Academic Year and Language of Instruction

While the academic year differs from one institution to another, the medium of instruction followed in Malaysian schools is chiefly Behasa Malayu while the language used in Malay universities is English. There is a designated set of public holidays which are followed in schools and universities alike.

Academic Year and Annual Timeline in Malaysian Educational Institutions

Though the academic year differs greatly from one institution to another. each university follows its own timetable and the year is commonly spread into 3 semesters. Each semester or trimester lasts for a duration of 12 weeks and there is a 2 week break during each semester. There is also a size week break of slightly longer duration during the middle of the year. 

The university year commonly begins in the latter part of February or during early March and ends in the month of October. While most are “full year courses,” others can be completed in just a single semester. University can also be started in July. Classes are held over a period of 5 days from Monday to Friday while libraries and support services are open on weekends. Exams may be conducted on Saturdays. Numerous universities offer weekend courses for those who commenced working while many conduct summer school courses from the months of November to February.  These courses enable people to finish studies in shorter periods of time. 

  Semester 1  
Lectures  6 weeks From 8/9/214To 17/9/2014 
 Mid Semester Break 1 1week18/10/2014  26/10/2014
 Lectures  8 weeks 27/102014 19/12/2014
 Revision Week 1week 20/12/2014 28/12/2014
 Examinations Semester 1 3weeks 29/12/2014  16/01/2015
 Semester 1 Break5 weeks 9/06/2014 17/06/2014
  Semester 2  
 Lectures  23/02/2015 10/04/2015
 Mid Semester 2 break 1 week 11/04/2015 19/04/2015
 Lectures7 weeks  20/04/2015 5/06/2015
 Revision Week 1 week 06/06/2015 14/06/2015
 Examination Semester 2 3 weeks15/06/2015  3/07/2015
 Semester Break Lectures and Examination8 to 9 weeks  4/07/201506/09/2015
Public Holidays

  • Aidil Adha 
  • Deepavali
  • Maal Hijrah
  • Christmas
  • New Year's
  • Chinese New Year
Applicable for:School Education SystemHigher Education System

Language of Instruction in Malaysian Educational Institutions

Primary Level: At the primary level, the medium of instruction is based on the categories to which the schools belong. Two categories of public funded primary schools exist namely National schools and National type schools, the latter being either Chinese or Tamil. The medium of instruction in national schools is Bahasa Melayu which is the national language of Malaysia. English is a compulsory subject in all Malaysian primary schools. The medium of instruction in national type schools is Chinese or Tamil depending upon its nationality. Both Bahasa Melayu and English are taught as compulsory subjects here as well.

Secondary and Tertiary Level: In secondary schools, the medium of instruction is Bahasa Melayu and English is taught as a second language in all the schools. These two subjects are core and compulsory for all the students. Chinese, Tamil and Arabic are offered as additional subjects. Other indigenous languages alongside foreign languages such as French and German are also taught here. Since the year 2003, science and maths will be taught in English and revert to Bahasa Melayu only in 2016. Foreign system schools use their own medium of instruction for teaching. International schools use English for teaching and use an international curriculum. Expatriate schools follow a national educational system and have their own national language as a medium of instruction.  

English Medium Education: English is used as a primary medium of instruction in most private higher educational institutions. Most bachelor degree courses in public universities are taught in Bahasa Melayu. Postgraduate and doctoral studies are taught in English.
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