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Which Pre-Uni Should You Choose: Foundation, A-Level, SAM, or AUSMAT?

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What's a Pre-University program?

Choosing the right path of study is crucial for the future. If you have taken your SPM/UEC, the next thing to think about is: what’s next? If your next decision is to pursue a degree, then the next step you are most likely to take is doing a Pre-University program.

A Pre-University program is a preparatory course that aims to provide students with essential skills and knowledge that helps them to handle the challenges of an undergraduate course.

In Malaysia, there are numerous different pre-university programs that are offered by universities and it can surely be challenging to find one that best suits you. It is necessary to spend some time finding out more about each type of pre-university program so that your transition into a bachelor’s degree will be much easier. That’s why here, we’ll help you clarify different pre-university programs such as:

  1. Foundation Program
  2. A-Level
  3. South Australian Matriculation (SAM) and Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT)

and get you a better understanding of each of them!

Foundation Program

What is Foudation?

Certain qualification does not allow students to enter University directly. So, the Foundation program will be the key for the students to enter the University. At the same time, pursuing foundation program helps students to build up their understanding towards the field that they are interested in. For international students, it helps them to improve their English language skills while learning the basics of their field. Foundation Program comes with several benefits.

Benefits of Foundation Program

  • Short Study Duration

Usually, the University foundation program will only take 12 months to be completed. It is considered as a short duration because the alternative option which is the A-Level, will take 18-24 months to be completed. Shorter the duration means lesser the cost. The average price for the Foundation Program in Malaysia is RM 16,000 but it may vary at each university.

  • Opportunity to settle into tertiary studies

Tertiary studies are significantly different than how we are used to studying in school. The style of learning will be more independent and the interaction with lecturers will be lower. It could be a challenge for the students but it will be a chance for them to adapt to the changes and prepare themselves to continue with their tertiary studies.

  • Study area

The Foundation program is short and focused on a particular area of study. It will prepare the students with the basics of their chosen field. Subjects that the students learn in this program will be the fundamental components of their chosen area of study.

Types of Foundation Program in Malaysia

There are many top private universities in Malaysia that offers different foundation programs. There are some foundation programs like engineering and science which are available in many Universities and there are some rare programs such as the arts and creative media fields that are only available in certain Universities. Therefore, knowing which program suits you the most is important. The entry requirement may vary for different programs and different places. These are some of the Foundation Program available in Malaysia:

  • Foundation In Science
  • Foundation In Engineering
  • Foundation In Business 
  • Foundation In Arts
  • Foundation In Information Technology
  • Foundation In Communication 
  • Foundation In Design
  • Foundation In Law

Top Universities to study Foundation Program in Malaysia

These are the recommended and well-reputed Universities in Malaysia to study foundation program:

1. UCSI University

UCSI University is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This can be a desirable choice for you. Ucsi has managed to be ranked as Malaysia’s top private university in the QS World University Ranking 2020. UCSI University is also one of the largest universities in Malaysia with over 12,000 students. UCSI offers a number of foundation programs.

Foundation Program In UCSI University

Program

Tuition Fee

Foundation in Arts (Arts and Design)

RM 18,000 (Local Student)

RM 20,000 (International Student)

Foundation In Arts (Hospitality and Tourism)

RM 18,000 (Local Student)

RM 20,000 (International Student)

Foundation In Science (Applied Science)

RM 18,000 (Local Student)

RM 20,000 (International Student)

Foundation In Science (Engineering)

RM 18,000 (Local Student)

RM 20,000 (International Student)

2. Taylor's University

Taylor’s Lakeside Campus is located in Subang Jaya, Selangor. It is one of the most well recognized and reputed universities in Malaysia. Taylor’s University is ranked 2nd as the best private university in Malaysia in the QS World University Ranking 2020. The University has been awarded an overall 5-star rating. It shows that the Taylor’s hospitality and leisure management is well recognized. 

Program 

Tuition Fee

Foundation In Business

RM 24,500 (Local Student)

RM 44,177 (International Student)

Foundation In Science

RM 24,500 (Local Student)

RM 44,177 (International Student)

Foundation In Communication

RM 24,500 (Local Student)

RM 44,177 (International Student)

Foundation In Design

RM 24,500 (Local Student)

RM 44,177 (International Student)

3. Sunway College

Sunway College was established on 25th July 1987 and is located in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Sunway College has developed locally and internationally into a highly reputable and respected institution of higher learning by offering quality and excellence in education. Studying foundation in Sunway College can leads you to receive a continuing scholarship. These are the foundations that are offered by Sunway College

Program 

Tuition Fee

Foundation In Arts

RM 23,000 (Local Student)

 

RM 24,980 (International Student)

Foundation In Science and Technology

RM 24,980 (Local Student)

 

RM 24,980 (International Student)

 

4. Multimedia University (MMU)

Multimedia University (MMU) is one of the well-established universities in Malaysia. It has three campuses located at Cyberjaya, Melaka, and Johor. Based on QS World University Ranking, MMU is ranked in the top 15 University in Malaysia and holds the 4th position for the best private University in Malaysia. A survey conducted by the Malaysian Ministry of Education and MMU showed that 97% of MMU graduates had secured a job within six months after completion of their studies. It is one of the highest employment rates for a private Malaysian university.

