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Studying in Malaysia - How to Go About It?

The article gives you the cost of studying engineering, MBA, other courses in Malaysia and how to apply for it.

Twinning degree programs are quite popular in Malaysia. These programs allow students to take up one-half of the curriculum in Malaysia and complete the rest of it in a University overseas.

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Malaysia is a country that plays host to over 90,000 international students hailing from nearly 100 different countries and it plans to have 200,000 international students in by the year 2020.
In comparison with countries like the US and the UK, Malaysia has a relatively low cost of living and student tuition fee. This is one of the prime reasons Malaysia is a preferred study destination among students across the world. That being said, the budget is certainly not the only reason why students choose to study here; it is popular for transnational education with its many foreign university branch campuses. Quality tertiary education comes at a reasonable price in Malaysia; students can acquire a UK engineering degree in Malaysia in three years for nearly RM 51,000. The original cost of the three year programmes in the UK would be around RM 144,000- which is more than double the cost in Malaysia.
Malaysia is a country which is colourful with its culturally diverse societies and beautiful landscapes. Its buzzing metropolis and one of Asia’s most exciting cities, Kuala Lumpur, not only boasts Southeast Asia’s tallest skyscrapers but is also home to numerous Malaysian top universities.
In general, these are the costs involved in student life in Malaysia:
  • Cost of living- depending on choice of lifestyle, location and accommodation
  • The course fees which could vary largely base on programme chosen and educational institution chosen.

Cost of Living

Overall, students can lead a comfortable life style with RM 1,200 on a monthly basis. Students will typically have to spend around RM300 to RM450 for their monthly accommodation. Based on the location and the type of accommodation chosen and available facilities, this price will vary. Housekeeping and food expenses come to around RM 450 every month. Laundry expenses come to around RM 60 per month. Travelling expenses for students on an average will be nearly RM30-50 per month. Mobile phone bills and telecommunication utilities will be around RM30-80. The educational materials for the programme chosen could come anywhere between RM50 to 100- depending on the programme requirements. Students are advised to keep aside RM50 every month for medical expenses and for personal expenses, a budget of RM 100 to 200 is estimated to be needed but could vary depending on the kind of lifestyle students choose to lead. 

Course Fees 

The course fees comprises tuition fees and relevant academic expenses such as registration fee, any deposits that are required to be made, lab fees, health insurance fees,  and examination fees. 
Types of programmes available:
  • Malaysian Private Higher Educational Institutions offer two kinds of pre-university qualifications- external and internal. External ones are awarded by external academic bodies of other countries and internal ones are awarded by private universities and colleges within the country.
  • Some of the popular subject areas of bachelor degrees in Malaysia are psychology and social studies. 
  • Postgraduate degree programs are available in numerous subject areas inclusive of the Masters of Business Administration (MBA). The subject areas that Malaysia’s business schools cover are commerce, accounting, business administration, management, marketing, finance, and business communication. 
  • Malaysia is also quite popular for its twinning degree programmes; these programs require students to take up one and a half to two and a half years in Malaysia and take up the remaining period of the three year programme in the respective university overseas. Some international colleges and some foreign universities and colleges have set up branch campuses in Malaysia. Among them are : Monash University (Sunway, Selangor), University of Nottingham (Selangor), SAE Institute, Swinburne University of Technology (Kuching, Sarawak Campus), Curtin University of Technology (Miri, Sarawak Campus) and Raffles Design Institute (Kuala Lumpur). These campuses allow students to obtain a foreign degree in Malaysia with very affordable rates.
Here is the general fee structure for some commonly chosen programmes:
Pre-University Studies:
  • GCE ‘A’ Level- From RM15,000- RM 25,000
  • Western Australian Matriculation- From RM11,000 – 21,000
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma- RM79,000
  • University Foundation Studies- From RM9,000 - 15,000
Bachelor’s degrees:
  • Business- RM 43,000-75,000
  • Engineering- RM46,000-65,000
  • IT- RM45,000 – RM65,000
  • Hospitality- RM73,000
  • Medicine- RM300,000
  • Pharmacy- RM100,000
Postgraduate Study: 
  • MBA- RM 21,000-30,000 (private universities) and RM13,000-25,000 (public universities)
  • Master’s Degrees- RM1,800- 6,000
  • PhD- RM2,700- 8,000
The general application procedure that students should follow:
Students are required to produce certified academic copies of their exam results in relevance with entry requirements required, show a certain level of proficiency in the English language through IELTS or TOEFL, send through passport size photographs, and photocopies of the personal pages of their passports. Students will also have to pay the visa processing fees apart from the usual registration or application fees that universities may require. After the student applications are processed, students will be sent the offer letter if they have acquired admission. Different Malaysian Uni’s have different intakes in general.
This, in a nutshell, is what studying in Malaysia is about. If you’re interested to know more, have a look at our Malaysian course listings and take your pick soon! 
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Neha Jain Neha Jain,
Study abroad expert.
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