Admission Requirements in Malaysia

Admission Requirements in Malaysian Higher Educational Institutions
The Malaysian government has aimed at making the nation a hub for world class education. International students can easily obtain a student pass and visa. For global students who are applying to private institutions of higher education, application can be made to Malaysia’s Education Malaysia Global Services as well. 
Education Malaysia only lists courses and institutions which have received accreditation and are licensed. For public educational institutions, application must be made in a accordance with the rules of the universities. 

Admission to Private Higher Educational Institutions in Malaysia

Application Through EMGS: One Time Application: From 1st February 2013, foreign students can apply to private higher educational institutions through the EMGS or Education Malaysia Global Services. This is a one stop application method which allows students to search for multiple courses at numerous institutions . They can choose from accredited and licensed courses.

Steps for Applying Through EMGS: Students must undertake the following steps for application through this online system:
  1. Select courses and institutions which are suited for you
  2. Apply for selected courses through EMGS
  3. Accept the offer letter following its receipt and confirm admission with respect to the educational institutions
  4. Provide relevant and concerned document as well as fees alongside RM1000 for visa processing and RM250 as fee for medical screening alongside immigration and insurance fees
  5. Institution can apply to EMGS on student’s behalf
  6. Within 14 working days of complete application including payment, Visa Approval Letter sent
  7. Go to Malaysian Mission/Consulate in home country for obtaining the entry visa
  8. Ensure travel arrangements are made and provide information to the institution regarding arrival details
  9. Meet the institution upon arrival and give them the passport
  10. Attend Medical Screening within 7 days of arrival in Malaysia
  11. Get the Student Pass endorsement along with Passport and Medical Insurance Cover

Criteria for Entry Into Malaysian Educational Institutions

To get the Student Pass as a full time student, international students must fulfil the following criteria:
Acceptance into full time course of study at private/public higher educational institutions
  • Full financial capacity to pay course fees and living expenses in Malaysia
  • Be in excellent health and possessing sound character
  • Only interested in visiting Malaysia for higher education/studies

Steps in Admission and Application Process for Public Universities in Malaysia

  • The first thing you must have is enough information about the Malaysian education system. You need to choose the correct institution.
  • Secondly, you must possess the relevant qualifications for entry into the particular course
  • Submit application forms, relevant documents plus application fee to select institutions
  • Following receipt of acceptance letter, educational institution must apply for student pass/visa 
  • Following this, you can then start attending the course at a Malaysian educational institution
  • Currently, there are no centralised mechanisms for international student applications to public universities. Students must apply directly to the institution under consideration for enrolment. Students must also apply directly to the educational institution of their choice. Application can be made only to institutions that have been given approval by concerned authorities for accepting global students.

Admission Guidelines and Criteria for Institutions in Malaysia

Admission Requirements for Malaysian Higher Educational Institutions
Students must first decide which full time courses must be pursued. They should consider their academic requirements, career goals plus budget. Apart from the field of study, students also need to assess the level and type of qualification as well as course duration. The should choose institutions if they have required qualifications and English proficiency. They can also contact Malaysian Education Promotion Centres abroad. 

Admission Requirements: Students must complete the concerned International Student Application Form for chosen courses and return it to the educational institution with the following documents plus fees:

  • Certified copes of concerned examination results and academic certificates
  • Copies can be translated into English if documents are in other languages
  • In case accommodation is needed, a completed accommodation form
  • Photocopies of identity cars
  • Recent Passport sized colour photographs- 4 to 6 copies
  • Medical Health Report
  • Application Fees
Fee: Application fees range from USD 160 to USD250 and it is generally non-refundable. The application form can be obtained online from the website of the institution or the overseas representative of the nation. Students will be asked for evidence of academic performance and proficiency in English. Students should ideally apply two months prior to the intake date.

