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Introduction to the Education System in Malaysia

Malaysia is located in the lower Pacific Rim, with a population of close to 28.3 million, according to a report by the Department of Statistics in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia.The population growth rate here as per an OECD 2012 publication is 1.3%. While Behasa Melayu is the official language, English is the second language. The official name of this country is Federation of Malaysia. According to OECD, 2012, the total adult literacy rate is 93.1% for males and 98.5% for females.

Malaysia is known for its superior educational system. This nation offers free primary and secondary education for children. Apart from this, the first 6 years of primary education are compulsory. The aim of education in Malaysia is to provide students with holistic and integrated growth and development opportunities and a chance to become skilled professionals.

Educational Snapshot of Malaysia

Overview of Education System in MalaysiaGross and Net Enrolment Ratio : Pre-primary school participation gross enrolment ratio, according to OECD statistics 2012 was 66% for the male while the female gross enrolment ratio was 71.4%. According to United Nations UNESCO Institute of Statistics, the gross enrolment ratio for 2011 was 70.36% for pre-primary education.
Survival rate to last primary grade as per UNICEF for 2012 was 99.2%.
Total enrolment ratio according to UNESCO Institute of Statistics for lower secondary duration in 2011 in Malaysia was 91.87%. According to this UN estimate, female gross enrolment ratio in lower secondary education was 87.74%, while the male gross enrolment ratio was 96.24%.
Gross enrolment ratio for upper secondary education was 49.35% according to UNESCO Institute of Statistics. Female gross enrolment ratio in upper secondary education was 50.66%, while male gross enrolment ratio was 47.98%.
Gross enrolment ratio in tertiary education according to UNESCO Institute of Statistics was 35.97% in 2011. Female gross enrolment ratio was 39.08% while male gross enrolment ratio was 32.70%. 

Net enrolment ratio in pre-primary education was 62.13% in 2011 as per the UNESCO institute. Female enrolment ratio was 59.43% while male enrolment ratio was 64.99%. According to the United Nations UNESCO Institute of Statistics, net enrolment ratio for secondary school students is 66.32% for 2011. While female enrolment ratio was 65.60%, the male enrolment ratio was 67.09% for secondary school students in Malaysia. 

Educational Statistics, Facts and Figures in Malaysia

As per the OECD publication, in 2012, 16% of the total government expenditure was spent on education. While the literacy rate for males is 98.4% and 98.5% for females. Following are some of the Quick Facts-Malaysia 2012:
  • Preschools: 5,857 preschools exist in Malaysia, attended by 186,298 preschoolers and 8169 preschool teachers.
  • Primary Schools: Malaysia has 7,723 primary schools with 2,804,405 primary school students and 236,313 primary school teachers. Primary schools in urban areas equal 2,087 while it is 5,636 in rural areas equalling a total of 7,723. Of the 2,296 secondary schools in Malaysia, 1143 are located in rural areas, while 1,153 are in urban areas. Enrolment rate for primary school students was 94.42% in 2012
  • Secondary Schools: Around 2,296 secondary schools exist with 2,281,775 secondary school students and 176,407 secondary school teachers. From the secondary school students of 2,281,775, around 1,139,198 were male students while 1,142,577 were female students in 2012. Enrolment rate for 86.07% for lower secondary student and 77.75% for upper secondary students. While it was 15.77% for post secondary schools.

Why Choose Malaysia For Higher Education 

Overview of Education System in Malaysia
For higher education as well, Malaysia is known for its pioneering study courses. 

Superb Infrastructure: Malaysia has excellent infrastructure and it provides an amazing quality of life. It also has one of the lowest costs of living among Asian countries. Malaysia is also known as mini Asia and it is one of the most cosmopolitan educational destinations in the world. Malaysia is one of the top 10 educational destinations in Asia. There are many English medium courses in Malaysia which makes it the perfect choice for international students.


Cost Benefits: The estimated cost of education in Malaysia is USD 5,000 per year for higher studies. Cost of living stands at USD 4,000 per annum and students can choose to either stay on campus or off it. 

Work While Studying: International students are also allowed to work while the study and huge investments have been made by the government for enhancing tertiary education for foreign students.

Profusion of Educational Institutions: Malaysia is also home to a host of public universities, private educational institutions and foreign university branches. Public universities constitute around 60% of higher educational institutions and they are funded by the government. The IPTS/InstitutPengajianTinggiSwasta or private universities are funded by companies and they excel in providing private education. Foreign university branches offer degrees with international recognition in partnership with universities abroad. 

Technical and Vocational Training: There is also a profusion of technical and vocational colleges as well as polytechnic and community colleges. Polytechnic schools provide training courses via Diploma and Special Skills certificate as well as Advanced Diploma for training people in commercial, service and engineering sectors. There are close to 20 polytechnics which offer programs in engineering, design as well as food technology. Community colleges provide excellent vocational and training courses within the Malaysian Qualifications Framework for wide ranging number of disciplines. All the institutions are monitored by the Ministry of Higher Education. Malaysian institutions are considered the top ranking in the world.

Transnational Courses: Malaysian higher education system is also known for the Transnational Bachelor’s degree courses. From these, the two in one or twinning degrees at numerous private universities is well known for international aspirants. Students complete the first 2 years or so of their degree in Malaysia and a remaining part of their course at a partner university in international locations. Students can study in Malaysian universities in conjunction with well known universities in UK, US, Europe and Australia. An addition is that students experience different kinds of cultures and lifestyles. 

Collaborations with Foreign Universities: Numerous US universities also have collaborations with Malaysian universities. These are known as ADP or American Degree Programmes. So students can get the benefits of high quality education through these courses without losing out on cost efficiency. The entire foreign university course can also be completed in a Malaysian campus through the ‘3 0’ degree. Another popular and distinctive feature is the advanced standing facility where students can get a course in Malaysia with an advanced standing arrangement with overseas partner universities. Students can also gain credit exemption while applying for bachelor degree programmes and study for the final year in foreign universities. 

Cultural Diversity: A rich cultural experience is another massive benefit of studying in Malaysia. This country is  home to more than 90,000 international students pursuing high quality programs across the nation. Studying here can also make it possible to access numerous scholarship programmes such as the Malaysian International Scholarship, Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme and Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Programme. The Malaysian National Higher Education Strategic Plan Beyond 2020 has also focused on making Malaysia a top academic hub in the world.         

Conclusion

Malaysia is the top choice for those who access quality education and pursue interesting and fruitful career options. This is the best academic hub for students who want to gain academic, technical or professional education. Scholarships are plentiful and twinning courses are a wonderful choice for those who want the best of both worlds. 
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