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Study in Malaysia

Malaysia, with its vibrant cultural tapestry and a commitment to educational excellence, stands as a beacon for international students seeking a world-class education. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the myriad opportunities that Malaysia offers for students from schools to doctoral programs. SnappStudy, your trusted education partner, is committed to providing seamless guidance for those aspiring to study in Malaysia. From document requirements to visa procedures, we’ve got you covered.


An overview

Malaysia’s Educational Landscape: A Fusion of Tradition and Innovation

Malaysia’s education system is a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity, reflecting the nation’s commitment to academic excellence. Let’s delve into the various levels of education and the rich diversity Malaysia provides

Education System

Malaysia’s education system is diverse, reflecting the country’s commitment to providing quality education at all levels. The system encompasses early childhood education, primary and secondary education, and tertiary education, including both academic and vocational pathways. Here’s a detailed exploration of the education system in Malaysia:

  • Early Childhood Education:
    • Preschool Education: Not compulsory but widely available. Promotes early childhood development through play-based learning. Includes public and private preschools.
  • Primary Education:
    • Compulsory Education: Compulsory for children aged 7 to 12. Six years of primary schooling. Focus on core subjects such as Malay language, English, mathematics, and science.
  • Secondary Education:
    • Lower Secondary (Form 1 to Form 3): Students aged 13 to 15. Broad-based curriculum with subjects like additional mathematics, history, and geography. Emphasis on building a strong foundation.
    • Upper Secondary (Form 4 to Form 5): Students aged 16 to 17. Specialization in either science, arts, or vocational subjects. Culminates in the Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) examination.
  • Post-Secondary Education:
    • Form 6 (Sixth Form): Optional two-year program after SPM. Divided into Lower Six and Upper Six. Prepares students for the Malaysian Higher School Certificate (STPM) examination.
  • Pre-University Programs:
    • Matriculation Program: Government-run program for Bumiputera (indigenous) students. One-year program preparing students for tertiary education. Foundation Programs: Offered by universities. One-year programs provide a pathway to degree programs. Available in various disciplines.
  • Tertiary Education:
    • Universities: Offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Malaysian universities include public and private institutions. Notable public universities include Universiti Malaya (UM) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).
    • Polytechnics: Offer diploma and degree programs in technical and vocational fields. Emphasis on practical skills and industry relevance.
    • Community Colleges: Provide certificate and diploma programs. Focus on technical and vocational education.
    • Private Colleges and Universities: Offer a wide range of programs, including those in collaboration with foreign universities. Often provide English-taught courses.
  • Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET):
    • Skills Training Institutes: Provide practical skills training. Offer programs in areas such as automotive, hospitality, and information technology.
    • Apprenticeships: On-the-job training programs in collaboration with industries.
  • Language of Instruction:
    • Bahasa Malaysia: The official language of instruction in primary and secondary schools. English is also taught as a subject.
    • English: English is widely used in tertiary education. Many universities offer programs in English.
  • Grading System:
    • The grading system for primary and secondary education is based on the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA). Tertiary education often uses a grading scale from F (Fail) to A (Excellent).
  • Internationalization:
    • Malaysia actively encourages internationalization through collaborations with foreign universities. The country hosts a growing number of international students.
  • Quality Assurance:
    • The Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) ensures the quality of higher education institutions and programs.
  • Financial Support:
    • The government provides scholarships and financial aid for eligible students. PTPTN (National Higher Education Fund Corporation) offers loans for tertiary education.
  • Research and Innovation:
    • Malaysian universities engage in research and contribute to innovations in various fields.
  • Inclusive Education:
    • Efforts are made to promote inclusivity and provide education for all, regardless of background.

Malaysia’s education system is dynamic, offering a range of options for students at different stages of their academic journey. The emphasis on both academic and vocational pathways reflects the country’s commitment to preparing students for diverse careers and contributing to the nation’s development.


