Master's degree in Asia
First, I would like to introduce myself. I hail from Europe and I'm currently a MSc student in engineering. I'm expecting to graduate next year. I'm making this thread, because I am not happy with my education and I don't want to continue my career in the same field. For the past few years, I have found much more interest in economics. I have taken additional courses outside of the faculty of engineering and I have tried to make myself acquainted with UG level micro- and macroeconomics as well as game theory. I would like to continue my studies in economics and hopefully earn a master's degree.
I will be sending out a couple of applications to European universities. The main advantage about education in Europe for a citizen of EU is low or no tuition fees. However, finding a school that would accept a student with barely any prior background in economics to a MSc program is extremely difficult. European schools tend to be quite strict in this regard.
I've found that Asian universities are much more relaxed when it comes to prior relevant knowledge. There are schools in China, Singapore and Hong Kong that don't even require previous knowledge in economics to enter a master's degree program. However, they also come with a price - much heftier tuition fees with almost no financial aid.
I've always wanted to live in (South)east Asia. So, I'm also going to apply to one or two schools in that region as well. However, I do have a couple of questions. Hopefully, there is someone out there with experience, who could give me some insight to make this journey a tad bit easier.
1) WHICH UNIVERSITIES TO CONSIDER?
So far I have selected out National University of Singapore, Hong Kong University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. They are all rather presitigous universities with relatively high tuition fees. Also, Singapore and Hong Kong are not really places where one could conveniently live on a tight budget. Do any of you know any other universities to consider? Are there any schools in China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan or Hong Kong that offer MSc in Economics in English and do not have extremely strict requirements concerning previous studies?
I'm not very demanding when it comes to schools and their international rankings, but I do expect good quality education. Perhaps there are some other good schools in the region that offer that and better options financially than the 3 schools that I mentioned earlier?
2) ACCEPTANCE RATES - PREVIOUS EDUCATION & BEING AN INTERNATIONAL?
Since I'm not applying to a whole lot of schools, I would like to maximise my chances of being accepted. This is why I have some doubts about the schools that I mentioned earlier. Are there any official statistics for the mentioned schools or can you estimate how many of the applicants are accepted to NUS, HKU and HKUST graduate programs? Also, would they consider a previous MSc when applying to a graduate program an advantage or would it rather be something that could potentially play against me? Another question - does my international background play any role? Are Asian schools keen on diversifying their classes or does that not have any importance? I come from a very small country, almost a microstate, and I don't expect any of these schools to have someone from my country.
3) ANY OTHER SUGGESTIONS?
Perhaps there's something else to say that would make the process easier for me? Which universities, financial suggestions, application-related advice...?
Since I'm at the very beginning of the entire process, I feel a bit lost and confused. I'm thankful to anyone who bothers to read this rather lengthy thread and has something helpful to say.