15 Top Best Universities in Malaysia for International Students

The 15 best universities in Malaysia for international students is a well-researched article that presents to you the creme-de-la-creme of universities in Malaysia for international students.

Here we would focus on the universities in Malaysia for international students to great extents on their requirements, the cost of studying in Malaysia, if there are available scholarships in Malaysia for international students, the cheapest universities in Malaysia for international students, and if Malaysia is an affordable destination for international students.

I know most people do not believe that Malaysia can be considered a destination for the pursuit of academic brilliance and excellence, for that singular reason I write this to douse any form of doubt that is creeping in into your minds. To achieve this, I need you all to relax, have an open mind, and allow me to pilot this vessel and navigate you to a more positive conclusion.

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With all that out of my system, we now refocus on the reason that brought you to this page today and that is what are the best universities in Malaysia for international students, and with that, we answer some of the focus questions, starting with;

What are the Requirements to Study in Malaysia for International Students

In Malaysia unlike in many other countries of the world, the requirements are divided into two fronts, i.e. those that are seeking admission as an undergraduate have a list of requirements that they must match before they would be considered for admission by any of the universities in Malaysia for international students; and the same applies for graduate admission seekers.

With that cleared we will look at what each requirement entails including their requirements as it involves the English levels of their international students. Having said that, let us look at them;

General English Requirements (Undergraduates)

Malaysia has English as one of its official languages as a melting pot of cultures. While Malay is used in the classroom, the majority of the curriculum is taught in English, making it a desirable destination for international students.

As a result, international students must take the following tests and acquire the following grades:

  • IELTS = band 6
  • TOEFL PBT = 550
  • Pearson Test of English = 51 to 58

The needed scores at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia are lower than the national average. The IELTS requires 5.5, the TOEFL iBT requires 46, and the PTE requires 51.

Some colleges, particularly those with international branches, need higher marks. For example, undergraduate applicants at Monash University Malaysia must have an IELTS band of 6.5, a TOEFL PBT of 550, a TOEFL iBT of 79, or a PTE academic grade of 78. For individuals interested in studying medicine or pharmacy, the criteria are considerably more stringent (IELTS of 7, TOEFL PBT of 587, TOEFL iBT of 94, or a PTE Academic score of 65).

Because the required scores vary widely, check with your university about its English requirements.

General English Requirements (Graduate)

Post-graduate students can take various English proficiency examinations outside the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. The Cambridge Advanced English Test and the Malaysian University English Test band 3 are two examples.

In general, the ratings listed above apply to graduate students as well. That is the situation at Monash University Malaysia, where the minimal IELTS score is 6.5, the TOEFL PBT score is 550, the TOEFL iBT score is 79, and the PTE score is 78.

The necessary scores are a little lower at other schools, such as Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. With an IELTS band of 6 or a TOEFL iBT score of 60, you may get admitted. However, those who want to specialize in teaching English as a second language may need to apply in a higher bracket.

Although trends vary, graduate applicants with higher English proficiency scores are suggested. That being said, you should double-check your university’s language requirements.

Application Requirements (Undergraduate)

A foreign applicant must normally provide a high school diploma, a transcript of records, and a valid passport to Malaysian colleges. There are also age restrictions.

Applicants at Monash University Malaysia must be at least 16 years old. Grades play a significant role in the screening process since a student must have a grade of at least 60% to be considered. Depending on your graduation, you may require an 80 percent score to be accepted.

Applicants to the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia who want to study Architecture or Industrial Design must go through an interview as part of the application procedure. A health examination is also mandatory for students.

Because prerequisites differ with each university, make sure you check the admissions website for the most up-to-date information. Meeting these university-specific standards is crucial to improving your chances of studying in Malaysia.

Application Requirements (Graduate)

Master’s students have more demanding prerequisites. Among them are:

  • Certificate and transcript of records from high school
  • Bachelor’s degree plus transcripts of records
  • Authentic passport
  • Photographs the size of a passport
  • Letter of Motivation
  • Other prerequisites, such as a resume and recommendation letters, may be required at some universities. An academic reference is also required at the University of Nottingham Malaysia.