Program

Tuition Fee

Foundation In Management

RM 15,180

Foundation In Business

RM 15,180

Foundation In Engineering

RM 15,840

Foundation In Information Technology

RM 15,180

A-Level

What is A-Level?

A-Level, short for ‘Advanced Level’, is a widely recognized pre-university program that is based on the UK education system and is offered in Malaysia. The program can take up to 18 months depending on when you start your studies. It can be said as the “STPM” of UK since both are equivalent to other pre-university programs. Thus, they still have some differences. As A-Level is 100% exam based, STPM consist of school-based assessments (20–40% of final score) plus final exams (60–80% of final score).

In Malaysia, A-Level courses offered are either governed by the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) or Edexcel examination boards.

The A level subject is divided into two levels: Advanced Subsidiary (AS) and Advanced Two (A2) levels. Each of them contributes 50% of the final grade. The A level programs offer two streams – Science and Arts. It offered various subjects from Biology, Math, Chemistry, Computer Science, Accounting, to Law. You have the freedom to choose the subjects that you want to take. Universities usually required you to take 3-4 subjects only, since it is better for you to focus and concentrate on fewer subjects and then do well on them.

Benefits of A-Level

  • Opens to a lot of options

Since you can choose different subjects that you want, you can choose the one that you are expert in and like the most. Moreover, if you still don’t know what to pursue, then A-level is perfect for you since it enables you to pursue a wide range of degrees after the completion of the program.

If you still have some trouble in choosing the combination of subjects that you want to take, consult with us here!

  • Pathway to top universities

It is widely known that A-Level is one of the most popular qualifications studied to get into higher education. Since it is accepted worldwide in over 160 countries, pathway for you to study in top universities overseas such as UK, USA, Singapore, and Australia is widely open.

  • Gain deeper knowledge

As mentioned previously, A-Level allows you to focus on only a few subjects and gain in-depth knowledge of your chosen subjects. Furthermore, with only taking 3-4 subjects, you are eligible to enroll in a lot of universities.

Top Universities to study A-Level Program in Malaysia

1. INTI University

Why choose Inti University?

  • INTI offers over 100 programs which all are approved by Malaysia’s Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) and its qualification agency (MQA)
  • They aim to strive towards your desired career upon graduation with workshops, initiatives, coaching sessions, and academic programs that are designed in consultation with renowned industry partners.
  • INTI partnered up with universities from all over the world such as Singapore, USA, UK, China, Canada, and many more.

Intake

Jan, Jul

Duration

1.5 Year (18 Months)

Fee for 3 subjects 

1. INTI Subang
-RM 29,997 (Local Student)
-RM 29,997 (International Student)

A-Level subjects that are offered

  • Accounting
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • Further Mathematics
  • Law
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

Entry requirement

1. SPM/O-Level: 5Cs including a credit in
English, or;
2. UEC: 3Bs including credit in English,
or other equivalent qualifications

2. Taylor's University

Why choose Taylor’s University?

  • Taylor’s University was the first one in Asia to introduce Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which benefited people from every part of the world.
  • One of their best courses, Hospitality and Leisure Management is ranked #14 by QUS WUR By Subject Ranking 
  • It was among the top 2% of global universities, ranked  511-520th worldwide according to QS Top University. 

Intake

Jan, Mar, Aug

Duration

1.5 Year (18 Months)

Fee for 3 subjects 

-RM 35,690 (Local Student)
-RM 48,546 (International Student)

A-Level subjects that are offered

  • Accounting
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Further Mathematics
  • Law
  • Literature in English
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Entry requirement

1. SPM/O-Level: 5Cs including a credit in
English, or;
2. UEC:
Science: 3Bs including credit in English,
Math, and one science subject.
Humanities: 3Bs including credit in
English, Math, or any other equivalent
qualifications.

3. HELP University

Why choose HELP University?

  • HELP University was the first University to offer both Edexcel International Advanced Level and Cambridge A-Level.
  • Recognized by Forbes as one of the 200 Best Performing companies in Asia Pacific with capitalization below USD1 billion (2011)

Intake

Jan, Mar, Jul

Duration

1.5 Year (18 Months)

Fee for 3 subjects 

RM 26,700

A-Level subjects that are offered

  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry or Law
  • Physics or Accounting
  • Biology or Economics
  • Further Mathematics or English Literature

Entry requirement

1. SPM/O-Level: 5 credits (with a pass on
Bahasa Melayu&Sejarah for SPM students)
or equivalent qualifications

4. UCSI

Why choose UCSI University?

  • Appearing at #442, UCSI University is the highest-ranked private university in Malaysia 2 years in a row.
  • Acknowledged as a Regional Centre of Expertise Kuching (RCE Kuching) by United Nations University (2018).

