Living & Working in Malaysia

Top 5 Student Cities in Malaysia

Published by Afterschool.my on Aug 17, 2017, 05:48 am

By now, the world now knows Kuala Lumpur to be one of the premier hubs for international students looking for quality education. Noting an ideal combination of your cheaper-than-the-usual fees coupled with institutions that offer qualify education, the city stacked with byzantine streets is not alone when it comes to the killer combo students around the world crave for. Better known public universities such as University Malaya, complimented by the world class universities that have set up shop here in the form of branch campuses, create a melting pot, not just of food and culture, but one of educational excellence. Perhaps someone looking towards Malaysia with a foreign set of eyes may not look past Kuala Lumpur, when in actual fact, many of Malaysia’s 14 states and federal territories possess all the necessary ingredients to tip the scales in their favour when a student is looking for a city that would be conform to their educational and financial needs. Let us dive a little deeper into the cities in Malaysia, and construct our very own countdown of the 5 best student cities/states Malaysia has to offer!

EduCity, Johor

Located in the South most portion of the country, the region which tails off into the sea is located in a state that is wildly popular due to its close proximity to the neighbouring Singapore. As far as first impressions go, a city which has the prefix of edu- definitely gets it right. While it would be a shame if it was all talk and no bite, any potential student can rest assured knowing Educity is packed with private instiutions and branch campuses of the highest prestige, who offer a variety of courses to choose from, ranging from management all the way to medicine. These institutions include: 

  • Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia
  • Netherlands Maritime Institute of Technology
  • Raffles University Iskandar
  • University of Southampton Malaysia Campus
  • University of Reading Malaysia
  • Marlborough College Malaysia
  • Management Development Institute of Singapore
  • Raffles American School
  • Multimedia University

It would then come so no surprise then, that the idea for the city when it was in its initial stages of planning, was to be an education hub to accommodate the growing demand for robust options of academia with great depth, something EduCity has and continually strives to maintain. Supplementing the campuses are R&D centres, student accommodations, as well as recreational and sports facilities. The first of its kind in Asia, Educity in Johor makes it onto our list because of its pioneering vision in creating a hub within a hub, and succeeding in moulding a safe haven for its students to thrive and excel on a grand scale. 

Selangor, Malaysia

While KL used to be far and away the number one destination, being synonymous with the poster child of Malaysian education destinations, Selangor has never been too far behind, always pushing its way towards the front of the pack and now, agonisingly close to disposing KL as the numero uno city for students. Whisper it quietly, but within some circles, they may already have done so. A combination of the innovation and financial injections both of a large scale has seen the sprouting of a number of institutions whose brands are known around the world

Universities and colleges found in Selangor include:

  • Binary Universtiy College of Management & Entrepreneurship (BUCME)
  • HELP International College of Technology (HICT)
  • Institute Advertising Communication Training (IACT)
  • INTI College Subang Jaya
  • KBU University
  • KDU College
  • Kuala Lumpur Infrastructure University College
  • Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT)
  • Lincoln College
  • Malaysia University of Science and Technology (MUST)
  • Management & Science University (MSU)
  • Monash University Malaysia (MUSM)
  • Multimedia University (MMU)
  • New Era College
  • Olympia College Petaling Jaya
  • PJ College of Art and Design
  • PTPL College
  • SAE Institute of Audio Engineering
  • SEGi University College
  • Stamford College
  • Sunway University College
  • Taylor’s College
  • The One Academy of Communication Design
  • The Otomotif College (TOC)
  • The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNIM)
  • Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
  • Universiti Kuala Lumpur British Malaysian Institute
  • Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)
  • Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)
  • Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN)
  • Westminster International College
  • Kolej Teknologi Paramount
  • Kolej Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Selangor (KUIS)
  • Kolej WIT
  • Malaysian Institute of Baking (MIB)
  • The Association of Business Executives (ABE)
  • Vision College


Leading the charge is undoubtedly Petaling Jaya, or PJ as it is fondly known. The gem has all the hallmarks of a model student city, with numerous 5-star institutions and even more high-rise buildings, many of which easily serve as student accommodation. The final layer of this education tiramisu is of course the close proximity in which all these factors intertwine together to work seamlessly.