As previously stated, grades are taken into account while applying to Malaysian institutions. At the University of Malaya, you need to have a GPA of at least 3.0 to apply for a master’s degree. You can apply for a Ph.D. program directly with a GPA of 3.7.

More documentation is required for doctoral students, as predicted. A copy of a Master’s diploma, a transcript of records, and a thesis proposal are among the documents required.

Because graduate students must submit so many documents, please check with your admissions officer for a comprehensive list of prerequisites.

Cost of Studying in Malaysia for International Students

Malaysia is a reasonably inexpensive place to study. A bachelor’s degree will set you back anything from $1,630 (MYR 7,000) to $7,686 (MYR 33,000). Postgraduate studies, on the other hand, are quite inexpensive, costing around $2,562 (MYR 11,000) each year.

In terms of living expenses, a university student in Malaysia may live well on $296 per month (MYR 1,268).

Are there Scholarships in Malaysia for International Students?

Yes, there are several scholarship programs run by the Malaysian Government for international students, one of them is called the MIS which stands for the Malaysian International Scholarship.

The Malaysian Government’s Malaysia International Scholarship (MIS) program aims to recruit the greatest minds from across the world to pursue postgraduate academic studies in Malaysia. This fellowship intends to help the Malaysian government attract, encourage, and retain talented foreign human resources.

Not only that, but there is also another named The Malaysian Technical Cooperate Programme (MTCP) which is based on the idea that a country’s growth is determined by the quality of its human capital and resources.

MTCP focuses on human resource development, primarily through training and capacity-building courses at Malaysian public and private training institutes, as well as long-term courses at Malaysian public universities.

In conjunction with renowned local training institutes and international development partners, Malaysia’s flagship MTCP delivers more than 60 technical training and capacity-building programs to developing nations each year. The different programs offered under the MTCP have helped over 34,500 participants from 144 developing countries so far.

The Malaysian government sponsors the MTCP Scholarship, which allows overseas students from poor countries to continue postgraduate studies in Malaysia while also gaining the required information and skills to contribute to their home country’s development. For Master’s Degree Programs, the award lasts between 12 and 24 months.

15 Top Best Universities in Malaysia for International Students

Here we look take in-depth looks at the top best universities in Malaysia for international students, why they are rated highly, what they offer, how conducive to learning are they, and what they offer.

Therefore, to reduce your boredom, here are the 15 top best universities in Malaysia for international students, starting with;

1.      University of Malaya

Founded in the year 1905, the University of Malaya is a research-based institution in Kuala Lumpur, this institution is one of the best 100 universities in the world and fact the oldest in Malaysia, it is also among the highest-ranking universities and institutions in Malaysian Institution of the higher institution and this is collaborated by several ranking bodies in Malaysia and abroad.

Offering a range of bachelor’s degrees and doctorial qualifications across a range of other disciplines including Law, Engineering, Economics, Linguistics, Accountancy, and Education, while also in partnership with several universities outside the shores of Malaysia such as in Australia, France, Japan, and the UK.


2.      Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)

Having a student strength of about 2,500 enrolled students, the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman is a non-profit institution that was established in 2002 through the UTAR Education Foundation.

Accounting, Business and Economics, Actuarial Science, Mathematics and Process Management, Agriculture and Food Science, Arts, Social Sciences and Education, Creative Industries and Design, Engineering and Built Environment, Information and Communication Technology, Life and Physical Sciences, and Medicine and Health Sciences are among the more than 110 academic programs offered by UTAR.


3.      Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)

The National University of Malaysia, or UKM, was established in 1970. This university, which is one of Malaysia’s best for international students, has branches in Bangi, Cheras, and Kuala Lumpur.

There are 13 faculties, a Graduate School of Business (GSB-UKM), and 16 educational research institutions within the university.

UKM draws students by offering a diverse range of postgraduate programs, as well as government-subsidized education.

Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, the country’s first astronaut, Datuk Razali Ibrahim, the former deputy prime minister, and singer Jess Lee are among the noteworthy graduates.


