Study in Malaysia

Home to the most affordable student city in the world

Interested to Study in Malaysia?

Then you came to the right place! Wherever you are from, we can help you find the best Colleges or Universities in Malaysia. But, let us first start off by telling you what it is like to be a student in Malaysia.

A Quick Intro to Malaysia

Malaysia is a vibrant country with 30 million people, located in the centre of South East Asia. Being diverse in culture with plenty of natural resources, the country offers beautiful beaches, unique festivals, and delicious cuisine. For sure you wouldn’t want to miss that!

Why Study in Malaysia?

Malaysia’s rich culture – due to the major and minor ethnicities living in the country – is one of the main reasons why it is one of the best destinations for those who want to study abroad. As of 2016, there were 172,886 internationals students in Malaysia’s higher education institutions, private and international schools, and language centres. The cost of living is also lower as compared to other countries – with a wide variety of foods, accommodation and recreational activities you can do.

Further to that, the government’s ultimate goal to make the country a major education hub in the region is well on its way. Aside from the world-class home-grown universities, Malaysia also has foreign university branches. This means you can get a more affordable, but still a top-notch education when you study in Malaysia.

Higher Education in Malaysia

An international student can choose to study either at Private or Public universities and colleges in Malaysia.

Kuala Lumpur, the home of the world-famous Petronas Twin Towers, has many prestigous universities, including University of Malaya (UM)Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), and Management and Science University (MSU).

The laid-back city of the south, Johor Bahru has Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), while the “Pearl of the Orient” Penang has Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). Australia’s Curtin University and the Swinburne University of Technology have found homes in the exotic Sarawak, while “Land below the Wind” Sabah has Tunku Abdul Rahman University College and Universiti Malaysia Sabah.


A. Universities and Colleges in Malaysia

Malaysia has more than 590 higher education institutions and more than 1,270,000 students of all higher education. With so many universities and colleges to choose from, you might need some help. Let us guide you through all the different types of higher education institutions and how to choose from them.


Private Institutions

These are colleges and universities that do not get funded by the government and rely on the students’ tuition contribution. With that said, their fees may be higher than in public universities.

There are three types of private institutions:

Colleges University Colleges Universities
Offer diploma and pre-university programmes.

Some of these establishments can provide degree courses, twinning programmes included, through a local or foreign partner university.

Does not have a full university status

Often part of a bigger university, and they mainly offer pre-university and diploma programmes.

In Malaysia, University Colleges can confer degrees under specialised fields and disciplines.

Offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees

Can confer their degree

Advance Tertiary College

Brickfields Asia College (BAC)

Erican College

BERJAYA University College of Hospitality

Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences (CUCMS)

Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University College (KLMUC)

Management and Science University (MSU)

Taylor’s University

Monash University


Foreign Universities

Foreign Universities in Malaysia work together with Malaysian institutions. Malaysian students who study in these schools will get an international qualification without leaving the country.

Currently, there are 11 Foreign Branch Campuses in Malaysia, with more than 100,000 international students from different countries.

  • Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus, Sarawak
  • Heriot-Watt University Malaysia, Putrajaya
  • Curtin University, Sarawak
  • Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia, Johor
  • Monash University Malaysia, Selangor
  • University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Selangor
  • University of Southampton Malaysia Campus, Johor
  • Xiamen University Malaysia Campus, Selangor
  • Raffles University Iskandar, Johor
  • University of Reading Malaysia
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong Campus, Sarawak (in 2018)

Public Universities

While students still pay for their tuition fees, Public Universities are funded by the government as they pay for most of the operating costs. These universities are in overall bigger with thousands of students studying there.

There are 20 public universities in Malaysia, divided into three different categories:

Research Universities Focused Universities Comprehensive Universities
Focused on research and development, they put high value on quality lecturers, competitive entries, and academic orientation. Oriented towards specific research.

There are 11 Focused Universities in Malaysia, further subdivided into four different groups:

-Technical Universities

-Education Universities

-Management Universities

-Defence Universities

Often offer a significant degree of research and provide a broad range of specialisations, as they prepare students for jobs outside the academia.
Universiti Malaya (UM)

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)

Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)

Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)

Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI)

Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia

Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM)

Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP)

Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT)

Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP)

Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM)

Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA)

Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK)

Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM)

Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM)

Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia

Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS)


Offering courses in vocational and technical subjects, these schools in Malaysia are famous for their skilled workforce and knowledge. There are 37 polytechnics in Malaysia, and they can be divided into three categories: premierconversional, and metro.

