Cheapest Universities in Malaysia, Tuition Fees, & Visa Requirements

Sprawling the south china sea and home to a lot of cultural heritage, amazing geography and a futuristic capital city, Malaysia is a truly unique country. Malaysia is also home to some of the cheapest, affordable, low tuition fees universities in the world. So, grab your Malaysian student visa and get ready to study in Malaysia.

Choosing to Study in Malaysia, you will not only discover that the country’s natural beauty extends beyond its ancient rain forest, national park, and astonishing beaches, but there are a lot of other eye-catching senses that can keep one busy.

Table of Contents

About Malaysia

This beautiful country covering a total landmass of about 329,750 sq km houses about 25 million people. These comprise of Malays, Indians, Chinese and the indigenous people who all live together in peace.

The currency used in Malaysia is called the Malaysian ringgit (MYR). 

This beautiful country is full of colorful markets, mosques, Hindu shrines, and Buddhist temples that are often found side by side. There is also an abundance of annual festivals celebrating both traditional and modern aspects of the Malaysian culture in Malaysia.

One-half of the country, located on the southern tip of the peninsula below Thailand, is known as Peninsular Malaysia.

In Peninsular Malaysia, you will find most of the highest-ranking universities in Malaysia. This area comprises the most vibrant and diverse urban cities.

Malaysia is also one of the world’s stable countries in terms of political stability, she is second to Singapore when it comes to regional economics. However, Malaysia offers a better organic lifestyle than its city-state rival.

So, thinking about studying in this amazing country, you need all the information you can get. Therefore, this post will be covering some mind-blowing subjects that will be beneficial to you looking for the cheapest universities to study in Malaysia.

Things to know before studying in Malaysia

Almost everyone wishes to study abroad someday in places where they don’t just get value for their money but have the best study experience ever. However, their decisions are always clouded because of study locations like Canada, USA, CHINA, CYPRUS, GERMANY, ITALY, UK, etc., which have been there for years.

But hear this, there is going to be an uproar in the choice of study abroad location in the future with the emergence of countries like Singapore and Malaysia. We urge you to take advantage of this opportunity now that there is no much competition for it.

These Asian countries marked with great infrastructural development, supported by their respective government have put themselves in the world map by gaining entrance into the  QS best universities in the world ranking.

This has dragged our attention to these countries, owing to the fact that it is difficult to get into these rankings without visible infrastructural and intellectual advancement.

We think the only thing that is holding these countries back especially Malaysia is that students are not yet acquainted with the country, and students will normally want to know about a country before going there to study.

Thus, this is the reason for this post. To expose the uniqueness of Malaysia and their readiness to give you an affordable world-class university study experience.

When we say things you need to know before studying in Malaysia, we are referring to a range of things that can actually make your study in Malaysia worthwhile.

so, I may be referring to the culture of the people, popular courses offered by the top universities in the country, amazing sites to visit when you are in the country, and work opportunities available.

Accommodation

When you want to study abroad one of the things you should consider is your accommodation. Usually, there are two types of accommodations available to international students: On-campus accommodation and Off-campus accommodation.

Mostly, on-campus accommodation is ideal for international students because of the living units. For example, the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia has a well equipped on-campus accommodation which is outfitted with telephone ports. Students on-campus also have access to the university IT facilities and internet connection.

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However, the only issue with on-campus accommodation is that there are limited seats available. So, if you are going to study in Malaysia, you either apply early or you go for the off-campus accommodation.

Some facilities you can always find  in on-campus accommodation include:

  • Cafeterias
  • Multipurpose hall
  • Tennis courts
  • Store and common room

Like we said earlier, getting into this on-campus accommodation can be difficult but you need not worry because there are lots of private off-campus residences you can go for. But do well to put the following into consideration when going for an off-campus accommodation – Price, Facilities offered, Proximity to the campus so as to cost of transportation.

Health Insurance

This is one of the most important things you need to know before planning to study in Malaysia. Just like in other studies abroad destination, you need to have health insurance throughout the period of your study in Malaysia. The treatments that need to be covered by this policy include:

  • Personal  Accident & Death;
  • In-patient  Services;
  • Repatriation; and
  • Out-patient Services.

The range per year for a minimum premium is RM300.00 (source: Universiti Teknologi Malaysia). We advise students to buy insurance policies only from those the school specifies.

Medical insurance Malaysia compared to other studies abroad locations like AUSTRALIA, USA OR UK is not that costly. Thus, with medical insurance at hand, you don’t have to worry about an emergency.

