Best Full-time MBA Programs in Singapore & Hong Kong

We’ve just posted extremely thorough (and updated) reviews of the best MBA programs in Singapore and Hong Kong at our sister site, Touch MBA.

Many applicants struggle with identifying differences between programs – now you can compare top full-time programs head-to-head across many key dimensions including class profiles, rankings, academics, scholarships and careers.

We worked really hard to put these together and hope you find them insightful.

Best MBA Programs in Singapore – Insead, NUS, Nanyang, SMU

Best MBA Programs in Hong Kong – HKUST, HKU, CUHK

Nanyang MBA Admissions Q&A with Mr. Nick Soriano, Director of MBA Marketing and Admissions, NTU

“By introducing the new 12-month curriculum for 2013, we are trying to address the present and future needs of industry with regards to MBA hires. We have focused on the 3 different aspects of what industry needs are: leadership across cultures, a stronger and deeper knowledge of Asia, and relevance to today’s world.”

Mr. Nick Soriano, Director of MBA Marketing & Admissions at Nanyang Technological University, joined the show to discuss the Nanyang MBA’s major curriculum changes (focus on leadership across cultures, Asia business, industry relevance) and format changes (16 months to 12 months) while also giving an insider’s look into the program’s stringent admissions process.

The Nanyang MBA was ranked #32 by the Financial Times, making it the top-ranked Singapore MBA program for 2013.  As Nick points out, Singapore has over 6,000 MNCs headquartered there and is consistently ranked as one of the world’s easiest places to do business. Singapore’s strategic position between China and India – along with its safe and clean environment and mix of Eastern and Western influences – makes it one of the most desired work locations in Asia.

Nick emphasized that the curriculum changes were made in concert with Asia’s rise in the world economy and employer demand for MBAs who can lead across cultures. The new curriculum requires an 8-month leadership module, industry project and business study mission. Nanyang also has double MBAs with Waseda (Japan), St. Gallen (Switzerland) and a double masters with ESSEC (France).

The Nanyang (NTU) MBA in 3 words: challenging, interactive, rewarding.

Listen on for much, much more!

Program Highlights

  • Class size: 80-100 students, 22 different nationalities
  • Program: 1-year length, starts in July
  • New 12-month curriculum starting in 2013 (used to be 16-months)
  • Accredited by EQUIS and AACSB
  • Program focus is on sustainability and corporate governance, a deeper knowledge of Asia, and relevance to today’s world and industry
  • New emphasis on leadership across cultures – 2 trimesters (8 months) will be spent on leadership modules, workshops, and talks
  • Nanyang established the first center of cultural intelligence in the world
  • Industry project and business study mission are new mandatory requirements
  • Singapore is a great combination of East and West with over 6,000 MNCs headquartered here.
  • Singapore is one of the safest and cleanest countries of the world


  • 3 stages: 1) paper assessment 2) interview stage 3) selection based on cumulative score ranking
  • Weightage of criteria (i.e. academic performance, GMAT, career progression, leadership potential, referees, interview) changes each year depending on market criteria
  • With a shorter 12-month program, leadership potential and profile fit with career goals will be weighted more heavily
  • Minimum GMAT score requirement: 600.  Average GMAT score: 672.  Also accept GRE.
  • Minimum work experience requirement: 2 years
  • Round 1 deadline end of Dec (batch mode)
  • Round 2 deadline end of March (rolling admissions),
  • Round 2 decisions returned faster as Nanyang is building class around Round 1 admits


  • 20% of class gets scholarships ranging from 20-50% of admissions fees
  • Scholarships are merit based, and for students who have first accepted a place in the program
  • International students can get loans in Singapore, but need a local guarantor


  • Nanyang has greatest reputation in Singapore, India and China, but is also well regarded in other countries
  • Graduates have a short window post-graduation to look for a job (this timeframe changes each year)

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Show Notes:


Nanyang MBA Unveils New Website; Essec Signs Deal for Brand New Campus in Singapore (Singapore MBA News – Nov 10, 2012)

My comments are in italics.

Nanyang MBA Unveils Brand New Website (Nanyang MBA Web Site) – Following its announcement of a new 1-year MBA program, Nanyang MBA has a brand new website which states their differentiators as global perspective & experience and asian focus, and their mission to groom leaders for a sustainable world.  In addition to this focus on leadership in Asia and sustainability, the program has 2 tracks (down from 6 one year ago): Strategy & Innovation and Banking & Finance.

Essec Signs Deal for Brand New Campus in Singapore (Financial Times) – looks like Essec is following Insead’s footsteps in creating a dual-country program in France and Singapore.

“Starting from January 2013, the school will teach its Grange Ecole Masters in Management degree in Singapore, and teaching of the school’s Executive MBA and full-time MBA programme will follow, in autumn 2013 and September 2014 respectively.

“Now it will be possible to follow the Grande Ecole programme 100 per cent at Essec without putting one foot on European land,” says Prof Tapie.

NUS’s double degree programme with the Anderson School of UCLA ranked 5th in the world by Financial Times (Channel News Asia) – and here a participant of NUS – UCLA EMBA degree shares his thoughts on the program.

“Average annual salaries of group participants were upwards of $250K USD.”

NUS’s APEX EMBA, which has teaching segments in India, Indonesia, Philippines, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Australia and Vietnam was ranked 26th.”

A Rolls Royce Opportunity (Financial Times) – a participant of the NUS-UCLA EMBA degree shares his thoughts on the program.

The course offers a global perspective – there are six segments, four of them in different countries (Singapore, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Bangalore). The visits to companies in these locations give you a sense of what it means to operate in divergent business cultures.

Nanyang’s EMBA Program celebrates it’s 5th graduating cohort (Nanyang Website) – for a comprehensive list of all EMBA programs in Singapore, go here.

“In July, students and faculty members together celebrated the graduation of 60 participants…This year’s graduates included 29 General/SME participants, 18 Shipping, Finance and Offshore, and 13 with Energy Specialisation. With students from 15 different countries”

NUS Organizes Cerebration, of the world’s largest student organized case competitions (NUS Website)

3 ways to prepare for your admissions interview (Veritas Prep) – preparing an “airtight” 1-3 minute summary of your CV is crucial, as is having 2-3 good questions to ask your interviewer.