Study Options

Entry Into Public and Private Institutions

Published by Afterschool.my on Aug 17, 2017, 12:41 pm

Before you begin your quest to search for the right institution in Malaysia, let us give you a brief introduction to the educational landscape here. There are three types of institutions in Malaysia namely, public universities, private universities and private university colleges. It’s important to note which ones are approved by the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) and The Ministry of Home Affairs and which courses are accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA). This is to ensure we provide comprehensive world standard range of education programmes. 


Image via www2.mqa.gov.my

International students are only allowed to pursue full-time courses at the listed institutions below. You are allowed to do part-time work but only for a maximum of 20 hours per week during semester breaks and with the approval of your institution.

Malaysian International Scholarship

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The Malaysia International Scholarship (MIS) is available for international students to study in Malaysia but only for postgraduate or postdoctoral studies. Click here to view the requirements.

Public Universities

Public universities in Malaysia

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Below is a list of public universities that are accredited and allowed to recruit international students:

  • Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia
  • Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
  • Universiti Malaysia Kelantan
  • Universiti Malaya
  • Universiti Malaysia Pahang
  • Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
  • Universiti Malaysia Perlis
  • Universiti Malaysia Sabah
  • Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia
  • Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris
  • Universiti Putra Malaysia
  • Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia
  • Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia
  • Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka
  • Universiti Teknologi MARA
  • Universiti Utara Malaysia
  • Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT)
  • Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA)

Public universities are fully funded by the government. Undergraduate programmes are conducted in Bahasa Malaysia while postgraduate programmes are usually conducted in English. Postgraduate programmes are more popular amongst the international students. However, for undergraduate programmes, there are approximately only 9.3% of international students studying in public institutions while a majority of them opt for private institutions due to the variety of options they have. All public universities are allowed to recruit international students but the quota allocated is very low and not all courses are available.

Private Universities

Universiti Teknologi Petronas

Image via Pohvin Ooi

Unlike public universities, private institutions are independent and self-funded. Tuition fees are no doubt much higher than in public ones. Opting to study in a private institution or foreign university branch campus gives you the option of doing twinning programmes with foreign partners overseas. Not only do you get a chance to be exposed to the culture in Malaysia and another country which you choose to do your twinning programme in, but you also obtain a joint qualification from both Malaysia and abroad. This is one of the best and most affordable ways to study abroad as the tuition fees and living costs are paid in Malaysia.

List of Private Institutions in Malaysia

Popular Courses

Popular Courses for International Students

Some of the most popular courses among international students include business, the IT field, nursing, engineering and tourism. However, there’s a wide variety of courses for you to choose from, whether it’s our home-grown qualifications or overseas qualifications in the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand and many more. For more information on the course you wish to study, you will need to contact the institution itself. All study levels are available from pre-university programmes right up to doctoral studies. 

Click here to find out which programmes are accredited by MQA

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