Study in Malaysia

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Britannica Team
Britannica Team Updated on - Feb 08, 2024

Study in Malaysia: Colleges, Fees, Intake, Admission, Visa, Top Universities, Scholarships

Study in Malaysia is one of the most popular places to high-quality study in abroad, hosting more than 2 lakh International students Study in Malaysia. Politically stable and geographically secure, Malaysia is a nation free of natural calamities. Malaysia offers a secure and comfortable area to live and study thanks to its modern infrastructure and effective transportation system.

study in malaysia for international students

Malaysia, in the middle of Southeast Asia, is a thriving nation with more than 30 million residents. The nation’s magnificent beaches, distinctive festivals, and mouthwatering cuisine are among its many culturally diversified and abundant natural resources that you shouldn’t miss.170,000 foreign students from 162 nations, primarily from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, are studying in Malaysia.

How Much Does It Cost To Study In Malaysia

S.no. Study program Average annual fee
1 Undergraduate program $8,000 to $10,000 per year
2 Postgraduate master’s degree $10,000 to $12000 per year
3 MBBS degree $12,000 to $25,000 per year
4 MBA $6,000 per year

*Please note that all fee amounts are approximations.

See Also: Study in South Korea

Education Systems: Study In Malaysia For International Students

With its international flavour, low crime rate, and of course, five of its universities appearing in the QS World University Rankings, Malaysia is becoming a popular study abroad destination.

The affordable cost of education and low tuition fees has made it one of the most popular international destinations for students. Education cost comprises of course fees which include tuition fees and other study fees payable to the institution, depending on what you are studying and the duration of your course/study program. Other components include the living expenses which will depend on which location you are staying in, your type of accommodation and your lifestyle. Malaysia has experienced a steady economic progression and rapid infrastructural development.

Malaysian Students Can Choose To Study 3 Types Of Programmes:

  • Locally run programmes
  • Twining academic programmes
  • Vocational, technical or skills training

Two Authorities Oversee The Operations Of Public Or Private Higher Educational Institutions In Malaysia:

  • Ministry of Education (MOE) looks after the pre-school to secondary education
  • Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) takes care of the tertiary or higher education

The long-term plan of the Malaysian government is to make Malaysia a center of educational excellence.

Various Levels Of Education In Malaysia

  1. Primary and Secondary Education
  2. Post-secondary Education
  3. Tertiary Education

Top Universities In Malaysia For International Students

The best Universities to study in Malaysia for International students are as follow:

World University Rank 2022 Malaysia Rank 2022 University City/Area
301–350 1 University of Malaya Kuala Lumpur
501-600 2 Universiti Teknologi Petronas Seri Iskandar
601-800 3 Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Selangor
601–800 3 Universiti Putra Malaysia Selangor
601–800 3 Universiti Sains Malaysia Pulau Pinang
601–800 3 Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Johor
601-800 3 Universiti Utara Malaysia Kedah Darul Aman
801-1000 8 Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris Tanjong Malim
801-1000 8 Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) Selangor
1001-1200 10 Universiti Malaysia Perlis Arau
1001-1200 10 Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) Petaling Jaya
1201+ 12 Universiti Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur
1201+ 12 Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) Sarawak
1201+ 12 Multimedia University Cyberjaya
1201+ 12 Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka Melaka
1201+ 12 Universiti Teknologi MARA Selangor
1201+ 12 Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) Terengganu
1201+ 12 Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) Batu Pahat

Top Private Universities In Malaysia

With plenty of private universities in the country, it is quite challenging to choose the best place for pursuing your higher education. Here we have compiled a list of top private universities located in Malaysia:

  1. Monash University
  2. University of Nottingham Malaysia
  3. Heriot-Watt University
  4. Swinburne University of Technology
  5. Taylor’s University
  6. Sunway University
  7. Asia Pacific University (APU)
  8. INTI International University
  9. SEGi University
  10. HELP University

qs universities rankings list of malaysia

List Of Courses To Study In Malaysia For International Students

International students planning to study higher education in Malaysia, there is a large choice of courses and programs.