Work Opportunities

The third thing you will need to know before you study in Malaysia is the work opportunities available to you as a student in the country. Work-study in Malaysia is gradually gaining grounds for international students in the country. These days, international students take part-time jobs to help them fund their stay in the country.

Though in Malaysia, tuition fees and cost is relatively modest to home country students, it may seem high, so, the international student needs something to help meet up with the expenses incurred.

The student can work during the study in Malaysia for a maximum of 20 hours per week, during:

  • Semester breaks
  • Festive holidays
  • More than seven days of holiday

Thus, some of the popular places to work include restaurants, petrol kiosks, mini markets, and hotels.

However, international students are barred from working as a cashier, singer, musician, guest’s relations officer and masseur. Additionally, students shouldn’t involve themselves in any activity deemed illegal.

Scholarship Opportunities Available to Students

Aside from the part-time jobs available to students, you can as well avail yourself the scholarship opportunities that are available for students of all level of study in Malaysia.

The cost of studying in places like the UK and the USA is about $30,000, whereas in Malaysia it is around $9000. But then some of the prominent scholarships ones can apply for are the Malaysian International Scholarship (MIS) initiated by the Malaysian Government and the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP).

Some of the benefits of the MIS scholarship include:

  • Approved tuition fees
  • Medical/Health insurance
  • Annual grant for books and internal travel
  • Monthly maintenance allowance
  • Airfare for travel to Malaysia

In addition to government scholarships, individual universities also extend a number of scholarships to attract brilliant minds from across the world. The University of Malaya, for example, offers Graduate Research Assistantship Scheme.

List of Cheapest Universities in Malaysia and Their Tuition Fees

Majority of the international students who have applied for degree programs in some of the renowned Universities in Malaysia hold the view that the tuition fees are very low and affordable. Apart from that, they have an extensive range of academic programs to choose from while offering superior quality education system.

In this section, we are going to finally list some of the cheapest universities in Malaysia and their tuition fees so you can make your choice. Know also that because these universities are affordable does not mean that their standard and quality of education is reduced.

  • Tun Hussein Onn University of Malaysia
  • Universiti Utara Malaysia
  • University of Malaysia, Kelantan:
  • National Defense University of Malaysia
  • Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia
  • University of Malaya
  • University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka
  • Universiti Malaysia Pahang
  • University of Science, Malaysia
  • Sultan Idris Education University
  • Universiti Malaysia Perlis
  • Universiti Malaysia Sabah
  • International Islamic University, Malaysia
  • Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

Tun Hussein Onn University of Malaysia

Annual Tuition Fees: 7,350 MYR.

The Tun Hussien Onn University of Malaysia (UTHM) is a public university which was incorporated back in September 1993. One of the primary objectives of this University is to impart training to the staff in obtaining adequate knowledge and skills in the field of engineering. UTHM is one of the cheapest universities in Malaysia.

The Centre for Graduate Studies(CGS) is responsible for monitoring the implementation of postgraduate academic programs in UTHM. It aims to offer postgraduate programs towards achieving a high-income nation and to nurture world-class scholars through quality teaching and research.

Also, according to TOPUNIVERSITIES.COM, The rankings for The Tun Hussien Onn University of Malaysia are:

  • QS WUR By Subject Ranking: #301-350
  • Asian University Rankings: #301-350

Universiti Utara Malaysia

Annual Tuition Fees: 8,880 MYR.

Universiti Utara Malaysia is one of the cheapest universities in Malaysia. It is a public university which is popularly known as the ‘Management Universiti’. The affordable Malaysia university began operation in April 1998. It is the sixth Malaysian public university. Also, it is the only university that was set up to specialize solely in management education from the very beginning of its establishment.

In 2008, the Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)’s academic system was restructured to enable an increase in students as well as to bring UUM to the forefront in the international academic arena. The resulting 13 faculties from the UMM restructuring are divided into 3 main Academic Colleges. The UUM College of Business (UUM COB), UUM College of Arts (UUM CAS), and the UUM College of Law, Government and International Studies (UUM COLGIS).

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Through these academic colleges, Universiti Utara Malaysia offers a variety of Bachelor’s and Master’s programs.

University of Malaysia, Kelantan

Annual Tuition Fees: RM 3,255 – 3,767

University of Malaysia, Kelantan is also another of the affordable universities in Malaysia. This cheap Malaysia university is a public university which is located at Kelantan. The establishment of this university was raised during a cabinet meeting held at Malaysia in June 2006.