Cost of studying and Living:

The cost of studying and living in Malaysia varies based on factors such as the level of education, the type of institution (public or private), and the lifestyle choices of the student. Here’s a breakdown of the costs from schools to Ph.D. in both public and private universities:

Primary and Secondary Education:

  • Public Schools:
    • Tuition Fees: Public primary and secondary education is free for Malaysian citizens. International students may need to pay tuition, ranging from RM 1,000 to RM 5,000 per year.
    • Books and Materials: Estimated at RM 200 to RM 500 per year.
  • Private International Schools:
    • Tuition Fees: Can range from RM 15,000 to RM 50,000 per year, depending on the school and grade level.
    • Books and Materials: Estimated at RM 500 to RM 1,000 per year.

Pre-University Programs:

  • Matriculation Program:
    • Tuition Fees: Government-run, making it more affordable for Bumiputera students. Fees are around RM 500 to RM 1,000 per year.
  • Foundation Programs
    • Private Universities:
      • Tuition Fees: Private university foundation programs can range from RM 10,000 to RM 25,000.
      • Books and Materials: Estimated at RM 1,000 to RM 2,000 per year.

Bachelor’s Degree:

  • Public Universities:
    • Tuition Fees: For Malaysian citizens, fees are subsidized and can be as low as RM 3,000 to RM 12,000 per year. International students may pay between RM 10,000 to RM 30,000 or more per year.
    • Books and Materials: Estimated at RM 500 to RM 1,000 per year.
  • Private Universities:
    • Tuition Fees: Private university fees vary widely, ranging from RM 20,000 to RM 60,000 per year.
    • Books and Materials: Estimated at RM 1,000 to RM 2,000 per year.

Master’s Degree:

  • Public Universities:
    • Tuition Fees: Malaysian citizens may pay between RM 6,000 to RM 15,000 per year. International students might pay RM 10,000 to RM 30,000 or more per year.
    • Books and Materials: Estimated at RM 1,000 to RM 2,000 per year.
  • Private Universities:
    • Tuition Fees: Private university fees for master’s programs can range from RM 20,000 to RM 70,000 or more per year.
    • Books and Materials: Estimated at RM 1,000 to RM 2,000 per year.

Ph.D. Programs:

  • Public Universities:
    • Tuition Fees: Malaysian citizens may pay between RM 3,000 to RM 10,000 per year. International students might pay RM 8,000 to RM 25,000 or more per year.
    • Books and Materials: Estimated at RM 1,000 to RM 2,000 per year.
  • Private Universities:
    • Tuition Fees: Private university fees for Ph.D. programs can range from RM 25,000 to RM 80,000 or more per year.
    • Books and Materials: Estimated at RM 1,000 to RM 2,000 per year.

Cost of Living:

  • Accommodation:
    • On-Campus Housing: Public universities often provide affordable on-campus housing, ranging from RM 200 to RM 500 per month.
    • Off-Campus Housing: Rent for off-campus housing can range from RM 500 to RM 1,500 per month.
  • Food:
    • Groceries: Monthly grocery costs for a single person can range from RM 300 to RM 500.
    • Dining Out: Eating out occasionally may cost around RM 10 to RM 30 per meal.
  • Transportation:
    • Public Transport: Monthly transportation passes range from RM 50 to RM 150.
    • Personal Vehicle: Fuel and maintenance costs for a personal vehicle can vary.
  • Utilities:
    • Electricity, Water, Internet: Monthly utility bills can be around RM 100 to RM 200.
  • Health Insurance:
    • Medical Insurance: Mandatory for international students, costing around RM 500 to RM 1,000 per year.
  • Additional Expenses:
    • Entertainment, Personal Items, Miscellaneous: Budget for entertainment and personal expenses, ranging from RM 100 to RM 300 per month. These estimates provide a general overview, and actual costs may vary based on lifestyle choices and the location of the institution. It’s essential for students to plan and budget accordingly to ensure a smooth and financially sustainable academic journey in Malaysia.

