10 Best Universities in Southeast Asia in 2024

10 Best Universities in Southeast Asia in 2024

In recent years, more and more students are seeking higher education opportunities abroad to improve their academic quality. Although Europe and America are often the main destinations, in reality, Southeast Asia also offers some of the best universities in the world. 


This article will dig deeper into the ten best universities in the Southeast Asia region according to the QS World Rank 2024. These ten universities can be proof that quality higher education options don’t always have to be in distant countries or other continents, you know!

QS WUR 2024 University Rankings in Southeast Asia


The following are the ten best universities in Southeast Asia, based on QS WUR 2024:


Ranking in Southeast Asia World Ranking University Country
1 8 NUS (National University of Singapore) Singapore
2 26 NTU (Nanyang Technological University) Singapore
3 65 University of Malaya Malaysia
4 137 Universiti Sains Malaysia Malaysia
5 158 Putra University Malaysia Malaysia
6 159 Malaysia’s Pride University Malaysia
7 188 University of Technology Malaysia Malaysia
8 211 Chulalongkorn University Thailand
9 237 University of Indonesia (UI) Indonesia
10 263 Gadjah Mada University (UGM) Indonesia


1. National University of Singapore (NUS) , Singapore


The first ranking of the best universities in Southeast Asia in 2024 was obtained by the National University of Singapore (NUS). This university has successfully reached the 8th best ranking in the world, beating many universities in other developed countries such as the United States, England and Australia. This university is known for excelling in fields related to science and technology, such as Petroleum Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science & Information Systems, Social Policy & Administration, and Geography.

Another advantage of NUS is that this university adopts an entrepreneurial spirit and an academic climate that provides ample opportunities for students to develop and realize their creative ideas. What’s cool is that this university has also successfully entered the ranks of the top global universities that are most preferred by companies in the world of work. This means that you have the opportunity to easily get a job and a high salary when you graduate. Exciting huh!

Tuition Fees at NUS

Tuition fees at NUS vary depending on the study program you choose. However, the average cost required for international students to study at this university is SGD 52,000 per year (Rp. 605 million). The time required to study undergraduate at NUS ranges from 3-4 years.


2. Nanyang Technological University (NTU) , Singapore


Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is the largest university in Singapore, known for its consistent achievements in world university rankings for the last 6 years. This university is consistently ranked in the top 15 in the list of the best young universities in the world. It is not surprising that QS WUR ranked this university as the 26th best university in the world globally.


Not only that, NTU is also consistently included in the best university ranking by subjects at the global level. This university has several superior research fields, namely artificial intelligence, engineering, materials science, and communication and media studies. As a university whose main focus is on research and technology, various departments at NTU are always targeted by foreign students, such as the departments of Materials Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Communication & Media Studies, Business & Management Studies, Computer Science, and Science. Environment.

Another interesting thing is that the NTU campus is known as one of the smartest campuses in the world. Here, you can see firsthand the latest technology such as autonomous electric buses and food delivery robots. Very cool huh!


Tuition Fees at NTU

Tuition fees for international students in most study programs are SGD 17,600 (Rp. 205 million) per year. Several other study programs have different tuition fees. For example, tuition fees for accounting and business majors at NTU reach SGD 20,200 (Rp. 235 million) per year, while those for medicine majors reach SGD 75,700 per year (Rp. 881 million).

3. Universiti Malaya , Malaysia



University of Malaya (UM) is a state research university in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This university is the oldest and best in Malaysia. In 2024, QS WUR designated UM as the 3rd best university in Southeast Asia, as well as the 65th best in the world.


UM’s main uniqueness lies in its career-related assistance services which can help its graduates to achieve good job opportunities. Career services such as Co-Curriculum Courses and Graduate Employability Matters, help students build transferable skills sought by the global job market. Apart from that, this university is also equipped with complete campus facilities, including a modern library, recreation areas and adequate accommodation options.



Tuition Fees at Universiti Malaya


Tuition fees for international students at UM vary widely, starting from RM 48,300 (Rp. 160 million per year) to the highest tuition fees for medical majors reaching RM 673,200 (Rp. 2.24 billion per year)


4. Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) , Malaysia

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) is the 4th best university in Southeast Asia and the 137th best in the world according to QS WUR 2024. USM is famous for its superior programs in the fields of Natural Science, Applied Science, Medicine and Health Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Building Sciences & Technology, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Education. As a university recognized as a research institution by the Ministry of Higher Education, USM offers educational and research opportunities to students and staff.


Not only that, USM also has support service facilities for international students, starting from dormitories as accommodation for students, motivational counseling and guidance services, as well as sports and recreation facilities. Apart from that, this university also has many student clubs and associations, such as the Political Science Society, Computer Science Club, and Mass Communication Club, which contribute to enriching the student experience. 

Tuition Fees at USM

Tuition fees for international students at USM vary from RM 17,500 to RM 29,090 (around Rp. 58 million to Rp. 96 million) per year, depending on the major chosen.

5. Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) , Malaysia

UPM is one of the leading research universities in Malaysia. In 2024, UPM successfully achieved the 5th best ranking in the ASEAN region and 158th in the world. This university is known as one of the universities that focuses on developing soft skills and students’ readiness to enter the world of work. Apart from that, this university also has an excellent management and administration system, as proven by the MS ISO9001 certification obtained by UPM.


With these achievements at the global level, UPM has become one of the universities that attracts many international students as a study destination of choice. Currently, UPM has more than 3,000 international students and alumni from more than 60 countries in the world. In fact, looking at the demographics, there are more than 30 percent of international students who enroll in postgraduate programs at UPM every year.



