Application Process for International Students in Malaysia

The application process for Malaysian students is relatively simple. However, there is no centralised process for admission. Students must apply directly to the educational institution in question. However, private institutes can also be applied to via an online system.

Admission Procedure for International Students in Malaysia 

Application Process for International Students in Malaysia
Key considerations: Students must get to know the Malaysian education system before venturing out. Students need to be aware of the educational system in the institution and identify the correct institutions for admission. Qualification for admissions into universities is another important consideration. Most bachelor’s degree programmes are open to persons who have passed their higher secondary examinations. Students must submit the application forms as well as relevant documents  and application fee to concerned institutions. Applications can either be accepted or rejected. Those successful candidates who receive an acceptance letter can apply for student pass/visa and move on to study in Malaysia.  

Assessing Requirements: Students also need to assess if they meet relevant academic qualifications and are proficient in English. The official representative of the selected institution is also the right person to consult for admission procedures. There are also Malaysian Education Promotion Centres overseas. Applying to study in a Malaysian institution of your selection is simple. Completing the relevant International Student Application Forms is an important step in the admission process. Students can return the form to the concerned institution with the following documents, as per Education Malaysia:

  • Certified copies of relevant exam results and academic certificates translated into English( in case they are in another language)
  • Completed accommodation form (in case accommodation is needed)
  • Photocopies of valid international passports
  • Xerox of the identity card
  • Passport sized colour photographs
  • Medical health report
  • Application fees from USD 160 to USD 250  

Application forms: Application forms can be obtained from the website of the institution or from institution’s overseas representative. Students will be asked for proof of academic achievement and English proficiency. Application should be made within 2 months before the intake date. 

Offer of Place Letter: Following receipt of the application, around 5 to 7 days will be needed to process the application. If students are accepted, an Offer of Place letter will be sent to them. Full time course details as well as commencement dates and invoice for tuition fees as well as other details will be communicated via the letter. 

Payment Arrangements: Arrangements can be made for the payment of fees and the institution should be requested to issue a receipt following confirmation of payment. Large amounts of cash should not be used for fee payment as bank transfers and credit cards are more preferred. The next step in the procedure of admission is the Student Pass. An institution will apply for approval for a student pass from the Malaysian Immigration Department in Malaysia on their behalf. This takes around 7 to 14 days and all documents should be in order.

Application Process in Malaysia International Students
Visa Approval:The institution will notify the students regarding the status of approval or rejection. Separate visas are not needed for entering Malaysia. For Single Entry Visa, students can proceed to their nearest Malaysian embassy/ consulate. Students can inform their education institutions of the location of a concerned embassy at which they have applied for the visa. Visa application fee is RMB80 subject to change. Research must be conducted prior to the application process regarding type of institutions, qualifications and more. There are various modes of study as well as types of course disciplines and students can make the right choice based on prior research. 

Accreditation: Other factors also have to be considered such as course fee, presence of learning facilities and global student support services as well as size and location of institution, living expense and global mix of students in institutions. Check the accreditation as well as legality and quality of courses. Check out the education cost for the entire time period as well.  

Differing Admission Procedures: For admission into private schools, private higher educational institutions or public universities can be applied to individually and directly. Ministry of Higher Education in Malaysia, Malaysian Qualifications Agency and Ministry of Education Malaysia as well as StudyMalaysia are some of the many sources of information for the international student who wants to apply to Malaysian educational institutions.  Global students can also ascertain if the institution has been licensed and approved prior to the approval by these institutions. Institutions also need to be licensed by other authorities such as the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Immigration Department to accept international students. Public universities provide postgraduate study programmes and limited places for bachelor’s degree programmes to global students. Public universities have also recruited global students for full time undergraduate and postgraduate studies. 

Standard Exams for International Students in Malaysia

No Centralised System: Currently, there is no centralised system for global students application and each educational institution follows its own process. The level and type of qualification as well as the course duration are important considerations for entry into any course in Malaysia. There are no standardised exams for entrance into many higher educational courses. However, the admission procedure differs from one university to another.

Measure of English Proficiency: TOEFL as well as IELTS have to be taken for students to demonstrate their proficiency in English. This is vital in the case of English medium courses. TOEFL or Test of the English Language is one of the most common choices for students. IELTS is another standard exam taken by students who must obtain a satisfactory score to enter English medium courses in Malaysia.  

Application Deadlines for International Students in Malaysia

The deadlines for application are based on the educational institution chosen. Each Malaysian university has its own time table and the year is split into 3 semesters/trimesters for a total of 12 weeks each. During the later part of February or the early part of March, university year begins. It needs in October mostly.
International students should be able to complete the visa processing formalities and screening processes so that they can be in time for the commencement of the course. Certain universities also begin in July. Summer schools are held in the duration between November and February. 


Applying for higher studies in Malaysia is simple. Around 80,000 international students from across 100 countries have pursued studies in Malaysia. Currently, there are over 400 private higher educational institutions in Malaysia and only 200 of these have been given permission by the Ministry of Home Affairs to admit global students. Educational courses in various disciplines are available at Malaysia.
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