Study in Malaysia


Malaysia aims at becoming one of the world's biggest education and training hubs. Find out how to proceed to study there.

For years, Malaysia has been attracting foreign students from across the globe. In fact, the country has been ranked 11th among most preferred destinations for higher studies by the UNESCO in July 2014. Indeed, local authorities firmly intend to become the world's biggest education and training hub thanks to the numerous programs and facilities it provides.

So if you wish to study there, it is best to inquire on its education system and on conditions attached beforehand, as well as on fees applied.

Education system

Education is free of charge at primary and secondary levels, that is for 11 years: 6 years in primary schools and 5 years in secondary schools. Note that schooling generally starts as from 6 years old and is compulsory from 7 to 12 years. Moreover, national examination are required at different levels: Grade 6 for primary schools, Grade 9 for lower secondary schools and last year for upper secondary schools.

Post-secondary education only comes after these 11 years are completed successfully. It generally extends over one or two years. It is considered to be a preparatory training for entry into university and the basis for access to training provided as part of graduation in higher education institutions.

The local education system is accessible to foreigners only if they have Permanent Residence. Expat children generally opt for fee paying schools, whether private or international. Some of these also teach subjects in Mandarin and Indian languages as well.

Higher education

Several types of degrees are awarded by higher education institutions in Malaysia: certificate, diploma, license. Some are vocationally oriented while others are purely academic. Note that the higher education system also includes public and private schools as well as public.

The group called PHEIs includes universities, schools, private institutions, foreign universities and private colleges' campus branches. As regards public institutes, these include public universities, polytechnics and community and public training institutes for teachers.

Top universities

Heriot-Watt University Malaysia, Monash University, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia, University of Southampton Malaysia Campus, University of Warwick, INTI International University, among others, are Malaysia's most popular universities with foreign students. In fact, these receive thousands of applications each year. Numerous programs are offered. Most of these universities have a website where you can view all information regarding registration process, available courses, fees, etc.

Admission requirements and fees

Fees applied to university registration in Malaysia vary according to the different institutes. However, the difference in rates is not very significant: you can find more details on the average fess on the Education Malaysia website. Registration procedures also vary from one institution to another. You can have more details on their respective websites.

In terms of eligibility, Malaysian universities are very welcoming but still have a few requirements regarding the admission of foreign students. For instance, students must produce a favorable school record. Some also require students to pass English exams, namely TOEFL and IELTS so as to make sure that they are admissible in the chosen course.


To study and live in Malaysia, you will need a student visa. Since the 1st February 2013 foreign students wishing to apply to a private higher education  institution must contact the Ministry of Education through the Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS). This One Stop Application process allows the student to search and apply for multiple courses at multiple institutions all at the same time. Moreover, student must have applied for the student visa before traveling to Malaysia. 

 Useful links:

Malaysia University - Portal universities in Malaysia
Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS)
Mont'Kiara International School
Taylor's University
Curtin University of Malaysia

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