Study in Malaysia
What can you imagine when the modern world mixes with the developing world? Probably something has beautiful as Malaysia. Malaysia has a cultural and historical blend that has made it something of a treasure in Southeast Asia. And, when someone says, “historical blend”, in Southeast Asia, that has got make you hungry. After all, such a combination can only mean one thing: delicious food to make you go wild.
Lately, too, universities and colleges in Malaysia have started introducing English-taught Master’s and Bachelor’s programmes. Students come from everywhere to join in their classes, living long-term in a place that most people only dream of.
Why study in Malaysia?
1. It's affordable
Studying a Bachelor's or Master's programme at Malaysian public universities costs between 500 and 4,500 EUR per academic year. Medicine degrees are the main exception, with tuition fees of up to 27,000 EUR per year.
So for most disciplines, you'll pay a lot less than you would at a university or college in the US, Canada, UK, or Australia.
2. English is widely spoken
Around 50 to 60% of Malaysians speak the English language, at least at conversational level. While this may not sound like much when compared to other nations, keep in mind that you'll spend most of your time in major student cities, like Kuala Lumpur, where you won't have to worry about language barriers.
3. Malaysian universities are among the best in Asia
Global university rankings, which are released each year, place universities in Malaysia among the best higher education institutions in Asia. This includes both public and private universities, and represents another great reasons to study here.
4. Enjoy peace and safety
Malaysia is one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the world according to recent rankings. It has a stable political environment, a growing economy, and a developing industry — key factors that contribute to the overall positive outlook of the local society.
5. It is home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites and natural beauty
The excellent weather, natural beauty, and unique cuisine make Malaysia one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia.
While studying and living there, don't forget to visit iconic buildings and places like Mount Kinabalu, the Batu Caves, Menara Kuala Lumpur, the Perhentian Islands, the Gunung Mulu National Park, etc.
What it is like to study in Malaysia?
One of the things Malaysia is known for is constantly celebrating different holidays. There is an endless array of festivals going on all through the year; and if you’re a student there, it may not be a requirement to join one, but you may as well.
The lucky thing is there are several languages and ethnic groups present in Malaysia. That means, no matter where you’re from, you’ll find people capable of speaking English to you, and who will happily help you get around.
And, of course, the same rules apply to your classes in Malaysia. Be prepared for every class, and study hard before you decide to join yet another festival this month.
What to study in Malaysia?
In Malaysia, their long history of art, literature, and music has made it an interesting place to pursue topics related to their local culture. At the same time, however, Malaysia has also become a strong, vibrant place for technology and business innovation, allowing young Bachelor’s and Master’s students to find their calling in a place that suits their career goals.
Here is a list of subjects to pursue in Malaysia:
- Finance degrees in Malaysia
- Economics degrees in Malaysia
- General Engineering degrees in Malaysia
- Cultural Studies degrees in Malaysia
Where to study in Malaysia?
As a country, Malaysia isn’t that big, so there aren’t many places to put a big city. But, if you are interested in knowing, Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia’s biggest city and national capital. You’ll also find other, smaller cities, such as Melaka City, Kuantan, Ipoh, and Georgetown. Surely, travelling between them, you catch a glimpse of big city life, combined with small-town life, all in a short day.
Which universities to attend in Malaysia?
Malaysia has recently started building up their universities, combining different colleges, academies, and institutes together to make larger universities. At the same time, there are large public universities, hugely backed and subsidised by the Malaysian government.
Here are some familiar universities in Malaysia:
How to apply
Each university in Malaysia has its own system on their website that allows future students to apply for and enrol in their degree programmes. So, once you select the university of your choice, you can go through their application and submit your materials there.
Here are some of the basic requirements you’ll need for every application:
- A scan of your diploma (high school or Bachelor’s degree)
- A transcript/record of your previous courses
- A scan of your passport and/or birth certificate
- Your CV
- Testing scores
- Evidence of scholarship or funding
- Letters of recommendation (between 2-3)
- Portfolio and/or writing samples
Helpful ways to make sure you qualify for a university in Malaysia
Take Preparation Courses
These kinds of courses enable degree-seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their Master’s degree or other post-graduate degree programmes.