4.      Universiti Malaysia Perlis

This is a Perlis-based public higher education institution that was established in 2001. Kolej Universiti Kejuruteraan Utara Malaysia was its original name.

UniMAP now has 14,000 students enrolled in six diploma programs, 37 bachelor’s degree programs, 20 master’s degree programs, and 12 doctorate programs.

In addition, the university is spread out among 30 places in Perlis, including three permanent locations.

UniMAP collaborates with Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, Universiti Teknikai Malaysia Melaka, and Universiti Malaysia Pahang, among others.


5.      Universiti Putra Malaysia

From 1931 to 2012, UPM was an agricultural school before being turned into a premier research university.

UPM has roughly 24,000 students, with approximately 4,500 international students. Undergraduates make up moreover half of the student body, with roughly 10,000 postgraduate students.

Qualified individuals with STPM/equivalent, Matriculation/Foundation, and Diploma/equivalent credentials can enroll in full-time studies at UPM. These are the prerequisites for obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Students with an SPM/equivalent certification are eligible to apply for the Diploma and Foundation programs in Agricultural Science.


6.      Universiti Sains Malaysia

In 1969, the Universiti Sains Malaysia was established. It is Malaysia’s second oldest university and one of the country’s major science universities.

It has a main campus on Penang Island and two satellite campuses in Kelantan and Nibong Tebal.

USM is one of Malaysia’s major universities, with about 30,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students.

There are 17 research centers at Universiti Sains Malaysia dedicated to a variety of disciplines, including archaeology, policy research, and international studies.

The institution runs a school system that is supplemented by a wide range of extracurricular activities. This allows students to have a more interdisciplinary and well-rounded experience, resulting in multi-skilled graduates.


7.      Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia is a public engineering, scientific, and technology research university in Skudai, Johor, with a branch campus in Kuala Lumpur. More than 24,000 students from various countries study at UTM, which is ranked among Malaysia’s best universities.

UTM Career Carnival was held in 2018 by the Career Centre UTM to allow industries to meet UTM graduates in various fields such as Science & Technology, Engineering, and Management.

Malaysian politicians Wee Ka Siong and Sim Tze Tzin are among notable alumni.


8.      Universiti Teknologi Petronas

In 1997, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, one of the region’s top research universities, was established. It is the first private institution in Malaysia to be ranked among the top 100 universities in Asia by Times Higher Education.

For undergraduate study, the school’s courses are divided into three faculties. There are also a variety of scientifically based postgraduate degrees available. In addition to investing in research, Universiti Teknologi Petronas attempts to connect students with internships to aid in their transition into industry.


9.      Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN)

UNITEN is a private university in Selangor, Malaysia, founded in 1976 and controlled by Tenaga Nasional Berhad, a southeast Asian power conglomerate (TNB).

Putrajaya Campus and Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Campus are the two campuses of the institution. The school’s library is one of Malaysia’s most prestigious private university libraries. It has a reputation for offering excellent customer service and information resources.


10. Universiti Utara Malaysia

This public university was established in 1984. Management education was the institution’s initial focus. UUM College of Business, UUM College of Arts and Sciences, and UUM College of Law, Government, and International Studies are the three main colleges at UUM, which is one of Malaysia’s top universities.


11. Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)

UNIMAS is a Malaysian public university that was founded on December 24, 1992, in Kota Samarahan, Sarawak. There are eight faculties in the university, with 14,000 undergraduate students and 1,400 postgraduate students.

Applied and creative arts, cognitive sciences and human development, computer science and information technology, economics and business, medicine and health sciences, resource science and technology, and social sciences are all popular majors at this institution.

UNIMAS, on the other hand, excels in fields such as biodiversity and environmental conservation, emerging tropical infectious diseases, ICT development, renewable and green energy, and industrial design research.


12. Multimedia University (MMU)

MMU, commonly known as Universiti Telekom in Malaysia, is a private institution. This institution has three campuses in Melaka, Cyberjaya, and Johor, and is recognized as one of the top universities in Malaysia for foreign students. There are nine faculties and eight research institutes at Multimedia University.

