Why Malaysia

Why Malaysia

Known for its tagline ‘Truly Asia’, Malaysia has long since cemented its reputation as one of the world’s top tourist destinations. Other than UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Mount Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu National Park, Malacca City and pristine marine parks, – it is also one of Southeast Asia’s most vibrant economies that can be the launchpad for your education and career.

Having been for decades a leader in industrial growth and political stability, Malaysia is also one of the top destinations for those seeking internationally-recognised education. Boasting highly-ranked universities, the Ministry of Education maintains Malaysia’s high standards in keeping with education sectors around the region. The government also grooms top talent through public and private tertiary level institutions as well as accredited skill centres, resulting in the country being a global leader in key industries.

In addition to being at the forefront of quality education, its affordable, cosmopolitan cities provide rich cultural immersion and memories that can last a lifetime. Having the capital city of Kuala Lumpur ranked as the second most affordable student city has no doubt helped.

In Malaysia, experiences, lasting friendships and opportunities are abundant. Education in Malaysia will provide you with the tools to kickstart your future.

World Class Universities

Having been for decades a leader in industrial growth and political stability, Malaysia is also one of the top destinations for those seeking internationally-recognised education. The government grooms top talent through public and private tertiary education institutions as well as professional bodies and accredited skill centres, resulting in the country being a global leader in key industries.

By maintaining high standards in keeping with the region’s education sectors and key industries, Malaysian universities rank highly in global university ranking tables. The oldest and premier university, the University of Malaya, is placed 13th on the QS World University Rankings 2020: Asia as a testament to our standards.

Top Universities in Each Category
UniversityRanking According to QS World University Rankings 2022: GlobalCategory
Universiti Malaya (UM)65Public Institution
Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)143Public Institution
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)144Public Institution
Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)147Public Institution
Monash University Malaysia*58International Branch Campus
University of Southampton, Malaysia Campus*77International Branch Campus
University Nottingham Malaysia Campus*103International Branch Campus
Newcastle University of Medicine, Malaysia*134International Branch Campus
Taylor’s University332Private University
UCSI University347Private University
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP)414Private University

* Denotes the ranking shown is of the parent university.

In recent years, many international universities have set up branch campuses in Malaysia. Similar to the twinning programme, students reap the benefit of an international experience through their degree from a reputable foreign university by spending some time at a third country where the university’s home campus is.

No.Name of Foreign University Branch CampusYear EstablishedLocation in Malaysia Country of Origin
1.Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and University College Dublin Malaysia Campus * Founded as Penang Medical College1996PenangIreland
2.Monash University Malaysia1998SelangorAustralia
3.Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia1999SarawakAustralia
4.The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus2000Kuala Lumpur/ SelangorUnited Kingdom
5.Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus2004SarawakAustralia
6.Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia2007JohorUnited Kingdom
7.University of Southampton, Malaysia Campus2011JohorUnited Kingdom
8.Heriot-Watt University Malaysia2012PutrajayaUnited Kingdom
9.University of Reading Malaysia2013JohorUnited Kingdom
10.Xiamen University Malaysia Campus2015Sepang, SelangorChina


One of the main attractions Malaysia holds for foreign students is ‘affordability’. The major cost considerations when it comes to a foreign education are course fees and living expenses.

Kuala Lumpur has been named the world’s second most affordable student city by QS Best Student Cities 2018. This is mainly because the costs of living and tuition fees in the local currency are at least half if not two-thirds cheaper compared to countries like Australia, United Kingdom, Singapore and Canada.

Annual tuitions fees in Malaysia are from USD 4,000 – 6,000, whilst living expenses would be circa USD 400 – 700 per month. By comparison, tuition fees in Singapore would cost USD 7,000 – 10,000 and living expenses are at least twice as high. Only in Malaysia can you strike that balance between uncompromised quality and unmatched affordability – receiving a world-class education and living in comfort yet without the hefty price tag.

