It is a joyful thing to have climbed the academic ladder gradually and now you have arrived at the “final destination” of your academic pursuit – a PhD Degree. The path to this level may have been very difficult and despite the difficulties, you scaled through. Now you are looking for the best countries to study PhD program.
The ability to make the right choice about the best countries for PhD Studies or the best countries for pursuing your PhD degree is a very hard one. This has undoubtedly been the reason why so many master’s degree holders have not gone ahead to pursue their PhD degrees yet.
Most times, choosing the right destination for PhD studies is influenced by so many factors. These factors may vary depending on the particular candidate in question.
Factors That Determine PhD Studies Destination
There are many factors responsible for the choice of PhD candidate when it comes to choosing a destination for PhD Studies. Many of these factors are financially related whereas others are not. It is therefore important to look at some of these factors that determine PhD studies’ destination.
Some researchers such as Herlina Jupiter et al., 2017 in their work factors influencing international students’ decisions in choosing study destination abroad highlighted some of these factors. In their work, they grouped these factors into three and later subdivided them. These factors that determine PhD studies destination are:
Communication Factor (Communication Quality)
This refers to the way the host university communicates with the international students, before, during and after their arrival and studies. This is a major factor that influences the choice of study destination.
- Online Communication Channels: This involves how the university administrations respond to the international students’ concerns through email. This influences their choice, especially when these concerns are given proper attention.
- Offline Communication Channels: This includes face-to-face communications with the students. It is best when the University representative in their home countries organises a seminar to educate them.
Location (Attraction and Study Destination)
This seems to be the bone of contention in this post. What are the factors that influence this choice? How can PhD students make better choices when it comes to destinations for PhD studies? Well! Some of the factors that influence the choice of study destination are:
- University Image: In terms of the university image, this is determined by the school’s ranking, status, reputation and employment opportunities for the graduates of the school.
- Program and Course: The program of study determines where the students look towards. For instance, PhD students who wish to study the English language will look towards the United Kingdom and the United States while those who are going for French will look towards France as their destination of study.
- Language: The language used in teaching can equally influence the choice of a PhD study destination. Students generally prefer to go to schools/countries where their first languages are used to teach them so they won’t have to learn a new language. While others also travel to some countries in order to learn their local language.
- International Environment: Students generally would like to travel to countries that welcome international students with open arms. Hence, most students travel to countries that allow them to integrate to study for their PhD programs.
- Tuition Fees/Cost Of Living Expenses: As stated above, the choice of a PhD study destination is mostly influenced by the tuition fees and cost of living expenses. This is because most of the PhD candidates seek scholarships. After all, they cannot fund the research single-handedly.
Social Factor (Social Network)
In terms of social networks as a factor that influences the choice of PhD study destination, we mean the PhD candidates’ relationships with others. How they relate with:
- Family and Friends
- Students Testimonials
The choice of the best countries for PhD studies or the best countries to study PhD Programs are dependent on these factors. Students are also faced with the difficulty of choosing the right university or college to study. Here is How To Choose The Right College | Factors To Consider
Which Country Is The Best For Studying PhD Program And Why?
Having stated the factors that determine the choice of a PhD Study destination, we go ahead to list the 11 best countries to study PhD program. Although in no specific order, these choices were made considering other factors. The list is compiled based on countries with a good reputation in terms of security of lives and property as well as readiness to accept international students.
Apart from these, other factors like freedom of individual expression, stable political climate, employment rate and stable economy contribute to the choice of these countries. With special attention paid to countries with good research institutes, good and qualitative education and scholarship opportunities.
With the information gathered from an opinion pool and responses we list the 11 best countries to do a PhD program and why you should do your PhD in these countries. This will save you time and make your search easier and narrowed down. These countries include:
- The United States
- United Kingdom
#1. UNITED STATES
The United States of America is one of the best countries to study abroad and for PhD studies. Studying in America will give you the opportunity to live the “American Dream”. With over 100 international ranked universities to choose from, you sure have no shortage of options.
America has seasoned research institutes and well equipped University laboratories for you to carry out your PhD research. You will also get access to the right resources such as equipped libraries, archives, research materials as well as collaborative hands to work with.
Apart from the major focus on academics which is the major purpose of your visit, the US also provides unique cultures for you to experience. If you are the adventurous type, then be rest assured of getting maximum satisfaction. We listed America as one of the best places to study abroad for so many reasons in a previous post.
Depending on your field of study or major, America presents you with some of the best schools you can imagine. From
- Dental Schools
- Esthetic Schools
- Medicine and many others, you are well equipped in America.
In recent times, France has become the most study destination for Francophone countries. This is owing to the lack of need to start learning a new language altogether. With low tuition fees, France has recently welcomed more PhD candidates than most countries.
France also presents you with a varied climate which serves as a research project for PhD students. Many PhD students who travel to France have testified about the country’s rich culture. It also has renowned libraries, research centres and epic sites for tourism such as the Eiffel Tower.
With some of the world’s best-ranked research institutes for a PhD research project, you are surely going to have the best research experience in France. A PhD program in Franch will also present you with an avenue to learn French. This is no doubt going to be an added advantage to your growth.
Apart from these, other things that make France rank among the best countries to study PhD programs include exciting nightlife, a multicultural environment and an industry hub in Europe.
China is one of the most travelled destinations for studies abroad. International students troop into China for so many reasons. Ranging from well-established research institutes to equipped libraries and cultural heritage. For these reasons, PhD candidates are not exempted.
Due to the recent pandemic that engulfed the globe, many researchers, as well as PhD students, have made one research or the other about the Corona Virus. Hence to make their research easier and less expensive, travelling to China has become inevitable.