MMU has over 18,000 students, including more than 1,500 foreign students from more than 70 countries. This institution has a large number of undergraduate students. Business and accounting, engineering, information technology, computer science, and law, as well as several postgraduate courses, are all offered on the Melaka campus.

Along the same line, the University of Southern California collaborates with the Johor campus to provide cinematic arts.

Finally, Multimedia University has forged international partnerships with firms such as Nokia, Dell, Intel, Microsoft, and Motorola.


13. Universiti of Teknologi MARA

RIDA Training Centre was established in 1956 as Universiti Teknologi MARA, a public university in Shah Alam. UiTM is a unique, strong, and pure school for Bumiputeras.

The Research Management Centre is the school’s research arm (RMC). The RMC wants to start new research and development projects. The RMC, which later became the IRMI, is divided into five sections that are responsible for grant management, monitoring, and assistance. Research, Consultancy, Innovation, Publication, and ICT Support are among the divisions.

Alumni of the University of Illinois at Chicago have gone on to hold key positions in government, business, and the court. Minister Azalina Othman Said, Chief Judge Richard Malanjum, and Kamarudin Meranun, co-founder of Air Asia, are among them.


14. Taylor’s University

Taylor’s Institution is a Malaysian private university located in Subang Jaya, Selangor. This college was founded in 1969 and was granted university status in 2010.

This institution, on the other hand, provides a wide range of tertiary education courses, including foundation, diploma, degree, post-graduate, and professional programs.

Medicine, Pharmacy, Biosciences, Architecture, Computer Science, Engineering, Quantity Surveying, Law, Business, Communications, Design, Hospitality, Tourism, and Culinary Arts are some of the most popular degrees. Taylor’s Education Group is a member of the institution.


15. The Management & Science University (MSU)

MSU is a private, non-profit university in the Malaysian city of Shah Alam. As Management & Science University, it became a full-fledged university in 2007.

The MSU Research Seed Grant program offers academic personnel an internal source of research financing. The Research Seed Grant program provides initial funding for the development of research projects that are reviewed by new investigators, individual investigators, and small research teams.


Cheapest Universities in Malaysia for International Students

When Malaysia gained independence in 1957, it only had two colleges and a university in what is now Singapore, which later established a branch in Malaysia. However, the country’s tremendous economic expansion transformed society’s priorities, and universities rapidly became a priority.

For a long time, admissions to public colleges were restricted because they followed an ethnic system in which Malays received 90% of the seats, putting minorities in the country – which is ethnically diverse – at a disadvantage.

One of the reasons why private institutions grew in popularity is because of this. In addition, industry and corporations frequently participate in private education. This has compelled them to improve quality and set competitive rates.

The foreign campuses of universities across the world are another essential aspect of Malaysian higher education. Many foreign universities have branches here, allowing you to obtain globally recognized degrees from institutions like Australia, China, Ireland, or England.

And since Malaysia has several low-cost universities at a fraction of the cost! Even though the tuition costs at these foreign branches are not the cheapest, studying on their Malaysian campuses might cost up to 40% less than at their main campuses abroad.

Public university tuition costs range from USD 1,500 to USD 6,000 each year. Private education can cost upwards of USD 9,000 per academic year.

Foreign university branches are more expensive than their main campuses, yet they are still much less expensive. For example, tuition rates for a program on the Malaysian campus may cost USD 10,000 per year, but a similar program on the main campus overseas could cost USD 25,000 per year.

Below is a list of the some of the cheapest universities in Malaysia for international students;

  • University of Malaya (UM)
  • University of Putra Malaysia (UPM)
  • Open University of Malaysia (OUM)
  • USCI University
  • The University of Malaysia, Perlis (UniMAP)
  • Malaysian University of Sabah (UMS)

Universities in Malaysia for International Students – FAQs

Is Malaysia Affordable to International Students?

Yes, it is quite affordable as they have a resilient economy, and the costs of necessities are cheap and easily affordable.