Why International Students Prefer to Study in Malaysia

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Stunning landscape, amazing cultures, great foods, and the busy metropolitan areas. These are what make Malaysia “Truly Asia”. It is a country with one of the most diverse nations in Southeast Asia, with over 137 languages spoken, 878 islands, and consist of multi-ethnic. Apart from its people and its fascinating environment, Malaysia’s also known for its excellent education.

Malaysia’s international education sector has grown rapidly in the past year. It is always recognized as one of Southeast Asia’s leading study destinations for international students. According to UNESCO 2019, there are a total of 63,253 students abroad from more than 100 different countries.

With this massive amount of students abroad which keeps on increasing every year, it encourages more international students to study in Malaysia. And here, we’re going to provide reasons why international students choose to study in Malaysia!

Why study in Malaysia?

1. High Quality of Education

To ensure that Malaysian Universities have a good quality standard, the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA) provides the guidelines and monitors the quality assurance practices and national higher education’s accreditation. Moreover, Kuala Lumpur, the national capital and largest city in Malaysia, held the position  29th position as the best student cities according to QS Top Universities.

As a result, students will graduate with an international standard. Furthermore, employers tend to view graduates with international standard degrees as having better communication skills, independence, intellectual and exposed to a mix of cultures: the combination for a perfect office employee.

2. Lower Cost of Study and Living

One of the crucial aspects that we have to think about when studying abroad is money. According to QS Top University 2019, Kuala Lumpur rank #2 on the best city in terms of affordability. The average cost of living in Malaysia is only USD 5,000 per year. With such lower cost than other countries, Malaysia still managed to provide Universities that are internationally recognized with great quality study programs.

Let’s take an example from University of Nottingham Malaysia, which is located in Semenyih. Students can learn with the same curriculum as University of Nottingham UK but with lower fees since the Malaysian campus uses MYR while UK campus uses poundsterling. Here we provide some comparison of the same programs from both Universities and their fees :


University of Nottingham Malaysian Campus 2020 fee per annum (in MYR or GBP)

University of Nottingham UK Campus 2020 fee per annum (in GBP or MYR)

BSc (Hons) Finance, Accounting, and Management

MYR 37,000 or GBP 6,722

GBP 18,420 MYR 101,381

BA (Hons) Education

MYR 27,600 or GBP 5,014

GBP 18,420 MYR 101,381

BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering

MYR 47,500 or GBP 8,630

GBP 23,760 or MYR 130,772

BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering 

MYR 47,500 or GBP 8,630

GBP 23,760 or MYR 130,772

BSc (Hons) Computer Science

MYR 39,500 or GBP 7,176

GBP 23,760 or MYR 130,772

Another example is Heriot-Watt University, a public university based in the UK and has a branch that is located in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Below, we provide a comparison of fees for both universities :


Heriot-Watt University Malaysia 2020 fee per annum (in MYR or GBP)

Heriot-Watt University UK 2020 fee per annum (in GBP or MYR) 

BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science

MYR 43,920 or GBP 7,981

GBP 15,080 or MYR 82,985

BBA (Hons) of Business Administration

MYR 35,500 or GBP 6,451

GBP 15,080 or MYR 82,985

BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering

MYR 45,000 or GBP 8,177

GBP 19,400 or MYR 106,758

BSc (Hons) Psychology


MYR 35,500 or GBP 6,451

GBP 15,080 or MYR 82,985

BSc (Hons) Statistical Data Science

MYR 43,920 or GBP 7,981

GBP 15,080 or MYR 82,985

3. Multicultural Environment

The country is a mix of people from all over the world with various number of ideologies, races, languages, tribes, and cultures. The diversity of Malaysia will allow students to improve their understanding of different cultures throughout the world. As a result of its diverse cultures and religions, Malaysians celebrates many national holidays that can expose students to learn about the festivals and experience it live.

Another thing that is unique is Malaysia’s own dishes. It’s nothing like you’ve ever tried before! Cuisines from Malaysian, Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern, to Western are easily found here. Local cuisine such as nasi lemak, mee goreng, apam balik, asam laksa, roti canai, and cendol, all are a must-try. They are all easy to find, cheap, and most importantly, they’re delicious!

4. Safe and Peaceful Place

Malaysia is located in a geographically safe zone, free from all kinds of natural disasters. It is considered one of the safest countries with a low crime rate. In 2019, Malaysia ranked 16th the safest country in the world according to Global Peace Index (GPI) , up nine places from the previous year. Furthermore, with its modern infrastructure and efficient transportation system, Malaysia makes a safe and comfortable place to live, study, and work.

5. Job Opportunities for International Students

If you think you cannot earn your money while studying in Malaysia, fret-not since the government allows it! The government allows international students to work part-time for a maximum of 20 hours per week during semester break. However, there are certain restrictions for international students to work in Malaysia. Students are not able to work as a cashier and singers, masseurs, musicians or GRO at a Hotel.

6. Pathways to Other International Universities

A huge part of Malaysia’s state investment in higher education is its increasing partnerships with universities overseas. Thus, plenty of private colleges and universities in Malaysia offers a pathway to other international universities in various way. 

Sunway University, for example, offers an American Degree Program which allows students to transfer seamlessly to America to complete their studies. HELP University is another example where they offer a UK Degree Transfer Program (Law) that gives students the opportunity to transfer to leading partner universities in the United Kingdom. But,if you preferred to transfer to Australia, Monash University Malaysia offers the program.

If you’re curious and need more information about transfer programs in Malaysia, feel free to contact us here.

7. No Language Barrier

The official and national language of Malaysia is Bahasa Melayu (Malaysian Language). However, since Malaysia is so diverse, majority of them are quite fluent in communicating with English. Since they also contains 3 large groups of races: Malay, Chinese, and Indian, they also often use Tamil and Mandarin as their daily/secondary language. Therefore, students can interact with English and also learn new languages if they study in Malaysia.

8. Beautiful Sceneries Anywhere You Go

Exploring the beautiful and diverse landscape of Malaysia can be an option to fill in your leisure time. Traveling in a breath-taking, friendly, affordable, and culturally rich country is something you should experience. Here are our recommendations on some of the best place to visit in Malaysia:

  • Penang
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Melaka
  • Ipoh, Perak
  • Genting Highlands, Pahang
  • Bukit Tinggi, Pahang
  • Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan
  • Langkawi Island

9. Convenient Transportations Available

The Malaysian government has settled a lot of public transportations options for their people, especially if you live in big cities like Kuala Lumpur. Options such as LRT, MRT, BRT (Sunway only), GrabCar, Taxi, KL Monorail, My Rapid Buses, KTM Komuter, are available to be used for you to go anywhere. For its air transport, it’s known that Malaysia’s airport is one of it’s best, held the 22nd position for the busiest airport in the world and 54th for the world’s best airport, according to SKYTRAX .

10. Various Choice of Education

When you decided to study in Malaysia, there are plenty of degree choices that might suit what you want. If you’re planning to start your pre-uni, it’s best for you to take Foundation or Diploma. On the other hand, if you want to start your university immediately, you can surely go straight to Bachelor as long as you meet the minimum requirement. There are also plenty of colleges and universities that you can choose, whether it’s private or public. Below we provide 11 foreign university branch campuses that are internationally recognized.

For more information about the universities above, contact us!

So? Does your heart start to follow your mind to pursue your studies in Malaysia? If yes, then 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

International Student enquiries:

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

Email: [email protected]

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About Post Author

Amanda 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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