Twinning Programmes or Transfer Programmes in Malaysia

Sharing is caring :)

A lot of students often dream about what it would be like to pursue their studies in a foreign country, where they can experience a new culture, new people and grow as a person. 

Studying at university abroad is one of the biggest steps you’re going to be taking after completing your SPM. Which is why, it is very important to take informed decisions and understand the different choices you have in order to make your studies abroad an enriching experience.

Twinning programmes and Transfer Programmes are very popular pathways to studying abroad for many students. Most students are usually aware of what transfer programmes and twinning programmes are, however they often have a hard time understanding the differences between the two. 

In order to decide which programme among these two types is best for you, it is very important for you to realize the differences and we are here to help you with that. 

First, let’s take a look at what these two programmes are to get the basic idea of what they are all about. 

What is a Twinning Programme?

A Twinning Programme is a programme offered through an agreement/partnership between two universities, which allows students to complete a portion of the degree at one university and go on to complete the rest of the degree at the partner university overseas.

What is a Transfer Programme?

A basic definition of a Transfer Programme is a programme that allows students to complete one or two years of study in your home country before transferring to complete the rest of your degree overseas at your chosen university. 

What do Twinning & Transfer Programmes Have in Common?

  • You will obtain a certificate from a foreign university by the end of the programme

One of the common features that both Twinning and Transfer Programs have is that you will be receiving a degree certificate from a university abroad at the end of your degree. Since both programmes allow you to complete a portion of your studies abroad and the qualification you receive will be recognized from that university as well. 

  • You can transfer to a country abroad for a portion of your studies 

Both of these programmes give you the opportunity to transfer to university abroad to complete your degree and expand your horizons as a student. Studying abroad can be one of the most life-changing, enriching experiences of your life, and these two programmes give you a pathway to experience that. You also get to choose how many semesters or years of your study you want to pursue overseas. 

  • Both are much more affordable than doing your whole degree abroad 

One of the main reasons students opt for twinning or transfer programmes is because it is a considerably cheaper option than completing your whole degree at a university degree. You will be saving a lot of money for the portion of your degree that you do in your home country. Hence, the total cost of studying abroad can be cut in half or even less if you choose to study through a twinning/transfer programme, making it a great option for cost-conscious yet ambitious students out there. 

What are the Differences Between Twinning & Transfer Programmes?

1. Flexibility in choice of institution you can transfer to 

  • Twinning Programmes

In a twinning program, an agreement is signed between two universities. While this does allow students to transfer overseas at a certain point in their degree, they are only allowed to transfer to the specific partner university through this program. Therefore, it can be said that twinning programmes allow less flexibility in terms of which university you can transfer to.

 For this reason, it is very important to do your research on the partner university as well before entering into a twinning programme. 

  • Transfer Programmes 

In transfer programmes, you are not limited to a certain university, making it significantly different from twinning programmes. You get to transfer to whichever university of your choice, depending on the type of transfer programme you’re in. 

For example, if you are enrolled in a UK Transfer Program, you will be eligible to transfer to any university of your choice in the UK. However, the success of your application to the UK university will depend on the type of degree you’re applying to and whether you meet the entry requirements of the UK university. 

2. The syllabus and structure of the programme 

  • Twinning Programmes

Since a twinning programme is a partnership between a local university and an overseas institution, both the universities agree on a similar syllabus, structure and grading system to ensure that all systems are streamlined and accepted for better quality education. Hence through a twinning programme, the foreign university evaluates and accepts the degree subjects taught at the local university. 

  • Transfer Programmes 

A transfer programme does not offer a similar syllabus or grading system as the university might be transferring to. Typically, you are required to submit the relevant documents to the foreign university you want to transfer to, whereby the institution will go through your course outline and syllabus to decide which subjects you have to take during the course. 

This is one of the setbacks of a transfer programme against a twinning program, even though a transfer programme offers more flexibility with the choice of overseas institution. 

3. The guarantee of transfer 

  • Twinning Programmes

Through a Twinning Programme your transfer to the partner overseas university is guaranteed and ensured. This is because the syllabus and grading system of both the universities are similar and the overseas institution has agreed to accept the students into their university beforehand. 

However, please keep in mind that you do need to pass all the subjects to obtain full exemption at the foreign institution. 

  • Transfer Programmes 

On the other hand, through a transfer programme, your transfer to the foreign university of your choice is not guaranteed. It is more difficult to do so, because the transfer is subject to matching the learning outcomes of your current university with your future university abroad. You are required to meet certain requirements of the overseas institution to be qualified for subject review. Moreover, credit exemptions are given on a case-to-case basis. 

Therefore, this is another setback of choosing a transfer programme over a twinning programme. 

Why Should You Choose a Twinning Programme?

The biggest perk of a twinning programme is that it basically means that you will be enrolled in two universities, the university you’re enrolled in at your home country and your future university (partner university) abroad. Hence, you will be able to use the libraries and resources of both the universities throughout  your course of study because you are considered a student of both the universities. 

In addition to this, a twinning programme is the cheapest pathway to a guaranteed entry into a university abroad, even though you do not have much flexibility in the choice of university. 

If these reasons appeal to you as a student, a twinning programme should be the right choice for you. 

Types of Twinning Programmes

Before you make a decision on opting for a twinning programme, it is important to look at the different types of twinning programmes offered, as this will directly affect the total cost of your degree. 

The names of the programmes are based on digits, which translate into the number of years you will be studying in each country. For instance, 2+1 twinning programme at a Malaysian private university means you will be studying for 2  years in Malaysia and one year in the partner university overseas. You transfer the credit you accumulate in the years you spend studying in your home country (Malaysia) to the university overseas to continue your studies abroad. 