Advantages of English Programs

Studying in Malaysia: Advantages of English-Taught Programs

Malaysia has witnessed a surge in English-taught programs, attracting students from around the world. Here are the advantages of pursuing education in English in Malaysia:

  • Global Recognition:
    • Quality Education: English-taught programs maintain high academic standards. Recognized globally, enhancing career prospects.
    • International Networking: Engage with a diverse student community and build a global network.
  • Diverse Program Offerings:
    • Program Flexibility: Choose from a wide array of programs, from engineering to business.
    • Master’s and Ph.D. Programs: Access advanced degrees in English, providing a competitive edge.

Document Requirements

Document Requirements: Navigating the Pathway to Enrollment

SnappStudy streamlines the application process, offering guidance on essential documents needed for successful enrollment:

General Document Requirements:

  • Educational Qualifications: Transcripts and certificates from previous academic institutions.
  • Language Proficiency: Proof of English proficiency through tests like IELTS or TOEFL.
  • Letters of Recommendation and Motivation: Compelling letters of recommendation and a well-articulated statement of purpose.
  • Entrance Exams: Some programs may require specific entrance exams.

Visa Requirements

  • Student Visa: Obtain a student visa from the Malaysian embassy or consulate. Provide proof of acceptance from a Malaysian university.
  • Health Insurance: Mandatory for all students and a prerequisite for obtaining a student visa.

Benefits and Advantages

Benefits and Advantages of Studying in Malaysia

Malaysia’s education system offers numerous advantages that contribute to personal and professional growth. Let’s delve into the benefits awaiting international students:

  • Academic Excellence:
    • Reputable Universities: Malaysia boasts internationally recognized universities. Emphasis on research and innovation.
    • Quality Faculty: Learn from experienced faculty members with a global perspective.
  • Cultural Integration:
    • Cultural Diversity: Experience Malaysia’s multicultural environment.
    • Opportunity to learn about various cultures. Cost of Living: Malaysia offers a relatively affordable cost of living compared to many Western countries.
  • Career Opportunities:
    • Internationally Recognized Degrees: Malaysian degrees are accepted globally. Opportunities for internships and practical experience.
    • Thriving Industries: Connect with industries like technology, finance, and healthcare.
  • Language Proficiency:
    • English Language Exposure: Improve English language skills through immersion.
    • Multilingual Advantage: Malaysia’s multilingual environment enhances language diversity.
  • SnappStudy:
    • Your Gateway to Educational Success in Malaysia. SnappStudy isn’t just an educational consultancy; it’s your dedicated guide on the road to academic success. Explore the unique features that make SnappStudy the ideal partner for your educational aspirations

Comprehensive Guidance:

Personalized Consultation: Receive tailored guidance to navigate the application process seamlessly. Program Selection Assistance: SnappStudy assists in choosing programs aligned with academic and career goals.

Ongoing Support:

  • Post-Arrival Assistance: Receive support and guidance as you settle into life in Malaysia.
  • Alumni Network: Connect with SnappStudy’s alumni network for mentorship and networking opportunities.

Tailored Pathways:

  • From Foundation to Ph.D. SnappStudy’s commitment to education extends from foundational programs to doctoral studies. By providing a seamless pathway, SnappStudy ensures students receive continuous support throughout their educational journey in Malaysia.


Studying in Malaysia with SnappStudy is not just an academic pursuit; it’s an exploration of excellence, cultural richness, and a pathway to a global career. From reputable universities to a welcoming cultural environment, Malaysia offers a unique blend of opportunities for international students. Contact SnappStudy today to embark on your educational adventure and unlock the doors to academic excellence in Southeast Asia. Your journey begins with SnappStudy – your key to a world-class education in Malaysia.


  • Malaysia offers a diverse range of high-quality education programs, often at a more affordable cost compared to Western countries.
  • It’s home to several reputable universities and colleges, many of which offer internationally recognized qualifications.
  • Malaysia’s multicultural environment provides a unique opportunity for students to experience different cultures and lifestyles.
  • The country boasts a relatively low cost of living, making it attractive for international students.

Malaysia offers a wide range of courses across various disciplines. Some popular fields of study include engineering, business, information technology, hospitality, medicine, and tourism.

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