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Top Universities and Courses in Malaysia with Rankings

Anam Shams Anam Shams
Content Curator

As per the latest data released by UNESCO, Malaysia has 2% market share of international students. Recent statistics indicate that the country is home to more than 100000 students from across 100 nations present throughout the globe. Malaysia is home to more than 150 higher education institutions having a massive enrollment of international students.

The countryis home to some of the top universities and colleges like Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Malaya (UM) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia which finds a place for themselves amongst the top 500 universities in the QS World University Ranking. With so many options in place, students might get confused as to which university and which course to select in Malaysia. Here goes a comprehensive guide to the top universities and courses in Malaysia.

Education System in Malaysia

The best degree courses in Malaysia is governed by the Ministry of Higher Education. The higher education system in Malaysia consists of:

  • Public universities
  • Private Higher Educational Institutions (PHEIs)
  • Foreign University Branches

Out of these three, the public universities in Malaysia takes up 60% of the total share of the top universities in Malaysia. Some notable examples include University of Science Malaysia, University of Malaya and Putra University Malaysia. Private universities are the ones that are funded by private companies whilst, foreign university branches give the students internationally recognized degrees as they have a collaboration with universities abroad.

 Universities in Malaysia also includes, vocational and technical and Polytechnic and community colleges.

  • Polytechnic colleges offer degree courses in Malaysia by providing advanced diploma, Special Skills Certificate and Diploma to students who wish to become technicians in various engineering fields and trained personnel in the service and commercial sectors.
  • 20 polytechnics college in Malaysia offers programs in commerce, design, food technology and engineering
  • Community colleges in Malaysia, offer training and vocational courses, keeping in mind the Malaysian Qualifications Framework.

Different Types of Degree Courses in Malaysia

Certificate Course1-1.5 Years
Preuniversity/Foundation Course1-1.5 Years
Diploma Course2-3 Years
Bachelors Course3-5 Years
Masters Course1-3 Years
Research Course3-5 Years

Internationally Recognized Qualification

One of the reasons why Malaysia is becoming an increasingly favoured international study destination is its Transnational Bachelor’s Degree Programs. Types of Transnational Degrees include:

2+1 Twinning Degree Programme: Students can complete the first part of their degree in Malaysia and the second part in some other country of the partner university. Countries include: UK, Canada, Australia, France and New Zealand

2+2 Twinning Degree Programme: Commonly known as ADP (American Degree Programs). The course offers the flexibility of the American Education System. Students can complete one part of their degree in Malaysia and the remaining one part in the U.S.

3+0 Foreign Bachelor’s Degree: Bachelor’s degree programs from top international universities are conducted in Malaysia by private higher educational institutions.

Choosing the right university in Malaysia

Selecting a university may seem like a daunting task as there are multiple factors to consider like course, facilities and budget. Students need to keep the following points in mind while selecting a university.

  • Select the right university for the right course: Certain universities in Malaysia are recognized for specific courses. For example, if a student is interested in IT studies, he should select Asia Pacific University.
  • Facilities: If a university is expensive, it does not necessarily mean that it has all the facilities needed to support a course. When selecting a university, students need to make sure whether the university has all the facilities or not.
  • Recognition: An recognized university in Malaysia is the one that is approved by the Malaysian Ministry of Education and has courses accredited by MCA.
  • If an international student in Malaysia feels that he or she is weak in English then he needs to select a university that has an english speaking environment.

Top Universities in Malaysia

Some of the top universities in Malaysia are:

UniversityTimes Higher Education Ranking (2018)QS World University Ranking (2018)
University of Malaya351114
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia601230
Universiti Sains Malaysia601264
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS601601
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia601253
University Putra Malaysia
International Islamic University of Malaysia601250

Top Foreign Universities in Malaysia

Many foreign universities have their branch campuses in Malaysia that offer degree courses to international and local students which are recognized not just in Malaysia but globally. Some of them are:

UniversityBranch Location in MalaysiaMain Branch
Heriot-Watt University MalaysiaPutrajayaUK
Curtin University, SarawakSarawakAustralia
Monash University MalaysiaSelangorAustralia
Swinburne University of TechnologySarawakAustralia
The University of NottinghamSelangorUK
Newcastle University MedicineJohorUK
University of SouthamptonJohorUK

Top Business Management Universities in Malaysia

UniversityLocationEnrollment Number
Limkokwing University of Creative TechnologySelangor8,000-8,999 students
Asia Pacific University of Technology & InnovationKuala Lumpur500-999
University of MalayaKuala Lumpurover 45,000
Universiti Teknologi MalaysiaJohor35,000-39,999
Universiti Putra MalaysiaJohor25,000-29,999

Top Engineering Courses Universities in Malaysia

UniversityQS World Ranking
Universiti Malaya (UM)#87
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)#184
Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)#202
Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)#207

Top Medicine Courses Universities in Malaysia

UniversityQS World Ranking
Universiti of Malaya (UM)#87
AIMST University#300
Cyberjaya University College of Medical Science#13508
International Medical University (IMU)#2706
Monash University#59

Popular Degree Courses to Study in Malaysia

The most sought-after courses to study in Malaysia for international students are:

  • Business Management Courses
  • Engineering Courses in Malaysia
  • Medicine
  • Mass communication in Malaysia
  • Accounting and finance
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Art and Design

Courses and universities in Malaysia are plenty. While selecting a university to study in Malaysia students need to make sure whether the university falls into each bracket being talked about above. Also, it is essential to understand the popularity of a course before opting for it.

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