University Malaysia Kelantan has 4 faculties that offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Agro-Industry & Natural Resources, Entrepreneurship & Business, Heritage & Creative Technology as well as Veterinary Medicine. The university has two centers and an institute besides the four faculties.

The university is developing at a rapid pace to internationalize its academic program.

National Defense University of Malaysia

Annual Tuition Fees: RM3,000.

The National Defense University of Malaysia (UPNM) is the first-ever university which was established to meet the needs and requirements of the Malaysian Armed Forces. It is estimated that about 20,700 undergraduate students have enrolled in the University.

The institution was also branded as the sole organization responsible in upgrading the knowledge and academic status of the armed forces by offering bachelor degree courses in fields of engineering, sciences, and management while not neglecting the basic requirements of military training. In addition to this, this Malaysian defense university offers affordable education to students.

The bachelor degree courses were accredited and awarded by University Teknologi Malaysia in the beginning. Lecturers come from within the armed forces, some hired by the academy, and the rest deputized by UTM where all were fully committed to changing the face of the Malaysian armed forces. However, UPNM now offers Masters and Ph.D. programs.

Furthermore, the National Defense University of Malaysia has the following rankings:

  • World Ranking: #8555
  • Country Ranking: #43

University of Malaya

Tuition Fees: RM 40,883.69 – 89,996.85

The University of Malaya is one of the oldest and acclaimed Public Research Universities located at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. It is also one of the cheapest universities in Malaysia. The University of Malaya derives its name from the term ‘Malaya’ as the country was then known.

The growth of the University was very rapid during the first decade of its establishment and this resulted in the setting up of two autonomous Divisions on 15 January 1959, one located in Singapore and the other in Kuala Lumpur.

Furthermore, the University of Malaya has been enjoying a good World University Ranking score for four consecutive years. The University of Malaya World Ranking from 2015 to 2018 are as follows:

  • 2018: 60.8 (Score) #114 (Rank)
  • 2017: 57.1 (Score) #133 (Rank)
  • 2016: 62.1 (Score) #146 (Rank)
  • 2015: 61 (Score) #151 (Rank)

University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka

Annual Tuition Fees: RM 4,000.

University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka is a public university in Malaysia with a span of seven hundred and sixty-six acres of lush green surroundings. The University is famed for its state-of-the-art facilities in all the major departments. The technical university is also one of the cheapest universities in Malaysia.

This affordable Malaysia university is one of the largest universities in Malaysia with a total student enrollment of 10,930.

This technical Malaysian university has ten (10) faculties including the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and The Institute of Technology Management and Entrepreneurship.

Furthermore, as of 31 May 2020, the Graduates’ General Employability rate for Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka is 86%

Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia

Annual Tuition Fees: RM 5,866.

Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) which was previously known by the name ‘Kolej Universiti Islam Malaysia’ came into operation in 1998. It is one of the cheapest universities in Malaysia.

This affordable Malaysia university has nine (9) faculties, including the Faculty of Dentistry, Faculty of Syariah and law, and Faculty of Leadership and Management. In addition to its undergraduate programs, this Islamic Malaysian university also offers graduate programs through its Centre for Graduate Studies (CGS).

You can easily get a Master of Da’wah and Islamic Leadership, a Master of Counseling (Family Counseling), and a Master of Counseling (Substance Abuse) at USIM.

Universiti Malaysia Pahang

Annual Tuition Fees: RM 3,665

Universiti Malaysia Pahang is a self-governed public technical university located at Pahang in Malaysia. They are primarily focused on engineering and technology. This university is also one of the cheapest universities in Malaysia.

This affordable Malaysian university has nine (9) faculties including the Faculty of Computer Systems & Software Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, and Centre for Modern Language & Human Sciences.

UMP Pekan Campus has a student center, Hostel and Cafeterias, Lakes for water activities, and Free wifi. It is in this same campus that you have UMP’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Faculty of Manufacturing Engineering.

In the way of Rankings, QS World Ranking ranks Universiti Malaysia Pahang:

  • #251 – 300 (2013 to 2015): QS Asian University Rankings.

Universiti Sains Malaysia

Annual Tuition Fees: RM 11,512.87 18,839.25.

Universiti Sains Malaysia is an autonomous university which was established in June 1969. About twenty-eight thousand three hundred (8,300) post-graduate and undergraduate students have enrolled in this University back in the year 2009. It is one of the cheapest universities in Malaysia with low tuition rates.

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) has three campuses, the main campus on the island of Penang, a health campus in Kelantan, and the engineering campus in Nibong Tebal. USM also has an overseas collaboration with KLE University, India which offers the Doctor of Medicine (USM) undergraduate degree.

