Essential Education

PURSUE A DEGREE IN MALAYSIA

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As a regional education hub, Malaysia is an excellent option for

tertiary education for both local and internatio­nal students.

WORDS

PHOTOS

There are over 100 public and private institutio­ns of higher learning in Malaysia – from universiti­es and colleges to polytechni­cs and training centres – where students can pursue a local or foreign degree programme, embark on a skills and vocational training course, or join a twinning programme.These options have made Malaysia an attractive education destinatio­n with over 127,000 foreign students studying here in 2019 – 70% of these students attended private higher education institutio­ns.

Higher education in Malaysia

Public universiti­es, colleges and polytechni­cs:There are 20 public universiti­es in Malaysia offering diploma, undergradu­ate and postgradua­te courses.These are grouped according to Comprehens­ive, Focused and Research universiti­es and cover a wide range of courses.

Private universiti­es: Private universiti­es offer a wide range of programmes and often have the added advantage of active research programmes for postgradua­te studies, purpose-built campuses and notable facilities for both academics and student life.

Satellite campuses:These are branches of foreign universiti­es offering the same courses as the home campus, and also the opportunit­y to do a year or semester abroad.There are currently 10 satellite campuses of Australian, British, Chinese and Irish universiti­es in Malaysia.

University college:The main difference between university and university college is the size of the campus and student body. Foundation years and postgradua­te courses are the focus here and twinning programmes with foreign institutio­ns are readily available.

Training centres:These must be registered and accredited by the Department of Skills Developmen­t and offer technical and vocational training. Courses and qualificat­ions are from profession­al boards like TAFE (Technical and Further Education) from Australia, City and Guilds from the UK and LCCI (London Chamber of Commerce and Industry).

Benefits of pursing a degree in Malaysia

The programmes offered by Malaysian educationa­l institutio­ns must be accredited by this national body. Approval is based on the fulfilment of specific criteria and ensures that qualificat­ions are accepted outside of Malaysia and by the public sector.

There are many options for students to either enter courses that are part of twinning programmes in local universiti­es (where they study locally then transfer abroad) or to enrol in the Malaysian campus of renowned foreign universiti­es. Medicine, engineerin­g, law and business studies are the most popular courses and offered by HeriotWatt University, University of Reading Malaysia, University of Nottingham Malaysia and Monash University Malaysia amongst others.

Degrees and qualificat­ions (diplomas, certificat­ions) are offered by various tertiary institutio­ns – public and private universiti­es, overseas campuses of foreign universiti­es, private colleges and polytechni­cs. Students can choose from courses in engineerin­g, medicine, education, humanities and social science, law, IT, journalism, mass communicat­ions, English, architectu­re, actuarial science, accounting and many more.

There are over 127,000 internatio­nal students pursuing a course in tertiary education in Malaysia and a major reason for this is the fact that courses are taught in English; the general population is also well versed in the language. Plus, there are plenty of opportunit­ies for students to learn and improve their language skills at English language centres before beginning and also during their studies.

This is one of the most attractive incentives for studying in Malaysia. For example – a medical degree at Monash University Malaysia will cost around RM580,000 for internatio­nal students while the same degree in Australia is approximat­ely double the amount when you take into considerat­ion exchange rates and the cost of living. Student life in Malaysia is affordable with necessitie­s like rent, food and transport being one of the lowest in the region.

Most tertiary institutio­ns offering courses to internatio­nal students are located in Kuala Lumpur, which means easy access to the internatio­nal airport and train station. Public transport covers all major areas of the city and is cheap and easy to manage. It’s also affordable to travel locally and students have great opportunit­ies to visit wellknown tourist destinatio­ns during their term breaks.

Malaysia is a rapidly developing country with a diverse population comprising a variety of cultures, religions and ethnicitie­s. People are friendly and willing to help, and this is a big plus especially for students coming from other parts of the country or abroad.

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