Tuition Fees at UPM


The tuition fees required for undergraduate studies at UPM vary between RM 10,000 to the most expensive reaching RM 40,000 per year for the veterinary medicine major. This fee is equivalent to Rp. 33 million to Rp. 133 million per year.

6. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) , Malaysia


Founded in 1971 and located on the outskirts of Putrajaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) has now become one of the 6th best universities in the ASEAN region, as well as the 159th best globally according to QS WUR 2024. This university uses a variety of teaching methods innovative ways to ensure students can receive adequate supplies to enter the world of work, one of which is through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).


UKM has 13 faculties, 13 institutes, 10 residential colleges, and 10 service centers. In addition, UKM also has five “living labs” dedicated to scientific and sociological research on the sustainability of ecological systems in Malaysia. UKM has also won various awards at national and international levels and became the first university in Malaysia to receive ISO 9000 accreditation in 1998. 



Tuition Fees at UKM


Tuition fees for undergraduate programs at UKM for international students range  from RM 9,300 to RM 55,400 per semester (around Rp. 30 million to Rp. 184 million per semester).



7. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) , Malaysia

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) is a state research university in Malaysia which is known for its excellence in the fields of engineering, science and technology. Since its inauguration in 1970, UTM has been a home for more than 18,000 local Malaysian students as well as 2,500 international students to prepare themselves in working world.


UTM has two campuses, one in the center of the country’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, and the other in the city of Johor Bahru, the capital of Johor state, at the southern tip of Peninsular Malaysia. Apart from that, this university is also equipped with a football stadium with a capacity of nearly 40,000 people, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, as well as a kayaking and equestrian center. 

Tuition Fees at UTM

Total tuition fees at UTM for international students vary, starting from RM 51,620 to RM 76,000 for tuition fees for 8 semesters. This amount is equivalent to Rp. 171 million to IDR 253 million.

8. Chulalongkorn University , Thailand


Chulalongkorn University is the oldest and best university in Thailand, and is known for its very strict entrance selection standards. This university is consistently ranked among the best universities in Southeast Asia and the world. In 2024, Chulalongkorn University will be ranked 8th best in ASEAN and 211th in the world according to QS WUR.


Chulalongkorn University has 90 faculties and departments which have successfully attracted a total of more than 41,000 students to study at this campus. Several study programs at Chulalongkorn University that have received high rankings on the international stage include Art & Design, Architecture, Computer Science, Chemical Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Economics, Law, Politics, Chemistry and Aerospace Engineering.

Tuition Fees at Chulalongkorn University

The average tuition fee required by international students to study at this university is THB 47,012, or the equivalent of Rp. 21 million per year.

9. University of Indonesia (UI) , Indonesia



Who says the quality of Indonesian education is less competitive than abroad? The University of Indonesia (UI) could be one proof of this. QS WUR 2024 named this university located in Depok City, West Java as the 9th best university in the Southeast Asia region, as well as the 237th best in the world.


Since its founding was legalized in 1950, UI has continued to grow and develop rapidly. In recent years, UI has initiated significant reforms in terms of academics, research and innovation at the global level. Currently, UI already has more than 30,000 alumni, both local students from Indonesia and international students. Currently, UI actively collaborates with various educational and research associations in the world, for example APRU (Association of Pacific Rim Universities), AUN (ASEAN University Network), and ASAIHL (Association of South East Asia Institution of Higher Learning) and is known as a pioneer innovation.



Tuition Fees at UI in 2024


Tuition fees at UI adhere to the Single Tuition Fee (UKT) system, which is the total tuition and supporting fees that students must pay each semester. The UKT for each student can be different, depending on the financial capabilities of the student’s parents and other considerations determined by the university. In general, the UKT amount at UI varies from Rp. 0-500 thousand for Class 1 Category up to Rp. 17.5 million to Rp. 20 million for Class 11 Category. 


10. Gadjah Mada University (UGM) , Indonesia


Gadjah Mada University (UGM), known internationally as Gadjah Mada University, is one of the largest universities in Indonesia. This university, which was founded in 1949, has 18 faculties, 68 undergraduate study programs, 23 diploma study programs, 104 master and specialist study programs, and 43 doctoral study programs. Currently, UGM has around 55,000 students, 1,187 foreign students and 2,500 teaching staff.


UGM is considered one of the most prestigious universities in Indonesia. In 2024, UGM managed to achieve the 10th best ranking in Southeast Asia and 263rd in the world according to QS WUR. One of UGM’s advantages is their innovation in developing the educopolis area as an effort to create an environment that is conducive to the continuity of the learning process. Apart from that, UGM is also actively implementing environmentally friendly strategies to reduce pollution and vehicle gas emissions in its campus environment.



Tuition Fees at UGM in 2024


Tuition fees for undergraduate students at UGM range from Rp. 0 to Rp. 24 million per semester, depending on economic abilities and the major taken by the student. Apart from the UKT fees, new students who have good economic abilities also need to pay a Superior Education Solidarity Contribution (SSPU) of IDR 30,0000,000 for the fields of Science, Technology and Health and IDR 20,000,000 for the fields of Social Sciences and Humanities.


It turns out, there are also many universities in the Southeast Asia region that have superior educational quality at the global level. The 10 universities above can be considered by those of you who want to study at the world’s leading campuses but are hampered by studying in big countries such as the United States, England or Australia.


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