Additionally, USM’s academic is conducted via the Technology-Based Schools, Liberal Art Schools, Science Schools, and Health Science Schools. Through these schools, USM offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in a variety of academic disciplines.

Sultan Idris Education University

Graduate Studies Annual Tuition Fees: RM3,643.20 – 6,420.

Sultan Idris Education University (UPSI) is a public University which began its operations in the year 1922.

UPSI has two campuses namely; Sultan Abdul Jalil Shah Campus (KSAJS) and Sultan Azlan Shah Campus (KSAH) which are unique in term of education leadership based on historical splendor and leading global changes.

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UPSI is committed to bringing changes in education by spreading knowledge through teaching and learning, research, publication, negotiation and community service. These are done in the context of human capital development excellence in the country and at an international level.

Advantages of Studying in Malaysia | Benefits of Studying in Malaysia

If you still haven’t found enough reasons to study in Malaysia, these benefits of studying in Malaysia are striking reasons why you should reconsider Malaysia.

  • The Universities in Malaysia are of a very high standard, both in structures and academics.
  • The World ranking of Malaysian Universities is very high, compared to other parts of Europe.
  • Ability to get foreign degree qualifications studying fully in Malaysia from countries like US, UK, Australia, Canada, etc. at a much lower cost
  • International Students are highly welcome because of the friendly nature of Malaysians.
  • You are able to study in Malaysia and foreign degrees at a much lower cost.
  • The infrastructure in Malaysia is one of the most developed in Asia with state-of-the-art infrastructure and world-class university campuses.
  • Malaysia is one of the safest and most stable countries in the world with a relatively low crime rate. The country is free from most natural disasters which makes it very comfortable for International Students

Comparatively low expenditure of studying and living in Malaysia

The expenditure of studying and living in Malaysia is comparatively low to countries like Australia, US, UK, France, Canada, etc. as the Malaysian currency conversion is advantageous. A quick look at the comparison chart shows the expenditure involved in different countries:

Country  Tuition Fees (annually) Living Costs
(annually)
Total Education Cost
(per annum)
Malaysia USD 5,000 USD 4,000 USD 9,000
Australia USD 15,000 USD 10,500 USD 25,500
USA USD 18,000 USD 13,000 USD 31,000
United Kingdom USD 15,000 USD 12,000 USD 27,000
Canada USD 13,000 USD 8,500 USD 21,500

The comparison Table of Studying and Living Cost in Malaysia above is for a typical Business Degree Student

Universities in Malaysia 

As stated earlier, you can gain a degree from world-class universities just by choosing Malaysia as your study abroad location.

Malaysia is home to a lot of international universities branch campuses like the UK’s University of Nottingham and Australia’s Monash University. Having these branch campuses in the country is a plan targeted at improving and expanding the country’s range of higher education option.

The leading universities that will run this project were carefully selected and they include the UK’s University of Reading, the University of Southampton and Newcastle University Medicine.

The Netherlands’ Maritime Institute of Technology, Singapore’s private Raffles University, and the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts from the US are also included.

Though the overseas universities in Malaysia are growing, its homegrown universities are not neglected. In 2016 The Malaysian higher education system was ranked 27th according to the  QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings. This is an indication that they are doing good.

Some of the high ranking Malaysian universities include:

  • Universiti Malaya (UM) 
  • University Putra Malaya (UPM)
  • Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
  • Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)
  • The University of Science, Malaysia (USM)

Cost of Studying and Living in Malaysia

One of the many reasons why international students choose Malaysia is because of its cost-effective, high-quality tertiary education.

As an example, you can acquire a UK engineering degree (3 years) in Malaysia through a 3+0 foreign university franchised degree programme at an estimated RM68,000 (US$17,000), whereas the tuition fee of the same 3-year degree program at the host university in the UK is about £36,000 (or RM217,000 or US$54,250).

As such, a student can save up to RM149,000 (US$37,250) in tuition fees if he or she chooses to study in Malaysia (see Table above). If you take the cost of living into account, students who complete their entire 3+0 degree in Malaysia can save up to an estimated RM216,000 (US$54,000).

The major components of education cost are:

  • Course fees which include tuition fees and other study fees payable to the institution, depending on what you are studying and the duration of your course/study program; and
  • Living expenses which will depend on where you are staying, your type of accommodation and your lifestyle.