Try a pre-M.B.A., pre-Law, or pre-Medicine programme, as well as any other foundation or preparation courses that will allow you to study in the degree programme of your choice.
Improve your English through an English-language prep course
If you’re attending a degree programme in Malaysia you will need to prove that your language skills are good enough to participate in the classes and understand the lectures. These courses will also prepare you for any of the English-language tests that universities require.
To apply to study in the Malaysia, you’ll need to provide proof you have a diploma for your English proficiency.
The certificates generally accepted by the universities in the Malaysia are:
Living in Malaysia
Let's take a closer look at tuition and living expenses in Malaysia:
In Malaysia, tuition fees vary based on a number of factors, such as: the type of university (public vs private), degree level (undergraduate vs postgraduate), length of studies (2–5 years), and so on.
Tuition at public universities
- Bachelor's degrees: 2,000–4,500 EUR/year; some degrees in Medicine can cost as much as 27,000 EUR/year
- Master's degrees: 500–4,000 EUR/year
Tuition at private universities
- Bachelor's degrees: 1,350–9,300 EUR/year; some degrees in Medicine can cost as much as 19,850 EUR/year
Master's degrees: 1,500–3,000 EUR/year
The tuition fees we've listed here only serve a guiding role. You can find more expensive programmes and sometimes a few that are cheaper. The official university website is the best place to look for up-to-date information.
Cost of living in Malaysia
If you hope to have enough money for festivals, celebrations, and parties, you’re in luck!
Compared to most other locations, especially in South-East Asia, Malaysia is relatively affordable. Rent and food aren't too expensive. In general, you should prepare 450–800 EUR/month for living costs.
Here is a breakdown of living expenses in Malaysia:
- Accommodation: 350–700 EUR/month depending on the type of housing
- Utilities: 50–70 EUR/month
- Food and groceries: 200–350 EUR/month
- Monthly transportation pass (train, metro, bus): 21 EUR
- Medical insurance: 210 EUR/year
- 3-course meal for 2 at a mid-range restaurant: 12 EUR
- Milk: 1.36 EUR
- Bread: 0.69 EUR
- Eggs: 1.14 EUR
- Cappuccino: 2.18 EUR
Malaysia, also known as the Malaysian Federation or Federation of Malaysia, is a federal constitutional monarchy located in Southeast Asia. The capital is Kuala Lumpur, which means ‘muddy Estuary’ in the Malay language, but the federal government is located in Putrajaya.
Interesting facts about Malaysia
- Malaysia has the tallest mountain in Southeast Asia, known as Mount Kinabalu.
- Malaysia’s total highway length is longer than the Earth’s circumference: 65,977 km of highway!
- Malaysians on average have the highest number of Facebook friends. I’m not jealous!
- Malaysian island Borneo is the largest island in the world
- Malaysia has the biggest roundabout in the world: 2.2 miles, with a diameter of 3.5km
Universities, colleges and schools in Malaysia
- Manipal GlobalNxt University (2 PhDs)
- Curtin University (1 PhD)
- SEGI University (5 PhDs)
- Heriot-Watt University (1 PhD)
Interested in scholarships for Malaysia? Check out our scholarship search page.
How to Apply to a Master's in Malaysia
If you've decided to study a Master's degree at a university in Malaysia, you will have to gather the right documents to prove that you fit the university requirements. Provide complete personal information, previous qualifications, financial information, and a personal statement.
What documents do I need to provide to apply in Malaysia?
You'll be asked to present supporting documents including:
- high school or Bachelor’s diploma;
- academic transcripts of previous studies;
- passport and/or birth certificate scan;
- test scores (GRE, GMAT, GPA);
- proof of funds;
- letters of recommendation;
- portfolio and/or writing samples.
Prove your language skills
To show that you have the right English skills, you'll have to also present an IELTS, TOEFL or C1 Advanced language certificate. If you don't meet the minimum language scores you will have to improve them by taking an English preparation course.
Application deadlines for Malaysia
The deadlines for applying to a Master's in Malaysia are usually during autumn (September- October), or in spring (May-June). Many universities have rolling applications, which means you can apply whenever you are ready.