Singapore, Hong Kong favoured destinations for MBA aspirants
While opting to pursue management studies continues to be a popular trend among Indian students, the destinations where one can acquire a management degree are, thankfully, multiplying by the 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 favoured destinations for aspiring management graduates, with an increasing number of reputed institutes setting up their campuses in these countries.
According to Kiran Bhandari, Area Director (Southern India, Sri Lanka and Maldives), Singapore Tourism Board, "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
Swati Salunkhe of Growth Centre, a Mumbai-based career-counselling centre, says, "Many Indian and international institutes of repute have opened campuses in Singapore and Dubai that ensure quality management degrees recognised both locally and nationally." Besides, the Hong Kong University (HKU) is also gaining considerable recognition for pursuing a management degree, albeit at a slow pace.
According to study abroad counsellor, Karan Gupta, 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 requirement criteria adopted by other institutes across the world.
"However, entry requirements vary from institute to institute and from course to course," explains Bhandari. "Universities consider various factors such as past academic record, standardised test scores, extracurricular activities, essays and so on.
One needs a good profile, with a great GMAT/CAT score and two years of work experience, says Salunkhe.Though the eligibility criteria for every school may vary, most institutes require students to appear for GMAT and
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.
According to Gupta, "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," elaborates
Concurs Bhandari, "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 for international students."
Kislay Pandey, who is pursuing her MBA at National University of Singapore Business School, says, "I considered pursuing an MBA from US B-Schools. But the expenses were steep and I had a tight budget. Besides, rather than pursuing an MBA at a US school ranked between positions 20 to 30, it made sense to study from a higher ranked one in Asia." Gaurav Dasgupta, who is planning to pursue a management course from HKU, adds, "The cost worked out fifty per cent less than a US degree, with great quality of
Better than the best?
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 than studying at NUS," informs Gupta.
Says Bhandari, "Singapore is acknowledged as a global business hub and is home to more than 7000 MNCs and 1,00,000 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 Gupta, while an MBA from NUS or INSEAD 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 students with US and European MBA degrees. However, this is fast changing," he explains.
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 a language problem 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 organisations 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," concludes
Public Business Schools in Singapore
The Nanyang Business School (NBS)
The National University of Singapore
Business School Singapore Management University (SMU)
Leading Foreign Universities in Singapore
ESSEC, France, one of France's top-tier B-School
S P Jain Institute of Management, University of Chicago
Gradate School of Business, USA
Private Education Organisations in Singapore
Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS)
PSB Academy's School of Business
Singapore Institute of Management (SIM)
SP Jain, XLRI and the IIMs are setting up campuses
London School of Economics
University of Wollongong
London Business School
Hong Kong University
HKU was recently rated as the 20th best BSchool worldwide. The MBA programme has a tie up with London Business School and Columbia Business School, so a HKU pass out becomes an alumnus of one of the top five B-Schools.
Times of India