Education Costs in Malaysia

Your course fees in Malaysia will consist of your tuition fees plus other related study expenses. Below are types of fees that you may incur during your course of study in Malaysia:

Academic Fees:

  • Registration fee
  • Tuition fee
  • Deposit
  • Computer/Science laboratory fee
  • Health & hospitalization insurance premium
  • Library fee
  • Other incidental costs such as examination fees

Non-academic Fees:

  • Student visa fees
  • Medical check-up
  • Health and hospitalization insurance premium

In the next sections, we will show you the breakdown of estimated tuition fees at various levels of study at private higher educational institutions (PHEIs) in Malaysia.

A. Pre-University Programs

If you have completed IGSCE or O-level and are looking for pre-university studies to prepare for a bachelor’s degree program or professional courses, Malaysia offers a wide variety of pre-university programs. Here are some types of pre-university programs, the duration of the study and estimated tuition fee.

Types of Pre-University Duration of Study No. of Subjects Studied/(Typical  Exam Result
Announcement Date)
Estimated Tuition Fee per Course (RM)
Cambridge GCE A-Levels, UK 15-18 months 3 – 4 subjects /
(August/January)
RM19,000-38,000
(US$4,750-9,500)
for 3 subjects
SACE, Australia
(formerly SAM)
11 months 5 subjects /
(December)
RM21,000–28,000
(US$5,250-7,000)
AUSMAT, Australia 10 months 5-6 subjects /
(December)
RM17,000–25,000
(US$4,250-6,250)
CIMP, Canada 12 months 6 subjects /
(June/December,
usually 1 month after exam)
RM27,000–30,000 (US$6,750-7,500)
 
 
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) 24 months 6 subjects /
(July/Jan)
RM115, 000
(US$28,750)
 
 
Monash University Foundation Year (MUFY) 12 months 4/5 subjects /
(July/December,
usually within 2 months after exam)
RM25,000
(US$ 6,250)
New South Wales High School Certificate (NSW HSC) 12 months 5 subjects
(usually within 2 months after exam)
RM13,000 – 21,000
(US$3,250-5,250)
University’s Internal Programme (private) 10 – 12 months 5-6 subjects /
(varies)
RM10,000–20,000
(US$2,500-5,000)

Source:

  • StudyMalaysia Research Team;
  • Education Guide Malaysia (14th edition)
  • Brochures & website of various colleges

(Estimated currency exchange rate: US$1=RM4.00; £1=RM5.50)
(Note: All figures are estimates and serve only as a guideline)

B. Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Malaysia offers you many study pathways to complete an entire 3-year bachelor’s degree program at a very competitive cost if you have pre-university qualifications such as GCE A-Levels, SAM or other equivalent pre-university qualifications. The estimated tuition fees for various study modes (‘3+0’, twinning, ADP, home-grown, foreign university, etc.) that lead to a bachelor’s degree qualification are:

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3+0 Degree Program, Taking an Engineering Degree as Example:

Item 3+0 Engineering
Degree in Malaysia
(Estimated cost)
Host University in the UK
(Estimated cost)
Tuition fees (for international
students)
RM68,000 per course for a
duration of 3 years
£12,000 per academic year
or £36,000 for a duration of 3 years (full-time)
Basic living expenses RM54,000 for 3 years £670 per month or
estimated £18,000 for 3
academic years (3 x 9 months)
Other costs RM15,000 £5,000
Total tuition fees and living expenses for 3 years Approx. RM140,000
(US$35,000)
Approx. £59,000
(US$81,000)
Estimated savings for 3+0 degree program RM184,000 (US$46,000)  

Source: HELP College of Arts & Technology; StudyMalaysia Research Team

Estimated Tuition Fees per Course for a home-grown Bachelor’s Degree at Malaysian Private Universities:

Areas of
Study
Business Engineering IT
Estimated
Tuition Fee
RM29,000–54,000
 
(Average cost: RM40,000 or US$10,000)
RM30,000–75,000
 
(Average cost: RM60,000 or US$15,000)
RM30,000–55,000
 
(Average cost: RM45,000 or US$11,250)
Duration
of Study
3 years 4 years 3 years
Areas of
Study
Hospitality &
Tourism
Medicine Pharmacy
Estimated
Tuition Fee
RM30,000–65,000
 
(Average cost: RM45,000 or US$7,500-16,250)
RM255,000–450,000
(Average cost: RM320,000 or US$80,000)
RM115,000–185,000
(Average cost: RM120,000 or US$30,000)
Duration
of Study
3 years 5 years 4 years

Source: StudyMalaysia Research Team; Brochures of some institutions

Estimated Tuition Fees for an American Degree Transfer Program:

