‘Education City’ of Al-Rayyan, this is a branch campus of the Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. This is a fairly small campus, (student population: 400); perfect for those looking for a smaller yet reputed university. The school currently offers undergraduate courses in Computer Science, Business, Computational Biology and a Biological Sciences degree that is the result of collaboration between Carnegie Mellon and the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. The tuition costs are the same in Pittsburgh and Doha; however all students are eligible for financial aid from the Qatar foundation.

10. University of Wollongong, Dubai












The oldest international university in UAE is a campus of the University of Wollongong in Australia. This campus boasts 3500 students with locals and internationals alike. Students at this campus are at the liberty to complete a portion of their degree in Dubai and complete the rest in Australia. The undergraduate courses offered here range from Business and Management, Finance and Accounting and Engineering and Information Sciences. Students can transfer to Australia or receive a UOW Australia degree upon completion. The fees per year are USD 55,000 for almost all undergraduate courses, making this one of the more affordable options in the Middle East.


Jumana Abuwala is an Intern, Content Writing at GradInsights, the career intelligence service of GradConnect.



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