Penang, Malaysia

Image via catchthatbus.com

The Pearl of The Orient wasn’t merely given its nickname for kicks, oh no. Better known as a tourist hotspot due to its uncanny ability to combine the modernisation of a city with the breath-taking views and locales of an unspoiled island. For students who are torn between trotting the globe to fulfil their wander lust fantasies and studying to earn a degree, the perfect choice could not be more obvious. Universities are peppered all around Penang, with the main draw of course being the institutions that are deeply engrained in the field of education with a wealth of experience, who also chose Penang as a location for another one of their campuses. Some of them include: 

  • Allianze College of Medical Sciences (ACMS)
  • DISTED College
  • Han Chiang College
  • INTI International College Penang
  • Olympia College Penang
  • SEGi College, Pulau Pinang
  • Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
  • ATC College
  • Kolej Antarabangsa Excelpolitan
  • Kolej Excel
  • Kolej Kejururawatan Adventist
  • Penang Medical College
  • Silicon Institute of Technology
  • Tunku Abdul Rahman College (Caw. Penang)
  • Wawasan Open University (WOU)

On nights and weekends however, the city can be viewed through a different set of eyes, as the attention then shifts to the captivating islands and seas, or the remarkably preserved culture of yesteryear found exploring one of the many narrow and captivating streets. Why trade the hustle and bustle of the city for the sanctuary of nature and culture, when you can have both?

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

Image via kualalumpur-ws

The first name that comes to mind when people think about education in Malaysia is without a  doubt, Kuala Lumpur. The city has been at the forefront of everything good in the country for decades, even being named the most affordable student city by QS World University Rankings. Treading the fine-line between maintaining high quality education at affordable prices for students has never been a task for the faint hearted, more so in the current economic climate. Kuala Lumpur though has made the tight-rope walk with unassuming ease, adding more and more Universities that would qualify as rock-stars on the educational stage, to their already burgeoning staple of institutions. Some of these include: 

  • Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology (APIIT)
  • Asia Pacific University College of Technology & Innovation (UCTI)
  • Asia-Europe Institute, University of Malaya
  • FTMS College
  • HELP University College
  • Institut FMM
  • International College of Music (ICOM)
  • International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)
  • Malvern International Academy
  • Kolej Antarabangsa Travex
  • Kolej ATC
  • Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University College (KLMU)
  • MAHSA University College
  • Malaysia-France University Centre (MFUC)
  • Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA)
  • Methodist College Kuala Lumpur
  • Multimedia College
  • Olympia College Kuala Lumpur
  • Open University Malaysia (OUM)
  • SEGi College, Kuala Lumpur
  • Stamford Management Centre
  • TPM College
  • UCSI University
  • Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL)
  • Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia
  • Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (UNITAR)
  • University of Malaya (UM)
  • Institut Megatech
  • Institut Mentari
  • Nirwana Education Group
  • Institut Pengurusan Malaysia (MIM)
  • Kolej Bandar
  • Kolej Brickfields Asia
  • Kolej Gemilang
  • President College
  • Kolej Teknologi Antarabangsa Cybernetics (KTAC)
  • Kolej Teknologi Geomatika
  • Kolej Unikop
  • Legend International School of Hospitality & Tourism
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • Mantissa Institute
  • Reliance College
  • RIMA College Kuala Lumpur
  • Taylor’s College, Sri Hartamas
  • Tunku Abdul Rahman College
  • Victoria International College (Kuala Lumpur)

Most notable home to the nation’s number one university, UM, KL also manages to keep everything in a compact and clean package, with the public transportation avenues of electronic trains, buses, taxis supplemented by the booming Grab and Uber contributors leave students with a multitude of options when choosing a method of going from point A to B.   

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