Study in Malaysia


Malaysia, located just north of the equator, is a commonwealth country in Southeast Asia. It borders Thailand on the northern side and is separated from Singapore on the southern side by a causeway and a bridge. Malaysian terrain is made of granite and igneous rocks, coastal lowlands, mountainous ridges and tropical vegetation. The temperature here is mostly uniform throughout the year.

Why study in Malaysia?

The decision to study abroad is both daunting and life-changing. While aspirants focus on universities and quality of education, they must not disregard the culture and lifestyle of the destination or the opportunities on offer.

    • Malaysian universities are fast becoming one of the top-tier universities in the world. Malaysia has a high focus on international standards monitored by the Ministry of Education
    • Malaysia has branches of some of the top universities in the world such as the Monash University of Australia, Nottingham University of UK. Educity Iskandar in Johaar is one of the largest student villages in the world
    • Malaysia has one of the lowest living costs in the world. Quality education is also quite affordable
    • The employment prospects are quite wide and have great opportunities for growth. The students have numerous opportunities for gainful employment
    • Malaysia is politically stable with high safety and very low crime rates
    • Malaysia has a demographic of 50% natives and 50% of other cultures and ethnicities. This makes Malaysia one of the most culturally diverse and inclusive countries
    • Malay and English are the most widely spoken languages. Courses are conducted in English. Students can pick up Cantonese, Mandarin and Hindi, amongst other languages
    • The food, especially street food, is one of the best in the world

Education System

The education system in Malaysia is divided into three segments – the primary, secondary and tertiary. The tertiary education system is the diploma, certificate, first and higher degree qualifications. This is overseen by the Ministry of Higher Education. 

The tertiary segment further layers into :

  • The bachelor’s degree for 3 years
  • The Master’s degree for 2 years
  • PhD or postdoctoral of 3-4 years

The education sector in Malaysia includes:  

  • Public (government-funded) institutions 
  • Private (private-funded) higher educational institutions


There are no standard eligibility or admission requirements. The admission and eligibility requirements vary from institute to institute. Students from English-speaking countries do not need to take an English proficiency test. For students from other countries, English test scores for TOEFL or IELTS are required. 

For undergraduate programs, the students must have:

  • STPM (Sijil Tinggi Persekolhan Malaysia – Malaysia Higher School Certificate) – principal level passes
  • UEC (Unified Examination Certificate) Senior Middle level
  • Polytechnic Certificate
  • Matriculation Certificate (Matrikulasi)

For postgraduate programs, the students must have:

    • Bachelor’s degree from a recognised university
    • Or a recognised pre-master’s course

Popular Courses

The Malaysian government takes an active interest in education and provides high-quality education. As a result, it is fast becoming one of the most sought after education destinations. Most students prefer Master of Business Administration and Doctor of Business Administration. Apart from these, the other most popular courses in Malaysia are:

  • Business and related courses 
  • Information technology and Computer science courses 
  • Nursing and healthcare
  • Engineering, especially aeronautics and electrical
  • Tourism and hospitality courses
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Living Expenses

Malaysia is one of the most affordable countries as compared to other countries. To study in Malaysia a student may need to spend something in the range of-

Tuition fees:

Public universities

  • Bachelor’s degree- 2,000- 4,500 Euros per year
  • Master’s degree- 500- 5000 Euros per year
  • Medicine may cost up to 27,000 Euros per year

Private universities

  • Bachelor’s degree- 1350- 9,300 Euros per year
  • Master’s degree- 1500- 3000 Euros per year
  • Medicine may cost up to 17,500 Euros per year

Living costs in Malaysia are:

Accommodation costs-

  • University dorms- 65-255 Euros per month
  • Renting a flat- 85 – 680 Euros per month
  • Food Costs – 200-350 Euros per month
  • Transportation Costs- 80- 130 Euros per month
  • Other expenses- 305- 410 Euros per month

Visa Requirements

As per the guidelines issued by the Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) in January 2021, students wishing to study in Malaysia require:

      • Passport size photographs 
      • A copy of the passport along with pages with visa information on them
      • Offer letter: a copy of the offer letter or acceptance 
      • Health declaration form
      • Academic Certificates of last education received
      • Personal Bond by the university on behalf of the student. The amount of money needs to be paid by the student
      • English Language scores from any of the following- PTE, IELTS, TOEFL, CAE, CPE, MUET

Work Opportunities

Malaysia as a country has a predominant economy based on the tertiary or service sector. Some of the core sectors are:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Petroleum and natural gas
  • Palm Oil
  • Medical technology
  • Rubber
  • Electronics and semiconductors
  • Light manufacturing
  • Timber

Malaysia also has a Critical Occupation List or (COL), This indicates the popularity of job choices. 