Program Duration Tuition Fee: Studying in Malaysia+US
American Degree
Transfer Program
2 (in Malaysia)+2 (in US) years RM26,000-45,000 (US$6,500-11,250) for 2 years in Malaysia and US$13,000-40,000 per year in the US

Source: StudyMalaysia Research Team and Study in Malaysia Handbook 8th International Edition)

Estimated Tuition Fees for a 2+1 UK Degree Transfer Programme (Law):

Degree Transfer
Program
Duration of
Study
Estimated Tuition Fee: Malaysia + Overseas
UK Degree Transfer Programme (Law) 2 (in Malaysia)+1 (in UK) years Tuition Fee: RM60,000 (or US$15,000) for 2 years in Malaysia + £10,000 – £14,000  per year in the UK depending on the choice of university and course   Living expenses: RM1,800 (or US$450) per month in Malaysia; £800 per month in the UK

Source: HELP University;  StudyMalaysia Research Team 
(Estimated currency exchange rate: US$1=RM4.00; £1=RM5.50)
(Note: All figures are estimates and serve only as a guideline)

Comparison of Tuition Fee for a Foreign University Branch Campus Bachelor of Engineering (4 years study duration in Malaysia and UK)

Duration of Study Tuition fee (Studying in Malaysia) Tuition fee (Studying in the UK) Total Tuition Fee (in Malaysia & UK)
(4 yrs in Malaysia + 0 yr in the UK) RM163,200 @40,800 per year £0 year RM163,200 or US$40,800 for 4+0 years (Entire course in Malaysia)
(3 yrs in Malaysia + 1 yr in the UK) RM122,400 for 3 years £16,420 for 1 year RM212,710 or US$53,178 for 3+1 years
(2 yrs in Malaysia + 2 yr in the UK) RM81,600 for 2 years £32,840 for 2 years RM262,220 or US$65,555 for 2+2 years
(1 yr in Malaysia + 3 yrs in the UK) RM40,800 for 1 year £49,260 for 3 years RM311,730 or US$77,933 for 1+3 years
(0 yr in Malaysia + 4 yrs in the UK) RM0 year £65,680 for 4 years RM361,240 or US$90,310 for 0+4 years (Entire course in the UK)

Source: Heriot-Watt University Malaysia
(Estimated currency exchange rate: US$1=RM4.00; £1=RM5.50)
(All figures are estimates and serve only as a guideline)

(Note: Heriot-Watt University allows students in Malaysia to transfer to the UK at any level (e.g. 1 year in Malaysia and 2 years in the UK or 2 years in Malaysia and 1 year in the UK). Students could also pursue their first year in Malaysia, the second year in Edinburgh – and the third-year back in Malaysia.)

C. Postgraduate studies

Public universities and PHEIs in Malaysia offer international students postgraduate programs at very competitive tuition fees. The estimated tuition fees are as follows:

Estimated Course Fees for Master of Business Administration (MBA) Awarded by Malaysian Universities

Providers Qualification Course Fee (RM) Duration
Private universities Master of Business Administration RM25,000-36,000 per course (US$6,250-9,000) 1 to 1.5 years full-time
Public universities Master of Business Administration RM21,000-26,000 per course (US$5,250-6,500) 1 to 1.5 years full-time

Source: StudyMalaysia Research Team; brochures of some institutions

Cost Comparison for a UK MBA in Malaysia and UK:

Description Estimated Cost (Fees and Living Expenses) at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia Campus Estimated Cost (Fees and Living Expenses) at Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh, UK (for international students)
MBA Fulltime (1 year) Tuition fee: RM 55,800 (PT Only)
Living expenses: RM 36,000/year
TOTAL: RM91,800 or US$22,950
Tuition fee: £16,950 (Full Time)
Living expenses: £20,000 – £31,000/year
TOTAL: £36,950-47,950
Estimated Cost Savings when studying in Malaysia Tuition Fee Savings: RM37,425 or US$9,356
Living Expenses Savings: RM 101,500 or US$25,375
TOTAL SAVING:RM138,925 or US$34,731
 

Source: Heriot-Watt University Malaysia; StudyMalaysia Research Team
(Estimated currency exchange rate: US$1=RM4.00; £1=RM5.50) (Note: All figures are estimates and serve only as a guideline)

Cost of Living in Malaysia

Academic or Educational costs are not the only kinds of the cost you’ll incur while studying a university program in Malaysia. You’ll also have to consider other costs that relate to your well-being in Malaysia, otherwise known as Cost of Living.

A sum of academic costs and cost of living will give you the perfect total cost of studying in any country.

