Asasi in IPTA

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An Ideal Asasi in IPTA Student

1. Already decided on course
2. Intends to study locally
3. Wants to complete studies faster

Asasi or foundations is a pre-university course offered by Malaysian public universities. The courses are available at UM, UIAM, UiTM, UPM, USIM, UPNM and UNIMAS. In terms of duration, Asasi programmes vary and can take from 1 (Program Satu Tahun/PST) to 2 years (Program Dua Tahun/PDT) to complete.

What Makes It Special

Unlike Form 6 (STPM) and matriculation, Asasi is designed to fit the curriculum for a university’s degree course. There are two main categories of asasi programmes. These are ‘open’ and ‘closed’ asasi programmes.

Open: recognized in other universities and can proceed to any degree programme.
Available at: Universiti Malaya (all asasi except asasi alam bina and pengajian Islam; all asasi not accepted in IIUM), Universiti Teknologi MARA (asasi accepted in all IPTA except IIUM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (all except AsasiPintar).

Closed: not recognized in other universities and destined to a particular degree programme.
Available at: Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia.


Students who intend to study Asasi should have completed their SPM with a minimum of 5 credits including a credit in Bahasa Malaysia.

Asasi is generally offered to Bumiputera. However, there are six Asasi courses offered to non-Bumiputeras and these are: AsasiPintar at UKM, Asasi Sains Pertanian at UPM and all four courses at UPNM.

Available Subjects/Streams

There are various streams available in Asasi programmes. Each IPTA has it own programs that take between one to two years. For example, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) offers the following asasi programmes:

Available Courses

Asasi Sains (Science)
Asasi Kejuruteraan (Engineering)
Asasi Undang-undang (Law)
Asasi TESL

Students are advised to check on each institutions for the asasi programmes offered.

Assessment Method

Study years: Asasi programmes usually lasts only one year (2 semesters), but can be extended to two years for students taking the two-year programme (Program Dua Tahun/PDT).

Exam: Exams are done on a semester basis. Depending on the IPTA, there may be additional exams. For example, IIUM requires a test in the Arabic language through the Arabic Placement Test (APT).

Grades: Grades are based on the cumulative grade point average (CGPA) system. The highest CGPA is 4.0, and students are expected to obtain 2.0 and above.


The tuition fees are subsidised by the government. In addition, students will be given an allowance of RM1, 250 per semester. RM350 per semester for tuition fees and RM360 per semester for accommodation are also awarded. Students stay in hostels that are provided by the universities.

How to Apply

Applications for Asasi is made online through Unit Pusat Universiti (UPU) website from January to first week of April. The advertisement for Asasi application is announced on and in the local Malay newspapers in December. This whole process can be done online by obtaining a special pin number from Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN). Please read Afterschool’s Ultimate UPU Guide for more information.

Uni Pathways

Overseas: Asasi is not recognised overseas and students should expect to first complete a degree in a local public university before applying for universities abroad.

Malaysia: Asasi being a one year course specific foundation allows students to enter the working world between the ages of 21-22 years.
Students will have to pay back the entire amount of financial assistance if they do not successfully complete the course.

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