The basics
Malaysia: Applying to University

Top universities in Malaysia


Many Malaysian students choose to study locally and that is a wise decision. It’s not only more affordable, but, the increasing number of top universities also shows that Malaysia is fast becoming an educational hub. Choose from Malaysia’s top institutions; from the local universities to the growing selection of international branch campuses.


Universiti Malaya (UM)

Universiti Malaya (UM) is the highest ranking Malaysian institution. UM is a public research university based in Kuala Lumpur. Being Malaysia’s oldest university, UM has a strong reputation for quality education, offering courses across a spectrum of subjects. UM is ranked 33rd in the latest QS University Rankings. The high number of international students enrolled at the university also allows students to gain greater exposure in a diverse learning environment.


Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)

Malaysia’s second top university, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) is publicly funded and has a high number of students enrolled on its undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. UKM is also a great place for research students as it has a well-equipped library and is staffed by industry experienced lecturers and dedicated academicians. The main campus in Bangi is close enough to the KL city centre, and far away for students to study in a less distracted environment.


Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) is ranked 61st in Asia and 355th in the world. The university is popular for its science and communications department. Based in Penang, the living expenses is relatively lower than studying in Kuala Lumpur, and will suit students who prefer a quieter pace of life. USM boasts Malaysia’s strongest score for research papers published per faculty member.


Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)

Focused in engineering and technology, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) has two main campuses; one in Kuala Lumpur and the other in Johor Bahru. Choose to study sciences, biosciences, medical engineering, management and human resources here.  Graduates from UTM are very popular among employers as they have proven to be work-ready, having developed important practical skills throughout the duration of the course.


Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)

Originally founded as an agricultural college, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) maintains a strong focus on research and teaching in agriculture and forestry. UPM has a high number of international students, creating an international learning platform where local students get a taste of studying with other foreign students. This stimulates more interesting discussions and exposes students to other cultures. It’s like being abroad without having to spend a lot of money.


Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)

A relatively young university, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) offers undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD programmes. Located in East Malaysia, its location provides a conducive place for study. Students who wish to study marine biology and forestry will find everything they need here. It’s no wonder that a high number of foreign students apply to UNIMAS every year.


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