Breakdown of living cost in Malaysia

An average international student is expected to spend about RM1,800 (US$450) per month for his or her living expenses. The cost can be broken down as:

Accommodation:

For your accommodation monthly an estimate of about RM300 (US$75) to RM600 (US$150) should be budgeted. Geographical area, type of accommodation, in this case, could be on-campus  or off-campus living in an apartment, condominium, single-story house, double-story house, etc the kind facilities available in the house (e.g. with or without air-conditioning) and of course, the number of people sharing the room (or the apartment or house) all can affect the cost of your accommodation.

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Food / Housekeeping:

When it comes to Your food and housekeeping cost it is estimated to be around RM600-900 (US$150- 225). Assuming you spend  RM20-30 (US$5- 7.50) for three meals per day. On the other hand, if you cook and share the cooking cost with your friends, it would be cheaper. it is also possible to have a fast-food meal for below RM10 (US$2.50) in Malaysia. For instance, a McValue meal at McDonald’s is at RM5.95. Meal sets at KFC start at RM6.90 and pizza deals for group meals from Domino’s are also below RM10 per pax. More so, in Malaysia, Local food like rice and noodles at food stalls or coffee shops ranges from RM4-10 (US$1-2.50).

At mid-range restaurants, you can expect to pay RM20-40 for a meal (US$5-10). A coffee from Starbucks costs an average of RM12-16 (US$3-4).

Clothing and laundry

In Malaysia Your clothing expenses for things like washing, ironing, dry-cleaning, etc. may cost something around RM60 (US$15) per month.

Public Transport

In this part, students who stay on campus or near campus may not incur any cost of traveling to and from classes. However, other traveling may cost approximately RM80-150 (US$20-37.5) per month.

Telecommunication / Mobile Phone Bills and Utilities

The mobile phone packages in Malaysia are very competitive. How much you spend will depend on your usage and the promotional package you choose. The average student may spend about RM30-50 (US$7.50-12.50) per month.

Books, Reading Materials and Stationery

The estimated cost of books and stationery should be around RM50-100 (US$12.50-25) per month, but it would largely depend on the course you have signed up for and the number and nature of projects in your course.

Medical / Hospitalisation Insurance

If you put aside RM50 (US$12.50) per month for medical expenses, it would be sufficient (include you in case you need outpatient treatment at a private clinic) during the year. This estimate is the amount you will have to pay for your medical and hospitalization insurance of about RM500 (US$125) per year.

Personal Expenses

Your monthly personal expenses largely depend on your personal lifestyle. However, the cost can be estimated to be between RM100 (US$25) and RM200 (US$50). This includes your socializing needs, toiletries, haircut, clothes, movie, etc

Using the estimate above, the total cost of living for a student will average at RM1,800 (US$450) per month or RM21,600 (US$5,400) per year.

It is important to remember that the above estimate is only a guide in planning your budget to study in Malaysia and geographical location and personal lifestyle should be factored in when planning your personal budget.

How to get a study visa to Malaysia and its Requirements | Malaysian student Pass

As an international student, one of the documents that will grant you access into your chosen country of study is your Study visa. Thus, in this article, we are going to discuss extensively how you gain your study visa to Malaysia from any country.

All international students need a Student Pass to study in Malaysia at all levels of education. Interestingly, the Student Pass acts as a student visa in Malaysia. So, when we discuss documents required for the Malaysian student visa, it basically means documents required for the Student Pass.

Obtaining a student pass is easy because once you are admitted, the university itself will directly apply for the pass on your behalf.

You’ll need to submit a personal bond which you’ll be required to pay $69-$365 depending on your country of origin.

Note that once your acceptance and student pass are approved, you’ll need to apply separately for a single-entry student visa through the Malaysian embassy or High commission available in your home country.

For this, you’ll need to provide evidence of your offer of study and student pass, plus showing proof of financial stability to cover tuition fees, living expenses. Depending on what your country of origin is, you might be asked to submit additional information.

You must apply for the pass at the Department of Immigration Malaysia.

Study Pass Application Categories

Depending on the course and type of school you are applying to, you have the following types of application categories:

  • Foreigner in Government Schools;
  • Foreigner in Private Schools;
  • Public higher education institutions foreigner;
  • Foreigner in private higher education institutions;
  • Foreigner in language centers;
  • Holder of Dependant Pass (Expatriate)
  • Foreigner in training centers under the Department of Skill Development;

While the list of documents required for Malaysian Student Visa (Student Pass) more or less remains the same across all application categories, the process of applying for the pass may vary.