ProgrammeDurationCost (USD$)
Pre-university10 – 24 Months$3,000 – $10,000
Bachelor’s Degree3 Years$10,000 – $20,000
Foreign Bachelor’s Degree (Twinning or International Branch Campus)3-4 Years$40,000 – $100,000
Medical Programme4-5 Years$30,000 – $100,000
Post-graduate Programmes1-2 Years$5,000 – $10,000
Doctoral Programmes3-5 YearsDepending on Course and Structure

English is widely spoken

Although Bahasa Malaysia is an official language of this country, English is widely spoken in Malaysia as a second language. Most courses at universities are taught in English and it is possible to live in urban areas of Malaysia by speaking only English. Communicating inside and outside the campus is easy, especially once you have also picked up the Malaysian English habits like ending you sentence with ‘lah’!

Modern and Progressive

As one of the global leaders in engineering and manufacturing, companies in these industries – Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HP) Services, AirAsia, Shell Malaysia and Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS) – produce Malaysian industry leaders and attract talents from around the globe.

Given industrial advancements over the years, knowledge and best practices have been integrated into relevant courses and are continuously updated. Institutes like University Malaya, University of Technology Malaysia, University of Science Malaysia and Malaysian University of Science and Technology offer top-ranked undergraduate degrees in different fields of engineering. Malaysia is also a leader in tourism, medical technology, optical equipment and agriculture. These sectors contribute to Malaysia’s thriving economy and are an integral facet for the global economy.

Doors to many high-flying careers are available to students in and outside Malaysia. With plentiful opportunities and a progressive and modern working environment, choosing to work here after your studies can help to take your career to the next level.

Multicultural Society and Food Heaven

Made up of ethnic Malay, Chinese, Indian, and other indigenous ‘Bumiputera’ groups, Malaysia is also known for is diverse, multicultural society.

In fact, in the Bornean states of Sabah and Sarawak, there is a myriad of indigenous ethnic groups with their own unique language, culture and heritage. Interacting with the different ethnic groups of Malaysia can expose you to a wide range of lifestyles, religions and communities. This melting pot leads to students gaining invaluable experience unique to Malaysia, and possibly learning life skills such as picking up a new language, or cultivating new friendships.

Students also gain a global perspective on working, interacting and living with people from different cultures. This perspective helps inculcates values like hard work, resilience and tolerance, ultimately creating individuals who are able to adapt to any environment and contribute their vast experience to any organisation they join.

Dynamic Lifestyle

Known for its tagline ‘Truly Asia’, Malaysia has long cemented its reputation as one of the world’s top tourist destinations. An ecotourism hotspot, the country is home to an estimated 20% of the world’s animal species as well as four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Amongst them, Kinabalu National Park boasts one of the highest mountains in Southeast Asia. If you are into hiking or simply enjoy looking at the Milky Way in the quiet of the night, this place is for you.

The Malaysian landscape (link to page things to do) is as varied with pristine beaches lining its coast and its biodiversity-rich rainforest offer many adventures to those who seek them. If you are a scuba junkie, islands like Sipadan is perfect for swimming around some of the most colourful coral reefs, fishes and other rare marine inhabitants.

Strategic Location

Malaysia is strategically located as the tourist hotspot in Asia. During semester breaks, you can travel with ease locally (link to things to do) like Langkawi and Redang, or regionally to places like Bali, Phuket, Krabi and Hanoi. Flights from Kuala Lumpur to Bali take only 3 hours, whereby to Krabi take merely 1 hour 30 minutes.

You can travel to further reaches of the world quickly and rather cheaply. A 5-day trip to Korea including Seoul can be as low as USD 750. A return trip with 3-night stay to Tokyo from USD 350. Visiting your Indonesian friend’s family while enjoying Bali’s beaches? It can be as low as USD30 for a return trip!

World’s Top Peaceful and Prosperous Country

Malaysia is among the top 25 Most Peaceful Country, currently ranked 20th in the 2020 Global Peace Index by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). It boasts being one of Southeast Asia’s most vibrant economies, which is the fruit of decades of industrial growth and political stability. The government has, over the years, successfully implemented a successful development and industrialisation of the nation. Today, Malaysia is a confident and vibrant entity that is stable, secure, increasingly prosperous at home and at peace with its neighbours, all of which are strong foundations to becoming a high-income, innovation-based society.

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