Admission Procedure: Following receipt of the application, institutions take around 5 to 7 days for processing the application. Once accepted, institutions will issue “Offer of Place” letter and deliver this to the students.. The letter gives confirmation of course details, dates of admission, invoice for tuition fee, miscellaneous fees as well as accommodation fees.

Following this, arrangements need to be made for payment of fees and the institution in question should send a receipt indicating confirmation of payment of the same. According to Study Malaysia, the official online portal for education, students are advised to make payment through bank transfer, opening of a local banking account or a credit card rather than opting for cash payments.

Student Pass Application: The institution also applies for approval of student pass form the Malaysian Immigration Department in the country on the behalf of the student. The duration for this is around 7 to 14 days. All documents should be in order. Institution will notify the students regarding the status (approval/rejection) of student pass application. Immigration approval letter ensures separate visa is not needed for entry into Malaysia. 
Students should inform educational institutions of location of a certain Malaysian embassy to which an application has been made for the visa. Visa application fee is RMB80 and it is subject to change. 

Researching the Right Universities: Students should also do research in advance regarding the institution in question based on Malaysian education via websites or through information from institutional representatives. Many study options are there in Malaysia such as: 
  • Types of institutions from public to private and foreign universities
  • Kinds of qualifications from Malaysian qualification to UK, US and Australian qualifications
  • Modes of study (2 1 twinning degree/3 0 franchised degree/external degree/transfer credits/distance learning and so on)
  • Different types of course disciplines (IT/healthcare/engineering/business and so on). 

Read a prospectus from the institutions you are interested in. This will provide insights into entry requirement, courses taught, course objectives and course modules. Choose a course relevant to the careers you want to pursue. Also consider factors such as course fee, availability of learning facilities, living expenses, research amenities and so forth. Check if the institution you are applying to has received approval by Ministry of Education and the Malaysian Qualifications Agency. Study Malaysia is also useful for further information.

For public universities, postgraduate studies and lesser bachelor’s degree programmes are available for international students. Public universities which are funded by the government can recruit international students for full time bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes. 

Statistical Snapshot, Facts and Figures for Admission in Malaysia

High Inflow of Students: More than 80,000 students from 100 countries are studying in Malaysia at present according to Study Malaysia. Public universities are allowed to admit international students, as are private higher educational institutions. The number of PhD holders in Malaysia was around 12,000 in the year 2010 while students in doctoral programmes across Malaysia and international countries were around 17,000. In 2011, Malaysia was home to 70,509 international students with 25.263 in public institutions and 45,246 in private ones, according to Study Malaysia. In 2012, around 90,000 international students came to Malaysia to study. Malaysia is an educational hub for international students. 

Increase in PhD Holders: According to the Ministry, Malaysia aims to increase the number of PhD holders to 48,000 by 2020 and 60,000 by 2023. Following the release of the National Education Blueprint form 2013-2025, in the month of September 2013, the country is looking to re-haul the education system to ensure it is at par with developed nations. 

Highly Ranked Educational Institutions: The state controlled University of Malaya was ranked 167th globally by the QS 200 World University rankings 2012 up. It was also ranked 39th in Asia. This university was placed 151 with a score of 61.0 by the QS World University Rankings 2014-2015. The same reputed ranking agency also placed two other institutions in the World’s Top 300 namely Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)  at rank 259 and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) at rank 294. University Sains Malaysia was placed at rank 309 and University Putra Malaysia at 376. Malaysia is a leader in its region when it comes to higher education. According to official estimates, 200,000 international students are expected in Malaysia by the end of the year 2020. In 2012, around 25 foreign universities applied to establish campuses in Malaysia. Many foreign universities have also established branch campuses here. Malaysia is truly a world class educational hub.


Malaysia is one of the leading nations in the world when it comes to quality education. Admission requirements and procedure in Malaysia are simple and straightforward. Students applying to private higher educational institutions can also opt for the one stop application process available at EMGS. Malaysia is an excellent educational destination for students who want to experience academic skills and professional growth.
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