The COL is as:

  • Medical services
  • Education
  • Oil, gas, and energy
  • Telecommunications and multimedia
  • Financial services
  • Aerospace
  • Electrical and electronics
  • Information and communication technology

Part-time work opportunities

Students are allowed to work part-time along with their education. The immigration department has some guidelines for international students studying in Malaysia. 

  • Students are allowed to work for 20 hours max per week during study week
  • Approval of the Student Visa Officer at the international office is required before taking up a job
  • Any unofficial employment will terminate the student work visa

During the holiday season, students are allowed to work full-time. The students are allowed to take up any job except the following:

  • Cashier
  • Masseur
  • Guest relations officer
  • Singer
  • Musician

Students who wish to pursue part-time employment need permission from the immigration officer. The documents required are:

  • Passport
  • Appointment letter from employer
  • Processing fee: USD 28.94
  • Approval letter of the educational institution

PSW Visa

International students in Malaysia are welcome to stay back and hone their skills or seek employment. For permission the students need to apply for either of these:

The Employment pass:

  • This needs to be applied by those who have been offered a two-year job contract
  • The minimum annual salary for them must be: USD 1205
  • This pass will only be awarded to skilled workers, managerial positions and professionals

A Temporary Employment Pass:

  • This is valid for individuals who are contracted to work for less than two years
  • The minimum Annual salary must be USD 120
  • The pass will only be awarded to those in manufacturing, agriculture, services, and construction
  • There is an age group restriction of 18-25 years

Visitor’s Pass or Professional pass:

  • Valid for foreigners contracted to work for less than 12 months
  • This is awarded to Researcher, lecturer, maintenance expert, and technical advisor etc
  • The desiree needs to pay a processing fee: USD 21.07

The application can only be made by those who have a passport which is valid for a minimum of 18 months at the time of application. 

Immigrant passes can only be initiated by the company with which the student or employee needs to enter into a contract.

The company must be registered with the Expatriate Service Division(ESD) for making this application.

Life & Culture

Student Life

Malaysian culture is very similar to that of other South-East Asian countries. The people are warm, welcoming and tolerant. It is very easy to learn about different cultures and customs here. Students can experience and reconnect with nature while going on adventurous trips. Malaysian food is affordable for students. So those who can’t cook can also survive on street food. It has a fun and diverse nightlife.


Malaysian culture is truly a good mix of both the east and the west. It is a melting pot of traditions and cultures. The country has a mix of ethnicities along with an intermixing of languages and food customs. Malaysians are family oriented, traditional and very accepting of global trends. The predominant flavours in food here are coconut, jaggery, spices, meat and tamarind. Pork is the least used meat due to cultural inhibitions. Malaysians have large, noisy, colourful and boisterous festivals. The most famous of the festivals is the mooncake festival and the Chinese new year. It has a long tradition of folk dances, kinds of music, ballads. Traditional Malay music and Chinese folk songs are played interspersed with newage genres like hip hop, jazz amongst others. The region boasts of a wide variety of handicrafts, the origins and traditions of some dating back as far as the 12th century.

Famous places

Malaysia is one country that has managed to retain its ecological beauty on the way to  becoming one of the fastest developing countries in the world. It is also a country through which one could go on a gastronomical adventure. The shopping experience is rivaled only by the best in Europe. Some of the best places to visit in Malaysia are:
  • Petronas Twin Tower in Kulala Lumpur- The tallest building in the world, Petrona towers houses convention centres, office complexes, shopping malls, a 50-acre park, water fountains. It is also joined at the top by a Skybridge
  • Melaka- the historic city- One of the greatest trading ports in South East Asia. It is well known for its native Nyonya cuisine, historic buildings. It is a true testament to the Malay heritage
  • Redang Island- This is one of the few pristine islands left in this part of the world. The marine life is exotic and untouched, it offers jungle trekking, marine parks amongst other attractions
  • Sky Bridge- A cable car ride on Langkawi islands, which takes visitors to the top of Mount Mat Cincang. It is a cable car ride with stunning views of Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls amongst others
  • Penang or Flagstaff Hill- This mountain top station is one of the most beautiful places in Malaysia. The weather here is cool and colder than the rest of the mainland. With panoramic views, this is a visual delight
  • Kinabalu National Park- This is southeast Asia’s highest peak. The sights around it are unrivalled and superlative. The park has one of the largest collections of flora and fauna
  • Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sandakan- This rehabilitation center helps Orangutans survive in the wild in this only region that is their home. The visitors are only allowed to observe them from a distance

IKounselor is powered by VDIEC Global Connect (P) LTD. Our sole purpose is to provide factual information to benefit potential students for their study abroad programs. We does not own any information listed here, nor represents all listed institutions. If any student or institute has any subjective concern, feel free to write to us on

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