Structure and Features of Higher Education in Malaysia

Higher Education in Malaysia
Higher education is subsidised by the government. Students can either opt for matriculation system or entering secondary schooling for an additional 18 months and pass STPM. Following this, they can access tertiary or higher education. Excellence in exams does not ensure a place in the university. Selection criteria  vary as no defined guidelines exist. Classification of higher education is based upon Malaysian Qualifications Framework for a unified system of post secondary education in academic and vocational sectors. 

Overview of Higher Education in Malaysia

Public and private universities: There are 20 public and 53 private private universities  in Malaysia.Students can also enrol in private tertiary institutions following secondary studies. Private universities are also known for imparting quality education. Many institutions offer courses in tandem with foreign universities or institutes especially in the US, UK and Australia. 

Twinning programmes: This allows people to study abroad as well and gain access to overseas qualifications. Private universities offer “twinning” programmes wherein students can study part of the course in Malaysia and the remaining portion abroad.  Full twinning programmes are those where credits and transcripts are transferable, wherein associate degrees are offered by local institutions in a way that guarantees automatic admission at the discretion of partnering universities. 

Offshore campus: 4 reputed international universities have established branch campuses in the nation so far. A branch campus is much like an offshore campus of an international university which offers same courses and awards as against the main campus. Local as well as global students can acquire foreign qualifications in Malaysia for an extremely affordable fee. 

Popular Courses Studied in Malaysia

Higher Studies in Malaysia
Postgraduate courses: Master of Business Administration/MBA and the DBA or Doctor of Business Administration are also popular choices offered by public universities and private colleges. Public as well as private universities in the nation also offers MSc and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Polytechnics in Malaysia are known for providing bachelor degree courses, advanced diplomas, diplomas and special skills certificate. Educational institutions offer numerous pre-university, undergraduate and postgraduate courses and programmes. 

Popular Fields of Education: Students can pursue courses in popular subjects such as law, engineering, pharmacy, accounting, finance, business, economics and commerce as well as information technology. Within this field are sub categories where students can pursue both undergraduate as well as higher studies.

Unconventional courses: Unusual courses such as psychology, philosophy, media and mass communications as well as nursing sciences and urban planning are also available at Malaysia educational institutions. Students can also opt for arts subjects such as design, fashion, culinary arts, creative multimedia and digital as well as film television. Other courses include sports, fitness and health management, Islamic banking and finance, food science and nutrition as well as animation design. 

Well known educational institutions in Malaysia: The Lim Kok Wing University of Creative Technology is known for its fashion design and multimedia courses. HELP University College is known for psychology while Monash University is the top choice for philosophy students. International Medical University and Maniple International University are well known for medicine. NILAI University College is known for its engineering courses which include electronic engineering, mechanical engineering, aircraft engineering, automotive engineering and mechatronics engineering. 

Apart from regular courses, these institutions also have twinning courses in partnership with partner universities in the UK, US, New Zealand, France, Canada and Australia apart form others. Foreign higher educational institutions also have unusual courses through their branch campuses.

Reasons to Choose Malaysia for Higher Education

Cost considerations: A major attraction of studying in Malaysia is the affordable rate of education here. Course fees are reasonable and living expenses are not high. The cost of education and living in Malaysia offers good value for money. According to the official study portal, Study Malaysia, students can get an engineering degree from UK for 3 years in Malaysia through a franchise degree programme at just USD 16,000 or RM 51,000. The cost for the same degree programme in the UK is around RM 144,000 or USD 45,000. 

Cost of living is also extremely reasonable, as cities such as Kuala Lumpur will be ranked as one of the least expensive cities in the world to reside in. Whether students choose to live on campus or off it, they can live easily within a budget of USD 5,000 per year which covers accommodation, transportation, food, laundry and other essentials as well as cost of social activities, according to Study Malaysia. 

World class education: Malaysia offers students a chance to gain globally recognised qualification within a reasonable budget. Students from numerous countries pursue diplomas, degrees, doctorates and post graduate degrees at universities, colleges and international branch campuses. Malaysia has also collaborated with reputed universities from the UK, the US, New Zealand, Australia and Canada for globally recognised education courses.

Good learning atmosphere: Malaysia offers affordable cost of living and friendly environs in which to pursue higher studies. Higher educational institutions here have modern amenities and efficient transportation system abounds in Malaysian cities. Comfortable accommodation is another major plus point along with delicious food. Moderate temperatures and a safe living environment make Malaysia a hospitable educational destination. Along with this is cultural diversity as well as society which is tolerant.

Excellent facilities: Major number of Malaysian universities and colleges are located in prime areas for ensuring comfortable living environment. Numerous cities in Malaysia have all the necessary amenities such as public transportation, banks, restaurants, clinics, banks, bookshops, convenience stores,  shopping malls and more for a comfortable stay during studies here.      


Malaysian higher education is oriented towards providing students with unique learning opportunities. Numerous public, private and foreign universities here offer excellent courses. Education is well organised and of high quality here. Many international students opt for higher studies in Malaysia as a result of this.
Connect me with the Top Colleges
First Name:
Last Name:
E-Mail ID :
You live in:
Mobile Number:
You want to study in:
Highest Level of Education:
Study Preference:
You want to Study:
Need an education loan?
loading Processing...
  • No Articles to display

More »


Malaysia Select a Country

Our Network :