Apply to Study in Malaysia- Public University Applications, Requirements

by neha.bhaskar

For international students aspiring to study in Malaysia, this may come as good news as they are allowed to apply directly to the top universities in Malaysia offering the course of their choice. Though, they can only apply at the universities which have been given the permission by the Malaysian Higher Education Department to accept international students.

First and foremost, students need to do their research on the top universities in Malaysia and the course they wish to apply in Malaysia universities. Notwithstanding, the field of study, level of qualification and duration of study are essential to take note of. Students can also consult the official representatives of specific institutions in their home country.

Application Cycle: Top Universities In Malaysia

         Major intakes in Malaysia begin in:

  • February Intake: Research to be started by May-June as applications close by October. Universities respond by November. 
  • July Intake: Research to be started by November-December as applications close by March. Universities respond by April.
  • October Intake: Research to be started by February-March as applications close by June. Universities respond by July.

Academic Requirements to Study in Malaysia

The admission process to study at the top universities in Malaysia is pretty hassle-free. All that the students require to do is complete the important student application form of the course and return the form to the university of their choice. Students will require the following documents to apply in Malaysian universities.

  • Letter of recommendation
  • Examination records of previous universities
  • Valid passport with all pages
  • Identity proof
  • Medical health record
  • Accommodation form (if accommodation is needed)
  • Application fees (varies from university to university)

Other eligibility conditions to study in Malaysia is that the student should qualify Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) examination having a distinction in Bahasa Malaysia paper which is conducted in July.

If a student has completed his previous studies from a country that is already English speaking, then the student does not have to appear for tests like GRE, SAT, TOEFL, and IELTS. If the student belongs to a non-English speaking country, then he or she should take a test for English. Though this varies from institution to institution.

Academic Qualification Specific Entry Requirements in Malaysia

There are different entry requirements to study in Malaysia for different degrees. They are as follows:

Academic LevelEntry Requirement
Pre-universityIGCSE/SPM with 5 credits or equivalent
Certificate levelIGCSE/SPM with 1 credit or equivalent
DiplomaIGCSE/SPM with 3 credits or equivalent
Bachelor degreeCGE A levels with English proficiency

Eligibility Criteria: Undergraduate and Postgraduate Courses in Malaysia

Undergraduate Courses to Study in Malaysia: To take up an undergraduate course at the top universities in Malaysia, students ought to have completed:

  • STPM (Sijil Tinggi Persekolham Malaysia) with principal level passes
  • UEC (Unified Examination Certificate) with 75% marks
  • Matriculation certificate
  • Polytechnic certificate (if any)

Postgraduate Courses to Study in Malaysia: To take up a postgraduate course at the top universities in Malaysia, students must have completed:

  • Bachelor’s degree (From well-known private/public university)
  • Pre-masters course (If any)

Level of English Required to Study in Malaysia

If international students aspire to study in Malaysian colleges, students should have completed internationally recognized English language qualification like IELTS and TOEFL. The minimum score necessary for TOEFL is 500 while for IELTS it is 6.

Visa Requirements to Study in Malaysia

The Malaysian government equips each international student studying in Malaysia with a student pass. Mostly, the university of the student takes care of the student pass application. It usually takes 7-8 weeks for the student pass to be processed in Malaysia. A student pass in Malaysia is valid for 12 months.

Malaysian Student Pass

  • For: International students from public and private higher education institutions
  • Cost: USD 13.59
  • Extra cost: Nil
  • Validity: 1 Year
  • Passport Validity: 6 Months
  • Part-time job: Allowed 20 hours

International students wanting to study in Malaysia have to apply for a Visa With Reference (VDR) at the Malaysian Immigration Department.

Apply for Admission in Malaysia

Apply for Admission in Malaysia

Apply through UPU (Unit Pengambilan Universiti)

Instead of going on multiple portals and multiple university websites, students wanting to study in Malaysia can now send in all their applications at once through a single portal. UPU manages applications for Polytechnics, Community Colleges, Public Universities and Institut Latihan Kemahiran Awam (ILKA)

Applications to study in Malaysia are accepted by UPU in case of:

·         SPM (Sijil Pelajaram Malaysia) leavers

·         Students who have completed STPM (Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia)

·         Students who have diplomas from public universities

  These are the steps students need to take to apply to the top universities in Malaysia.

Choosing a University in Malaysia 

Malaysia is home to 150+ universities. These include public higher education institutions, private higher education institutions, vocational colleges, and foreign universities. Some top universities with their courses preferred by international students in Malaysia have been listed below.

  • University of Malaya: Top courses include, Master of Computer Science, MBA and masters of Engineering
  • Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation: Top courses include, MBA, Bachelor of IT and Masters of Computer Science
  • Universiti Teknologi Malaysia: Top courses include, Master in Engineering and Master in Science
  • Monash University: Bachelor of civil engineering, Bachelor of chemical engineering
  • Taylor’s University: Ph.D. (Business) and Ph.D. (Engineering)

How to Apply?

Applying to most Malaysian universities is pretty simple. Students can apply directly through the university website. Nevertheless, there is an option to send your application via post as well.

Application Processing

No matter how you have applied for the course, application processing time at the universities in Malaysia usually take 5-6 weeks.

Offer Acceptance

Once a student has been selected, he or she will receive the acceptance letter. Once that is in place students need to:

  • Plan for accommodation
  • Pay tuition fees

After Offer Acceptance

Once your application has been accepted by the university, students need to begin the visa application process and arrangement of funds and insurance for travel.

Leaving Home Country

Before leaving the home country, students need to extremely well versed with all the details specific to the university and course of their choice like.

  • Accommodation details
  • Finances
  • Airplane tickets
  • Orientation in college
  • University location

Applying at the top universities in Malaysia pretty hassle-free. All that students need to do is the research on the university and test preparation to enter Malaysia.

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