Community Colleges

Offering certificate and diploma courses, this type of higher education often have two-year programmes only, and that it prepares the students for a four-year degree. Malaysia currently has 91 community colleges nationwide.


B. Pathway to Studying in Malaysia

The length of your study depends on the path you wish to take. Here’s a basic duration of study in Malaysia

C. Top Universities and Colleges in Malaysia

The higher education system in Malaysia are improving every year and boasts top colleges and universities. Most of them have been recognised not just locally, but also abroad. In fact, five of them are even in Asia’s top 100 universities, with Universiti Malaya (UM) sitting on top 24 according to QS University Rankings: Asia 2018.

Here are the best universities in Malaysia:

Another trusted ranking in Malaysian higher education is Malaysian Qualification Agency’s (MQA) Rating for Higher Education Institutions in Malaysia. The latest ranking – SETARA 2017 measured the quality of teaching and learning at level six (undergraduate level) of the Malaysian Qualification Framework (MQF).

The results are as follows:

D. After Study Opportunities in Malaysia

Done with your studies, but don’t want to leave Malaysia? Yup, we feel you! Should you wish to work in Malaysia, you can apply for a job to obtain your work permit.

As long as you have the qualifications, you can apply for a job in Malaysia. Once your application is approved, your employer will then apply a visa for you to legally work in the country. The available working visas are Employment PassTemporary Employment Pass, and Visitor’s Pass (Professional). The lengths of each of these options do vary, from six months up to around five years, as do the terms and conditions so be sure to check your eligibility.


Applying to Study in Malaysia

A. Language Requirements

Should you wish to study in Malaysia, you must be able to speak English as courses will be taught in this language. Some universities also require you to take an English proficiency test like TOEFL or IETLS, which you can take in your home country.

Take Note! Don’t worry if your English is not so good yet. Most colleges in Malaysia offer English proficiency classes to improve your English further. Besides, there is no better way to learn a language than to be surrounded by English speakers at your Malaysian University.

Universities in Malaysia generally do not require international students to make any admission tests. You can apply using your high school diploma/certificate and recommendation letter.

B. Visa Requirements

There are a few more things you have to take care of to become a student in Malaysia. To enter Malaysia as an international student, you must first choose a course and institutions you would like to study in Malaysia. Their requirements vary, so be sure to check first before you apply.

Your University is required to submit some relevant documents to apply for your Student Pass. The documents they will request are:

  • An official letter of acceptance from your University
  • A filled in Student Application form
  • Three photos of you, passport-sized
  • Two photocopies of your passport
  • A copy of your medical health examination report

Evidence that you are financially stable enough to pay for your education and cost of living A Personal Bond which has been signed by your University, you will have to pay for the document fee (between RM 200 and 2,000, depends on which country you are from).

Once your application to study at the university is accepted, the university will apply for a student pass for you. The immigration will look at this application and will send you Student Pass approval letter. With this letter you are ready to get on a plane towards Malaysia, but before you do send your university the details of your flight.

A representative of your university will be waiting for you at the immigration check-point at the airport in Malaysia. There you will be given a Visa which will be valid for six months. The immigration department will also issue you a Special Pass which you need to receive your Student Pass. Within two weeks after arrival, you can visit the nearest Immigration Department to receive your Student Pass.

This might all seem a bit complicated, but don’t worry, your university will guide you through this whole process and make sure you will not miss any steps.


Tuition Fees

Choosing Malaysia’s Education system is a top choice which many international students have made before you as universities in Malaysia are reputable, and tuition fees are low.

For most international students, tuition fees are the biggest concern. To give you a general idea of the tuition fees of Malaysian Universities you can see the ranges per level below.

Study Level Tuition Fee, Per Year, in MYR Tuition Fee, Per Year, in USD
Foundation / Pre-U Between 8,000 – 23,000 2,000 – 5,750
Diploma Between 6,000 – 30,000 1,500 – 7,500
Bachelor’s degree Between 9,000 – 40,000 2,250 – 10,000
Master’s degree Between 13,000 – 40,000 3,250 – 10,000


Our only goal is to help you find the study and university which fits you best, look around at our website and compare universities and courses with each other and apply for more information. To continue your future studies abroad is a big step, we know that all too well, that is why we are here to help you with this process. You, too, can study in Malaysia!

Read up more about Malaysia, below:


Ready to Study in Malaysia? Check out the top courses and best universities in Malaysia below.

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