Intake

Jan, Apr, Jul

Duration

1.5 Year (18 Months)

Fee for 3 subjects 

RM 25,020

A-Level subjects that are offered

  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology / Economics
  • Physics / Accounting
  • Psychology
  • Further Mathematics

Entry requirement

1. SPM: 5 credits (inclusive of English and relevant course)
2. O-Level: 5 credits (inclusive of relevant
course)
3. UEC: 3 credits (inclusive of English and
relevant course)

South Australian Matriculation (SAM)

What is South Australian Matriculation (SAM)?

South Australian Matriculation (SAM), also can be known as South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) International is a pre-university program that is equivalent to a year-12 Australian High School course. If A-Level is the UK version of STPM, then SAM is the South Australian version of STPM.

It is set and administered by the Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia (SSABSA). This is a statutory authority of the South Australian Government that is utilized and recognized in several countries, including Malaysia.

Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT)

What is Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT)?

Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT) or WACE (West Australian Certificate of Education) is also a pre-university program that is based on Australia and equivalent to year-12. It is administrated by the Curriculum Council of Western Australia. This program takes up to 12 months of completion. 

If you’re wondering: so what’s the difference between SAM/SACE International and AUSMAT?

Let us give you the brief difference :

  • SAM/SACE International
  1. It covers 70% coursework (which includes assignments, test, research papers, etc) and 30% exam
  2. Administrated by South Australian Government
  • AUSMAT
  1. It covers 50% coursework (which includes assignments, test, research papers, etc) and 50% exam
  2.  Administrated by Westers Australia Government

If you still need more information about both program, contact us here!

Benefits of SAM & AUSMAT

  • Balanced between exam and assessment

Good news for you who don’t really like exam! As mentioned previously, this pre-uni program looks more into your assessment. If 100% exam based like A-Level might scare you, taking SAM/SACE International or AUSMAT can be your choice. You can perfectioned your performance throughout the program duration by completing all assignments, projects, and other requirements in class.

  • Flexibility

Both SAM/SACE International and AUSMAT requires you to take 5 subjects. Furthermore, you’ll have the flexibility to take whichever subjects you loved the most, from science related to art-related subjects.

  • Get access to study abroad

If you wanted to take either SAM or AUSMAT, but doesn’t want to study further in Australia, it is totally possible! Both SAM and AUSMAT are internationally recognized pre-university programs and accepted in the home to top university countries such as UK, USA, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, and many more.

Top Universities to study SAM/SACE International and/or AUSMAT Program in Malaysia

1. INTI University

Apart from foundation and A-Level programs that were mentioned above, INTI University also provide SACE Program that allows students to pursue their Australian based education

SACE International Program

Intake

Jan, Apr

Duration

1 Year (12 Months)

Fee for 3 subjects

RM 24,000 for Local Students

RM 24,000 for International

Subjects that are offered

  • Accounting
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • English as Second Language Studies
  • Legal Studies
  • Mathematical Studies
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Research Project
  • Specialist Mathematics

Entry requirement

1. SPM/O-Level: 5 Cs Including English, or;

2. UEC: 3 BS Including English

2. Taylor's University

Taylor’s University has not only A-Level and foundation program, but they also provide SAM/SACE International Program. The SAM/SACE International program at Taylor’s continues to be the largest center for Australian Pre-University programs in Malaysia since its inception in 1982. 

SACE International Program

Intake

Jan, Mar, Aug

Duration

1 Year (12 Months) on average

Fee for 3 subjects

RM 24,000 for Local Students

RM 24,000 for International

Subjects that are offered

  • Accounting
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • English as an Additional Language
  • Legal Studies
  • Mathematical Methods
  • Nutrition
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Specialist Mathematics

Entry requirement

1. SPM/O-Level: Pass with minimum of 5
credits including English, or;
2. UEC: 
Science: 3Bs including credit in English
Math, and one science subject,
Humanities: 3Bs including credit in
English, Math, or any other equivalent
qualification

3. Sunway University

With plenty of bachelor’s degree available, Sunway University provides pre-university pathway for students to choose before pursuing their degree, including AUSMAT program

AUSMAT International Program

Intake

Jan, Mar, Sep

Duration

Up to 14 months

Fee for 3 subjects

Jan & Mar intake: RM 28,880

Sep intake: RM 33,275

Subjects that are offered

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • English
  • English as an Additional Language or Dialect
  • Human Biology
  • Mathematics Application
  • Mathematical Methods
  • Mathematics Specialist
  • Physics
  • Psychology

Entry requirement

Pass SPM, O-Level, or equivalent with minimum
five (5) credits

That’s it for the recommendations which may be the best for you. For more information about tuition fees, entry requirement or scholarships, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll help you 100% and we provide best consultancy services for FREE!

Contact us to find out more:

Phone: +6018-241-4802, +6016-214-3443

Email: info.my@exceleducation.com.au

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About Post Author

Amanda Silmy Kaffah

I am a part-time content writer, a part-time Computer Science student, and a full-time dreamer. Likes to munch some food while doing some work or watching Netflix.

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