Study in Malaysia: Know all about studying in Malaysia
Updated on Mar 23, 2016 - 2:34 p.m. IST by Bedasree Das #Malaysia
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Study in Malaysia:  
While almost every picture of a growing Malaysia highlights the Menara Petronas, for international citizens the country’s skyline has a lot to offer beyond its customary tourism spots. In fact, from being a popular travel destination, Malaysia is becoming an increasingly sought after study destination, particularly for students from Asia. Further, it is not a commonly known fact that the country has one of the highest proportions of international versus domestic students in the world with the average ratio being almost 1:10. Good news is that, in a bid to make it an education hub, the Malaysian government is on a fast track to attract 200,000 international students by 2020; which, of course, means a multitude of sops for international students to study in the country.

In this article - Study in Malaysia, we bring you the major queries that an international student faces before planning to study in the country. Know the top universities in Malaysia along with the popular courses and how to pursue studies in the country.


Top queries before planning to study in Malaysia:


Q: What are the top universities in Malaysia?

A:  Malaysia is home to many top universities and has quite a strong representation among the Asian countries.The country has over 5 universities represented in major ranking platforms like QS and Times higher education rankings. The highest ranked university- University of Malaya -- is not only the most popular university but also the oldest public research university in the country.

Here are the top universities to study in Malaysia:




Universiti Malaya (UM)



Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)



Universiti Teknologi Malaysia



Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)



Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)



International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)



Universiti Teknologi MARA - UiTM



Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)



Q: How to get admission in a university to study in Malaysia?

A:  Malaysian universities, generally, have two intakes: September and February. Admission for the September or Semester 1 intake happens around January to April, while that for Semester 2 or February begins in May and might go upto September.

Many universities also require international students to take the Malay language programme /courses before their actual session starts. Besides, universities also ask for IELTS and TOEFL scores for admission to its programmes.

Although not mandatory in all cases, some universities also require students to submit reference letters and resumes.


Q: What are the popular courses to study in Malaysia?

A:  As is all around the world, management and engineering are two of the most popular fields of study for students. Majority of the students who study in Malaysia are enrolled in management programmes. In fact, the University of Malaya, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) are some of the top business schools not just in Malaysia but also across the world.


Besides Engineering and Management, Malaysian universities are also known for subjects like tourism, hospitality and humanities.


Q: What are the major scholarships for international students to study in Malaysia?

A:  To attract the best international minds to study in Malaysia, the Malaysian government offers the Malaysian International Scholarship (MIS) for students studying in selective universities in the country. Open for only postgraduate and post-doctoral studies, the scholarship is available at both public and private universities listed by the government. The scholarship is also applicable at off shore campuses of international universities.


Apart from the MIS, international students also have the option to study under the Commonwealth scholarship.


Further, students also have the option to apply for the multitude of merit and need based scholarships on offer for international students.


Q: What is the cost of education study in Malaysia?

A:  In terms of studying, Malaysia is actually one of the affordable destinations for international students. The cost of studying, of course, varies according to the course of study. Degrees which would otherwise cost upwards $30,000 in countries like USA and UK could be pursued for just around $9,000 in Malaysia. Besides, the cost of living in the country is afforable  compared to many study abroad destinations. A furnished accommodation could cost around RM 1500 and monthly expenses on food might cost around RM200- 300 depending on your lifestyle.


Q: How to get Malaysia student visa?

A:  International students need a Students Pass or visa to study in Malaysia. The Immigration Department of Malaysia regulates the students visa. In many cases, the universities you are admitted to, manage the visa application. Since, the students pass last for a year or less than that in case the course ends earlier, international students pursuing programme longer than a year have to renew the pass annually. A point to be noted here is that the Malaysian government has enabled only some private and public universities to enroll international students.


Q: What are the work- opportunities in Malaysia?

A:  While studying in Malaysia, international students have the opportunity to work for 20 hours during their term. While students are allowed to work in restaurants, petrol kiosks, mini markets and hotels, they cannot work as cashiers or musicians and engage in related activities.


Post studies, international students have to get the Employment pass to stay back and work in the country. You could also apply for the temporary Employment Pass and Professional Visitor’s Pass which let you to stay and work in the country for 5 months to 5 years, depending on your category and your field of work.


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My kid is doing A levels in Malaysia with Biology Chemistry & Maths only. No Physics. Is she eligible to apply for NEET 2020. It is compulsory to attempt NEET exam to get eligibility cert. to do MBBS from abroad. Is physics needed... as UK accepts Maths OR Physics for MBBS admission.

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 30th Oct, 2019

Dear Sandeep, you haven't mentioned your kid's Nationality. If your kid has Indian Citizenship but is in Malaysia only to study but plans on appearing for NEET as an Indian National, then yes NEET is mandatory either to study in India or abroad. For beibg eligible for NEET, he/she should have completed 10+2 or equivalent with Biology, Chemistry and Physics as his/her core subjects. Physics is a mandatory exam for NEET. There cannot be any exception to that whether the country your kid chooses to study needs Physics or Mathematics. Physics, Chemistry and Biology are the mandatory subjects to appear for NEET. This rule applies to NRIs, OCI, and PIOs who want to study MBBS in India. But if your kid is a NRI/OCI/PIO then he/she doesn't need NEET to study in another country.

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