 Certificate, Pre-University, DiplomaUndergraduate, Postgraduate, Phd programmes are offered in various study disciplines. You can choose the following courses to study abroad in Malaysia:

  • Study Law in Malaysia
  • Study Finance in Malaysia
  • Study Medicine in Malaysia
  • Study Business Administration
  • Study Psychology in Malaysia
  • Study Architecture in Malaysia
  • Study Dentistry in Malaysia
  • Study Business Administration in Malaysia
  • Study Pharmacy in Malaysia
  • Study Psychology in Malaysia
Top Courses in Malaysia Price Range
Information Technology RM30,000-RM60,000
Business Management RM29,000- RM54,000
Financial Services 14,000 – 42,000
Engineering RM30,000-RM75,000
Accounting RM20,000- RM50,000
Communications 18,000 – 45,000

Admission Requirements For Study In Malaysia

The following table includes some summary data on the admissions procedure and basic criteria.

Where to apply Through respective portals of universities
Application Fee Varies for the different universities
Basic Requirements Transcripts, Standardized tests like GMAT or GRE
Additional Requirements Letters of Recommendation, Accommodation Form, Health Insurance
English Language Requirements IELTS: 6; TOEFL: 500 or above

You can apply online for any university for your choice in Malaysia. So, once you finalize the university you can go through their application requirements. Here are some of the basic documents you will require:

  • A scanned copy of your diploma
  • A transcript/record of your previous courses
  • A valid passport
  • Your birth certificate
  • Your C.V or Resume
  • Language test scores(IELTSTOEFLPTE)
  • International standardised test scores(SAT, ACT, GMAT, GRE)
  • Statement of purpose
  • 2 or 3 Letters of recommendation
  • Portfolio of your previous work
Study In Malaysia Without IELTS

There are few universities in Malaysia which offer an education without IELTS. They are listed below:

  1. Asia Pacific University
  2. City University Malaysia
  3. Manipal International University
  4. Swinburne University Malaysia campus
  5. Curtin University Malaysia campus
  6. Inti University
  7. Segi University Kota Damansara
  8. Help University

Study In Malaysia Fees Structure For International Students

Country Tuition Fees (annually) Living Costs
(annually)
Total Education Cost
(per annum)
Malaysia USD 5,000 USD 4,000 USD 9,000
Australia USD 15,000 USD 10,500 USD 25,500
USA USD 18,000 USD 13,000 USD 31,000
United Kingdom USD 15,000 USD 12,000 USD 27,000
Canada USD 13,000 USD 8,500 USD 21,500

Cost Of Living To Study In Malaysia-

Although the basic cost in the nation depends on the person’s preferences for housing, food, city of choice, etc., an approximate amount needed to live in Malaysia for a month is as follows:

Type of Expenditure Cost (in MYR, per month)
Accommodation and utilities 2,475
Food and supplies 400 to 500
Health insurance 400 to 600 (per year)
Phone and internet 125
Personal Expenses 125 to 450
Travel costs 100 to 300
Books and Supplies 200

Malaysian Student Visa Requirements-

Anyone who wants to study in the country can apply for a student visa and pass very easily because they no longer need to get in touch with their local Malaysian Embassy.
The entire procedure typically takes 4-5 weeks, from the time the application is submitted until the visa is obtained. The processing of the VISA approval letter will take 14 days.

The steps are as follows:

Step 1: Apply through the college or institution-
Obtain a student visa by going via your school. Observe any unique application requirements that the college has specified. The university will next forward your application to the Director of Malaysia’s Pass & Permit Division. You need a passport that is still valid after a year. Your application will be turned down if it is submitted in less time.

Step 2: Verify the acceptance status-
Students will be notified of the status of their applications via the EMGS app or their selected university. Whether you are accepted or not, you will often receive the notification of acceptance within a week.

Step 3: Submit the necessary documentation-
The necessary visa documentation must be mailed to the designated office.
Documents needed to apply for a student visa in Malaysia:

  • Application for a student visa
  • Copy of the offer letter from the university of your choice
  • One copy of your passport, including the data page, the pages containing your visa application information, and the observation page (35mm x 45mm)
  • Transcripts and diplomas from school
  • Proof of funds to cover tuition and other costs
  • Form for a health declaration
  • Personal Bond: On behalf of the candidate, a personal bond must be signed by each educational institution in Malaysia. The department of immigration has mandated this.
  • The student must have a NOC (No Objection Certificate) just if they are from Sudan.
  • English Proficiency Proof: Since the majority of Malaysian colleges offer courses in the language, you must provide evidence of your command of it when requesting a VISA acceptance letter.
  • Upon your acceptance, the university will give you the necessary paperwork for your student visa.

