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Foundation Studies is a pre-university programme offered by Malaysian private institutions of higher learning designed to prepare students for the subjects and courses they will be undertaking during degree.
Do you know exactly what field you want to get into, like Science or Business, but are, as of yet, uncertain which career you want to get into? Or, do you know exactly what degree you want to study and want a pre-university course that would give you an education geared towards that exact course?
A Foundation programme, a short 1-year preparatory course only offered at private institutions in Malaysia, is designed to launch SPM-leavers into tertiary education. Much like its’ name, it provides basic knowledge and bridges students to a Bachelor’s Degree where students will be learning core subjects in that particular stream. This will lead them to major in a specific course later on in the undergraduate level. Typically, most institutions offer science and arts stream but some also offer engineering, business, accountancy, information technology, commerce and many more.
Foundation Studies is one of the shortest pre-university programmes. It is mostly recognised by the institution offering it because it is tailored specifically to the institution’s syllabus. Its qualification is the same as A-Levels, STPM, Matriculation, AUSMAT, International Baccalaureate, etc. It’s meant for students who have completed their SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia), O-Levels or equivalent.
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So, you’ve decided that you want to become a doctor? Then choose Foundation in Science! Or maybe, you’ve decided to be an Accountant, meaning you can take up Foundation in Business or Accounting. Foundation programmes would not only give you the best preparation for the future course you intend to study, you can also choose specific subjects so the syllabus is tailor made for your future.
You know exactly what you want to become. Now all you need is a bridging course, to help get you from SPM to your degree programme. Foundation programmes provide one of the fastest avenues for you to do just that, with its duration taking a measly 12 months.
Foundation programmes are perfect, as long as you intend to continue studying for a Bachelor’s Degree in the same university. If you do intend to transfer after your pre-university, it could prove to be a wholly frustrating affair.
Not Recommended For
If you plan to go overseas to continue your studies, a Foundation programme may not be recognised by other universities. As such, either look elsewhere OR check with the university abroad as to whether they recognise this qualification BEFORE even enrolling in a Foundation programme here.
If you don’t have a clue as to what you want to do, what course you want to join, then a Foundation programme isn’t for you. It leaves you with limited options further down the road, and the fact that its recognition is sometimes questioned when you transfer universities, it’s best to look elsewhere for more flexible pre-university courses.
If you’re someone who changes your mind a lot and keeps see-sawing between courses and potential careers, then look away. As mentioned earlier, Foundation programmes mainly serve as a preparatory course for a specific field during degree studies.
There are many areas of College Foundations, including:
Students who have undergone SPM/O-Levels have to obtain at least five credits including English in order to qualify for a Foundation programme. The specific requirements would vary depending on the stream you choose.
Important Note: Some institutions allow students to use their trial results to apply if the actual results are not available at the point of registration.
Synopsis of Pathway
Upon completing a Foundation programme, you can enrol for a degree programme related to the stream you studied in.
These rules are put together to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected so that we can live freely and peacefully, preventing social chaos.
A combination of 30% coursework and 70% exams is rather common. However, since Foundation programmes are administered by the university itself, it may differ depending on the institution you choose. Therefore, it would be wise to survey and inquire with the university as to what structure they employ before enrolling.
The programme is generally 12 months long for all institutions.
The intakes depend on each institution. Click on the institutions below to find out their intakes for Foundation programmes.
Here are some of the most popular institutions offering Foundation programmes in Malaysia.
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Oct 31, 2022
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