Listed below are some of the common types of transfer programmes offered in Malaysia; 

  • 1+2 Programmes 

  • 2+1 Programmes 

  • 1+3 Programmes 

  • 2+2 Programmes 

  • 3+1 Programmes 

When you choose a twinning programme where you spend more time studying in your home country, such as the 2+1 or 3+1 programme, it is cheaper or more cost effective compared to 1+2 programmes, where you spend the majority of the years of study abroad. However, choosing 2+1 or 3+1 is limiting in terms of university and course options, as universities offer lesser courses that give students the opportunity to spend only one year of study overseas compared to 2 or 3 years abroad. 

Universities in Malaysia with Twinning Programmes

Many private universities in Malaysia offer twinning programmes in collaboration with universities from a number of countries.

Listed below are the most common countries among students for twinning programmes in Malaysia along with some of the universities that offer twinning programmes with these countries;



Taylor’s University 

  • Australia 
  • United Kingdom (UK) 

HELP University 

  • Australia
  • United Kingdom (UK) 
  • United States (US)

International Medical University (IMU) 

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom (UK) 
  • United States (US)

For more information regarding Twinning Programmes, university options, entry requirements, programme fee and assistance in university application, contact Excel Education. 

Why Should You Choose a Transfer Programme?

If you are someone who likes affordability but also flexibility in choices, a Transfer Programme is the way to go. 

Transfer programmes offer flexibility not just in terms of which university you can transfer to, it also gives you exposure to subjects that are beyond your field of study. Transfer Programmes give students the opportunity to complete their degrees at their own pace, and often allow students to take subjects that are outside your chosen major. An example could be American Degree Transfer Programmes which is highly focused on broad-based education. 

However, if you are someone who wants the assurance of a guaranteed transfer to a university abroad, a transfer program might not be the right choice for you. 

Types of Transfer Programmes

Ultimately, the choice of transfer programme that is most suitable for you depends on your career and academic goals. 

Listed below are the most popular types of Transfer Programs in Malaysia that you can choose from. 

1. Australia Transfer Programmes

Australia is another country that is home to some of the top universities in the world, with 7 of the universities ranked among the world’s Top 100 universities,  making it one of the most attractive destinations for international students. Australian cities are also ranked as some of the most liveable cities in the world with high standards of living. 

Other benefits that make Australia attractive to students include the fact that the country allows international students to study and work part-time for 40 hours every two weeks and unlimited hours during holiday breaks, to help them afford the high cost of living. Popular part-time jobs for students in Australia that offer flexible working hours include jobs at supermarkets, cafes, bars, childcare and also tutoring among others. The minimum wage in Australia is currently AUD $19. 84 per hour. 

Australia also provides international students with the opportunity to work in Australia after graduation for upto 3 years with a post-graduate-work-visa depending on the region you are in. In order to be eligible for this visa, international students are required to complete a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or higher in Australia for a minimum of 2 years. Moreover, international students graduating from universities in regional areas are eligible for an additional year in Australia on a post-graduate-work-visa and additional 5 points for PR application. 

In addition to this, international students also have the possibility to seek for migration based on the Australia Skilled Occupation List. This is a permanent visa where applicants are evaluated on the basis of their skills only and do not need to be sponsored by an employer. 

Australia provides international students with a lot of opportunities both during and after graduation as well, which is why it is one of the most preferred international student destinations in the world. 

For more information regarding Australia Transfer Programmes, university options and assistance in university application, contact Excel Education.

2. UK Transfer Programmes

Even though the cost of living in the UK can be quite high, the city is still a preferred destination for international students. The UK has a number of world-class universities along with professional and social opportunities for international students. 

To support your living expenses in the UK, international students are allowed to get a part-time job and work 20 hours a week while pursuing their studies. Another plus point of transferring to the UK is that students are allowed to work for upto 2 years upon graduation from a UK university through the new Graduate Route Visa. In order to be eligible for this Visa, you are to complete at least one year of your degree in the UK, so transfer students do not need to worry. 

Apart from academic and career benefits, the UK can also be an enriching experience in terms of its historical and cultural attractions, and travel connections. 

For more information regarding UK Transfer Programmes, university options and assistance in university application, contact Excel Education.

3. US Transfer Programmes

American education institutes offer one of the world’s most diverse range of subjects meaning, more academic flexibility. With diverse study options, you as a student can acquire a diverse range of skills that can widen your career opportunities. 

While studying in the US can be expensive depending on the city, international students are allowed to work part-time to support themselves. However, the eligibility to work off or on campus depends on your type of visa (F1 or M1). Moreover, first year students are not allowed to work off campus and after the first year, students are only allowed to work through Optional Practical Training (OPT), STEM OPT Extension or Curricular Practical Training. OPT allows students to work for upto 12 months, while students pursuing degrees in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) can extend their OPT by upto 24 months.  Students are allowed to complete employment in the US through these training programmes during their degree or even after graduation. 

Hence, while the US does provide international students with flexible study options and working options as well, working options in the US are quite restricted compared to Australia or the UK. 

For more information regarding US Transfer Programmes, university options and assistance in university application, contact Excel Education. 

Recommended Articles to Read

Contact us to find out more!

Student enquiries:

Call/ WhatsApp: +60182414802

Email: [email protected]

For more stories like this, join the Excel Education community on Facebook or follow us on Instagram

Need help with your uni application? Connect with us here

About The Author

Mariyam Naufa
I like to keep it simple. 
Sharing is caring :)