China is a well-known destination for research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. This is why you are not going to just study, you will learn other skills as well if you wish. With so many accredited universities ranking amongst the best in the world, you are not short of options.
Ying Liu et al. 2018, identified 7 major Factors Affecting International Students’ Decisions on Destination for Studying Abroad: A Case Study in China. These factors are thus:
- Quality of education
- Cost of study
- Information sources
- University personnel
- Administrative service, and
- University facilities.
Chinese research institutes are interconnected, this means you will not lack options when it comes to where to complete or finish your PhD research. These research institutes also support research and development activities.
Another reason to study for PhD in China is the sleeplessness of the city. This means you can work 24/7 to ensure you finish your research in time. This also means you will have no delay with graduation.
#4. UNITED KINGDOM
The United Kingdom is one of the most travelled destinations for PhD programs. It is arguably one of the best places to reside in. England has good facilities and the universities in the UK have raked numerous achievements that have put them on the global stage and scale.
According to Victoria Iwuanyanwu a PhD student at the University of Huddersfield, UK, her experiences in the UK have been awesome. From a fast curriculum to well-equipped laboratories for her research and a healthy environment. Other facilities like the British library are readily available to make research materials available at all times.
England has some of the best universities you can think of in the world with special interests in different research areas. This means you have nothing to worry about getting into a university that suits your research interest. England also has the best football league in the world, The Premier League, which ensures that you are entertained weekly if you are a football freak.
Another good why you should do your PhD in England is the job opportunities you are presented with once you acquire a certificate from a British university. England is definitely the place to be and one of the best countries for PhD studies.
Canada presents you with different climates and if you savour the winter, then touch down to Canada for your PhD. It also has different mountains and forests which also serve as tourist centres.
The Government of Canada has invested so much in research facilities, which has made Canada a global research hub. The requirements to study for PhD in Canada are what you can readily meet and this means you won’t have challenges getting admission in Canada for PhD studies.
Scholarship opportunities, diverse cultural status, arts, fashion and many more are reasons Why You Should Study In Canada As An International Student. Canada is also equipped with recreational activities to make your stay in Canada worth it.
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Located in the centre of Europe, Germany welcomes over 5000 graduate students annually with a chunk of them as PhD students. The average number of PhD students graduating annually in Germany is about 3000 and the number is increasing. This is due to the friendly environment the country presents to international students.
As one of the best countries to study PhD program, Germany is equipped with numerous universities, research institutes and libraries to enhance PhD research. With Germany being the base of Sigma Aldrich, a renowned company that deals in Scientific reagents, you are sure to get the best reagents for your research works.
Many PhD programs are taught in English and this eliminates your fear of learning a new language. But it at the same time makes it easier for you to learn german if you wish. With the best business schools in Germany, you will also get research funding and scholarships.
Japan has become one of the most travelled destinations for international students as a result of innovation and research. With scholarship opportunities, good university system and research centres, you sure need to visit Japan.
Mr Christian Ebere Enyoh is a PhD student at the Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Saitama University, Saitama City Japan. He is known for the waves he has made in research with a keen interest in microplastics.
Mr Enyoh has narrated his study period in Japan as one of the best moments of his research career. With available research tools to enhance his research, he believes Japan should be the place for PhD Students to come for PhD Studies.
Apart from research, you are equally going to encounter vast technological innovations and possibly engage in other things to keep you busy at your leisure.
Apart from the USA and the UK, Australia is the most travelled destination for international students who wish to study abroad. Top-quality universities, easy access to student visa, global recognition, better cost of living and many more are the reasons why you should study in Australia.
Australia has a well-seasoned security architecture to protect the lives and property of citizens and non-citizens. Most of the benefits enjoyed by citizens are equally extended to PhD students with permanent residency status. With scholarship positions also available in Australia, you are likely to finish your studies in Australia with scholarships.
Most Australian graduate schools do not require GRE scores to enrol you too. Studying in Australia will also allow you to engage in menial jobs for students in Australia. This way you can be saving some cash while studying.
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Hungary has attracted many international students who wish to study for graduate studies. With a welcoming culture for international students, the students there already encourage their counterparts in their home countries to relocate to Hungary for studies.
With cheap and affordable school fees, scholarship opportunities, research facilities and a classic environment, you won’t want to miss out on Hungary for your doctoral studies.
The wonderful nature of Sweden makes it an interesting destination for Doctoral scholars. Many scholarship opportunities abound in Sweden for international students, especially the Swedish Institute Scholarships. These scholarships are to ensure that international students who cannot pay their bills do not miss out.
With diverse cultures, open-mindedness and jovial people your stay in Sweden can be rewarding as you do your doctoral studies. Studying in Sweden will present you with numerous menial jobs for students. Some of these jobs include Uber Driving. Apart from this, most of the PhD positions in Sweden are paid full-time working positions.
Belgium is the home of assorted education prospects and offers huge academic opportunities. Studying in Sweden for a PhD degree could mean a life-changing opportunity for the student. Many international organisations are situated in Belgium, making Belgium an economic hub of Europe.
Academic activities in Belgium are enhanced by furnished research institutes and renowned professors. With numerous PhD programs available to choose from, you are definitely going to find what suits you. In this way, you will make your desired impact from your research.
Just like all other countries on this list, there is a host of scholarship openings for PhD students in Belgium.
PhD studies are a very stressful program and we wouldn’t want it to be the same for you. That is why we have listed the best 11 countries to Study PhD program. Your reasons for the choice of a study destination may be different from the ones we have listed above. Nevertheless, we hope these options here serve your intent for this search. Do share with friends who may need to read this.
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