How to apply for different Student Pass Application categories

Here is the application procedure to get the Malaysia student pass for each of the categories listed above.

Foreigner in Government/Private Schools

  • You have to apply at the State Immigration Office via schools
  • If you belong to the People Republic of China (PRC), your institution must send your application directly to the Student Pass Unit of the Department of Immigration Headquarters at Putrajaya (for all new applications). For extension of your Student Pass, you can, however, approach the respective State Immigration Department.

Public higher education institutions Foreigner

  • Your university can apply directly at the State Immigration Office
  • Students from India, Bangladesh or Pakistan have to apply directly at the Department of Immigration Headquarters in Putrajaya. If you already have the Malaysian student visa but want to extend it, you can apply at the State Immigration Office.

Private higher education institutions/training centers Foreigner

  • Education Malaysia Global Service (EMGS) issues Student Pass for new applications. You need to apply via the universities/colleges/training centers.
  • For extensions of your Student Pass, you can apply at the State Immigration Office.

Foreigner in language centers

  • Application for new Student Pass can be made at the Department of Immigration Headquarters in Putrajaya via languages centers.
  • For extensions, you must approach the State Immigration Office.

 Holder of Dependant Pass (Expatriate)

  • You have the option of applying at an Expatriate Service Division, Immigration Headquarters in Putrajaya, or at a relevant State Immigration Office.
  • Your passport will bear the stamp of endorsement to study in Malaysia.
  • Holders of Dependant Pass below 18 years are exempted from having to apply for the students Pass.
  • Spouse of Dependent Pass holders are allowed to pursue study in Malaysia, but first, they must convert their Dependent Pass to Student Pass.

Documents required for a Malaysian student visa (Student Pass)

To process your Malaysian Student Visa, you need the following documents.

A valid Passport

If you are applying online through Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS), you have to upload scanned pages of the passport containing your bio-data in PDF format.

When uploading this piece of document required for a Malaysian student visa (Student Pass), also make sure that the image is clear and all details are visible.

Academic Transcripts and Certificates

Academic Transcripts and Certificates are to be scanned and uploaded as ONE single PDF file.

Offer Letter

To be eligible for the Malaysian student visa, you must be offered a place at a school/higher education institution/language center/ training center in Malaysia. Consequently, the offer letter is among the most important documents required for Malaysian Student Visa. When applying online, make sure that the PDF file is not larger than 550KB, which is the maximum size allowed.

Pre-arrival Medical Report

Before entering Malaysia, you are required to attend a mandatory Pre-arrival Medical checkup at a registered medical clinic. If however, you have attended a non-registered clinic, you must upload the report of the Medical Examiner’s Report as part of the list of documents required for a Malaysian student visa.

Support letter 

Issued by the Ministry of Education / Department of Skill Development.

Form Immigration 14

You need two sets of Immigration Form 14.

Photos

Two sets of colored photos (3.5 cm x 3.5 cm);

Personal Bond form 

The personal Bond form should be stamped

Additionally, students who wish to transfer university/college have to obtain a release letter from their previous university/college, attendance report, academic performance report and a support letter from the Ministry of Education.

Benefits of Student Pass

Here are the benefits of the Student Pass for the various kinds of Malaysia student visa.

Dependant Pass

The Student Pass allows Masters and Ph.D. students to bring their dependents to Malaysia during the course of their study.

Each dependent is issued a Dependent Pass that is valid for a period of up to 12 months, provided the members have individual or separate passports.

Who is included in the dependant list: Spouse, children, mother, and father only.

Multiple Entry Visa (MEV) 

As holders of Student and Dependent Passes, you automatically become eligible for the Malaysian Multiple Entry Visa (MEV), which allows you to make unrestricted travel between your home country and Malaysia.

Visa on Arrival for Students (VOAS)

If you have a Malaysian student Visa Approval Letter (VAL) issued by the Department of Immigration Malaysia, you can avail VOAS facility.

Apply only for Visa with Reference

International students pursuing higher studies in Malaysia must apply for the Visa with Reference meant for students, and not Visa WITHOUT Reference. Malaysian Student Visa without reference is only for the purpose of a social visit.

Documents required for Malaysian student Visa with Reference

The following are the documents you’ll need to process a Malaysian student visa with reference.

  • Original approval letter from the Immigration Department of Malaysia/other authority agencies
  • Original passport
  • Two photocopies of your passport
  • Photocopies of the Malaysian Student Visa application form (Form IMM.47) – two
  • Passport size photograph (two)
  • Two photocopies of your air ticket along with the original
  • Receipt of payment of Malaysian Student Visa fee

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