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Study in Malaysia Overview

Malaysia is considered a country to study abroad at reasonable costs. Its study programs are associated with developed educational countries such as the UK, Australia, the US, etc. In recent years, Malaysia has been providing for the education system. Besides, Malaysia is also famous for being an excellent center of education and academics in Southeast Asia, where various study programs for international students to pick. Moreover, the capital Kuala Lumpur is well-known as the developing modern technology center of the nation's business and commerce.

Malaysia is one of the friendliest and most stable countries in Southeast Asia. Decades of sustained economic growth and political stability are reasons that made Malaysia become one of the most dynamic and wealthiest countries in the region.

The country of Malaysia divides into two regions separated by about 750km of the South China Sea. The west coast is commonly called Peninsular Malaysia. On the other hand, the east coast is located on Borneo island. The Peninsular Malaysia shares a border with Singapore to the east, and land of 11 out of 13 states, including Perlis, Kedah, Terengganu, Kelantan, Penang, Perak, Malacca, Pahang, Selangor, Johor and Negeri Sembilan. Kuala Lumpur is also one of the three territories of Malaysia besides Labuan and Putrajaya. In East Malaysia, there are only two states: Sabah and Sarawak. These states have the same maritime border with the Pacific Ocean to the northeast.

Geographical location

– Located in Southeast Asia.

– Consists of 13 states and is divided into 2 geographical regions:

  • Peninsular Malaysia (West Malaysia) shares a maritime border with Thailand to the north, the East Sea to the east, Singapore to the south, the Malacca Strait to the west; Involving nine sultanate territories (Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor và Terengganu), two federal territories (Malacca and Penang) và two federal territories (Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur)
  • Borneo's East Malaysia has two states: Sabah and Sarawak, bordering Brunei and Indonesia.

Area totals: 329.847 km², mainland: 328.550 km², water: 1.703 km²


Equatorial climate, heavy rainfall, and a climatic year patterned around the northeast (April to October) and southwest (April to October) monsoons. The amount of rain varies by season rather than by temperature. The southwest Precipitation is up to 2,500 mm.


The responsibility of the Federal Government is to provide the best education for all citizens. The Malaysian education system comprises education from kindergarten to university. Pre-university education is under the direction of the Ministry of Education (MOE). The university and higher education ecosystem are in charge of the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE).

Primary and secondary education

Primary education in Malaysia begins at age seven and lasts for six years. It is open to all students aged 7-12 years old. Then, Secondary education includes 3 years of Lower Secondary and 2 years of Upper Secondary. Students must take joint exams at the end of elementary, middle, and high school. Throughout 11 years of this stage, the tuition is completely free.

Post-secondary education

At the end of Secondary, it is optional for students to apply for one or two-year programs, also known as a college preparatory program. 12 years of study is required to participate in bachelor's studies at universities.

Tertiary education

At this level, the higher education institutions will offer courses for certificates, associate degrees, university degrees, and other certifications (in the academic and professional fields). The time to complete the basic undergraduate program is 3 years.

Public and private universities attract a great deal of interest from international students by their courses at the higher education level.

Tertiary education is offered by:

  • Public schools (government capital): public universities, universities and community colleges, Polytechnic and Pedagogical schools.
  • Private schools (private capital) and Private Higher Educational Institutions (PHEIs): Private colleges and universities, branches of foreign private universities and colleges.
  • Government-funded education centers: The government spends 95% on primary and secondary education and about 60% on tertiary education, while private funding makes up the rest.
  • Private Education Centers. The Private Education Centers in Malaysia divides into 2 groups depending on the level of study, from preschool to university level, including:

       – Private Educational Institutions (PEIs): providing preschool, primary, and secondary education, including private schools.

       – Private Higher Educational Institutions: offering undergraduate courses with college degrees, university degrees, certificates.

The Malaysia International Scholarship – MIS is a full scholarship funded by the Federal Government of Malaysia. The scholarship aims to attract talent from all over the world who want to pursue post-graduate & postdoctoral programs in this country. MIS welcomes all students with outstanding academic results and outstanding extracurricular activities to any university, whether public or private, in Malaysia.

Scholarship Conditions

To be eligible for the Malaysia International Scholarship (MIS), you must:

  • Not more than 40 years old (for graduate students) and 45 years old (for postdoctoral candidates).
  • Study results equivalent to:

        + Second Class Upper (Honours) or CGPA 3.5/ 4.0 bachelor (if applying for a graduate scholarship).

       + CGPA 3.5/4.0 or higher for master's program, or very good study results in the intended field of study (if applying for a post-doctoral scholarship).

  • Moreover, with the postdoctoral fellowship program, the criteria will be based on the number of distributed books,  journal references printed in newspapers, portfolios or licenses of invention, and copyrights. Postdoctoral MIS candidates should have relevant reputations and knowledge in the intended field of study.
  • Possess one of the valid foreign language certificates within the past 2 years:

        + IELTS 6.5

        + TOEFL Internet-based 92

  • Good health condition (the cost of health certificate is self-pay)
  • An essay related to the research topic.
  • Registered and received an invitation to study postgraduate/postdoctoral in Malaysia.

Priority scholarship field

Priority areas for MIS scholarships include:

  • Science and technology
  • Agriculture and Fisheries
  • Islamic economics and finance
  • Information Technology
  • Biotechnology
  • Biosafety and food
  • The infrastructure
  • Environmental Studies
  • Health professions (except Nursing, Medicine, Clinical Pharmacy)

Candidates can choose any course within the fields mentioned above.

Candidate selection criteria

Scholarship applications will be decided depending on the following criteria:

  • Outstanding academic achievement
  • The quality of the research proposal and its potential with the advancement of technology and human life
  • English writing, reading, and communication skills

General conditions when receiving scholarships

  • Applicants must enroll in a full-time postgraduate or postdoctoral course at one of the Malaysian universities.
  • Applicants may not change their program of study during the scholarship time unless authorized by both the school and the Malaysian Ministry of Education.
  • Applicants must follow the approved study program and abide by the university's rules and regulations.
  • Applicants must be solely responsible for the visa application, including medical examination.
  • If the candidate fails to maintain satisfactory results from the university, all courses and the scholarship will be forfeited.
  • The scholarship is only valid in Malaysian universities; therefore, applicants must carry out their studies in Malaysia.
  • Scholarship recipients may not engage in any paid work during the scholarship period unless authorized by the school.