Step 4: Pay the processing charge for your VISA-
You may be required to pay the VISA processing cost by some universities in Malaysia. The sum could change according on the institution.
Tell the university when you will be arriving.
You must give the institution advance notice of your arrival details, including the date, time, and flight number. A pick-up from the airport will be arranged by the university. You will receive your visa on your passport.

Step 5: Await the arrival of your student visa –
You must deliver your passport to the immigration department within two weeks so that a student visa sticker can be put on it.

Global Scholarships For International Students In Malaysia

Malaysia Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan: Available for students from Commonwealth countries planning to study masters and Ph.D. courses from Malaysian Universities. Malaysia Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) covers air tickets, tuition fee waiver, grants for books, and travel within the country, health insurance. The scholarship is offered for 12-24 months for master’s applicants and 3-years for Ph.D. courses.

Scholarship For International Students In Malaysia By Top Universities
University Scholarship Award Amount
University Putra Malaysia Graduate Research Scholarship 700-1,200 RM
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia International Doctoral Fellowship 2,000
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia UKM Vice-Chancellor Scholarships Tuition Fees waiver
UCSI University University Trust Graduate Scholarship Tuition Fees waiver
University of Nottingham Developing Solution Masters Tuition Fees waiver
Heriot-Watt University Sharing Entrepreneurship Women Scholarship Tuition waivers

Top Cities To Study In Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur
Many of Malaysia’s finest institutions are located in Kuala Lumpur, a vibrant city with the tallest skyscrapers in Southeast Asia. The buildings at Merdeka Square, which house the last vestiges of the British Empire’s cultural impact, are grand examples of 19th-century architecture that are now obscured by the modern high-rise buildings that tower over the city centre. The Golden Triangle, which includes malls, museums, tall buildings, and five-star hotels, is Kuala Lumpur’s most well-known retail and leisure area.

Johor Bahru
The EduCity development plan is transforming Johor Bahru, once a run-down border town, into a centre of global education. It is soon to join the top local university, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. Johor Bahru is located just north of the city state of Singapore and is connected by a 1038-meter-long causeway. Johor Bahru has recently developed into a vibrant and well-liked location to explore, shop, and hang out owing to the attention and investment the town is receiving.

Penang, Georgetown
The Universiti Sains Malaysia, another of Malaysia’s top universities, is located in Penang on Peninsular Malaysia’s northwest coast. The 28 square kilometre “nut island” of Penang, the first outpost of the East India Company in the Malay Peninsula, developed into a significant trading hub. Even though Penang’s influence diminished along with the demise of the British Empire, its trading heritage is still felt today by a diverse population of independent settlers, particularly those from China.

Benefits Of Studying In Malaysia-

Increasing the Quality of Higher Education Quickly

Malaysian colleges are advancing quickly and aren’t far behind institutions that offer top-notch education, despite not being on par with those in other Asian nations like Hong Kong and Singapore. All thanks to Malaysia’s educational system and its emphasis on meeting international standards, several of the universities offer degrees in computer science and engineering that are ranked among the top 100 courses worldwide. The Ministry of Higher Education, which has the goal of making Malaysia a Center of Excellence for Higher Education, keeps a constant eye on the educational standards.

Lower Study and Living Costs

Comparatively speaking, Malaysia has cheaper living and education costs than nations like Australia, the US, the UK, France, Canada, etc. The University of Nottingham’s Malaysian campus charges MYR 174,000 for an undergraduate course, compared to USD 150,000 for the identical course at the UK campus. The course uses the same module material, evaluation standards, and grading system. Therefore, the degree is worth the same as the one from the UK campus but is far less expensive. Additionally, Malaysia’s significantly reduced cost of living lessens your financial strain.For overseas students, it’s a win-win situation because they can live comfortably for roughly MYR 1500 per month. (This covers food, lodging, and other everyday costs.)

Safety Is Not an Issue

With a relatively low crime rate, Malaysia is one of the safest and most politically stable nations in the world. Malaysia’s year-round sunny and rainy weather, which lacks extremes of cold or heat, makes it simple to adapt. Out of 163 nations, Malaysia was placed 23rd in terms of global peace in 2021.

There are no language barriers

The two languages that are used the most in the nation are Malay and English. Mandarin, Cantonese, Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, and Tamil, among others, are other languages and dialects that are widely spoken in the nation. The majority of Malaysian universities hold their lectures in English. As a result, it is simpler for overseas students to comprehend the lectures. In addition, there are lots of language schools and colleges that provide introductory English classes for people who don’t speak the language well.

For People Who Love to Travel

Traveling in this warm, lovely, and culturally diverse country is much more economical than you may think. Here, the price to value ratio is excellent. You won’t run out of things to see and do thanks to the incredible diversity of attractions and leisure pursuits in the exciting Kuala Lumpur metropolitan area and the natural wonders like Langkawi, Taman Negara, and Cameron Highlands.

A heaven for foodies

Malaysia, with its diverse population of cultures coexisting peacefully, is a food lover’s paradise, offering a wide range of delectable dishes. In Malaysia, you can find a vast variety of halal and non-halal foods. In Penang, which is regarded as the Malaysian street food capital, tuck into traditional Malay cuisine or fast Chinese or Indian food.

Employment After Studying In Malaysia

The employment market has undergone significant change in recent years as the globe transitions to the digital era, and Malaysia’s job market is no different. As a result, it becomes vital that students choose their courses carefully, keeping in mind the employment and job prospects in the sector.

Name of Sector Jobs by end of 2021
Banking and Services 274,000
Electronics 157,000
Healthcare 89,000
Oil and Gas 52,300
Financial Services 274,000
Data Professionals 20,000

Some of the courses expected to see a huge demand and increase salaries in the upcoming years include IT and Computer ScienceEngineering, Data Science, Architecture, Hospitality, Accounting, Business Administration, among others.


Study In Malaysia FAQs
Yes, much like other other nations, Malaysia offers a range of scholarships for a number of purposes.
The cost to study in Malaysia depends on the course and university you have selected. It is impossible to suggest an approximate figure for the same. But if you were to pursue a MBBS in Universiti Malaya, your 5 years’ tuition fee would be approximately USD 160, 300. And if you were to study Bachelors of Computer Science, your total fees for 4 years would be around USD 15,800.
Yes, the students studying on such visas are allowed to work and intern but under some restrictions. For example, they can do part-time jobs for not more than 20 hours per week, except when it’s a holiday season or a long break. Second, students can work part-time only.
Yes, indeed. After you receive your student pass, you can apply for opening your bank account in Malaysia.
It resembles a visa imitation. It accomplishes the same goal as the visa. Applying for a student pass is an easy process. Prior to your arrival in Malaysia, the Malaysian higher education institution that has extended an invitation to you and other overseas students to study there will apply for the student pass on your behalf.
Luckily, no, test scores are not required to be presented. However, it is usually advised to submit IELTS or TOEFL scores to institutions for additional credit, which may improve the likelihood of admission.
(Show More)

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Top Universities In Malaysia

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Logo

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

  • Ranked :
Malaysia Institute For Supply Chain Innovation Logo

Malaysia Institute For Supply Chain Innovation

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Universiti Sultan Azlan Shah USAS Logo

Universiti Sultan Azlan Shah USAS

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University of Reading Malaysia Logo

University of Reading Malaysia

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Binary University of Management and Entrepreneurship Logo

Binary University of Management and Entrepreneurship

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Meritus University Logo

Meritus University

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Nilai University Logo

Nilai University

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University of Malaysia Pahang UMP Logo

University of Malaysia Pahang UMP

  • Ranked : 8
University of Nottingham Malaysia UNM Logo

University of Nottingham Malaysia UNM

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UCSI University Logo

UCSI University

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Universiti Putra Malaysia Logo

Universiti Putra Malaysia

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Sultan Zainal Abidin University UniSZA

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