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Education System in Malaysia

Education in Malaysia is closely monitored and observed by the Ministry of Education. The education system in Malaysia incorporates education starting from pre-school to university. From pre-school to secondary school, the government of Malaysia provides free education, which sums to a total of 11 years. These 11 years are of mandatory education for all, after which students can decide their own academic career. Whether they wish to continue studies and in which field of interest. Ministry of Education is responsible to regulate the education from pre-school to secondary levels. Whereas, Ministry of Higher Education is responsible to monitor the higher education, which is ranges from degrees to doctorates.

The higher education in Malaysia is grouped into two: Public Institutions and Private Institutions. Malaysia has a number of public and private universities that offer quality education. Out of the few private universities, there’re some foreign institutions which mainly offers the same programs as the parent university from the originating country. Some of the foreign institutions that have branch campuses in Malaysia are Monash University, University of Nottingham, Curtin University of Technology, Xiamen University and University of Southhampton. These universities have the same courses to offer, but at really affordable prices in Malaysia in comparison to their parent branches. 

Tie up with the international university has been the trend in the recent past. Most of the developing countries institutions has been seen recently to have an affiliation with the developed countries institutions, to offer quality education. In such affiliations, local universities tie-up with the foreign universities and allow students to attain their education from two universities. The students are first expected to complete a part of their education in local university, and then move to the foreign country where the university is based to complete their education and at the same time gain some international exposure as well. Such programs are referred to as the twinning programs, have been really popular among the students in Malaysia.

With the quality of education in private universities more as compared to the public universities, there are no surprises that the students have private universities as their preferred choice. The reason being, private universities are well funded and have great infrastructures and facilities available for the students. With well-equipped labs and technologically advanced Research and Development facilities, students prefer private institutions over public institutions.

Malaysia is moving towards innovation and knowledge-based nation. Thus providing state of the art technology and facilities becomes one of the key factors. For the students as well, it becomes an important issue to consider all these factors while choosing a university for their higher education and ultimately to ensure their success once they move out of university into the corporate world.

The grading system in Malaysia varies from institutions to institutions. While higher education transcripts use a 4 point grading system with a cumulative grade point average, CGPA, secondary education might use percentage grades. The 4 point grading system is similar to the one that is used in the institutions in the United States of America. A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is a minimum requirement for the students so as to achieve their degree status. In case of honours degree, students might need to have the higher average than 2.0.

Students having difficulty in selecting the University of Malaysia to complete their higher education can make use of D-SETARA. D-SETARA stands for ‘Discipline-Based Rating System, measuring the quality of teaching and learning in academic disciplines. There are three generic domains being used to rate the universities.

  1. Input – Talent, Resources and Governance
  2. Process – Curriculum
  3. Output – Quality of graduates and graduate satisfaction

D-SETARA uses these domains to rate the universities and ultimately classifies them into of the six tiers, with tier 1 being ‘Weak’ and tier 6 being the ‘Outstanding’. With education becoming more globalized and competitive with each passing day, Universities in Malaysia uses English as a language to teach. Thus ensuring there is no language barrier for the students who wish and are willing to travel Malaysia for their education.

Students while selecting the University for their Education are advisable to look at the rankings of the universities. Malaysia has many reputable and well-recognized universities. Among all, University of Malaya is ranked at 351, in the world university ranking. Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman is ranked at 501. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia is ranked at 601. Universiti Tenaga Nasional is ranked at 801.

To study at all these universities students are expected to clear IELTS, which is language test to access English. Most universities also accept TOEFL, as a language test and GRE scores for the process of admission. The academic qualification and examinations that are conducted in Malaysia are UPSR, PMR, SPM, STPM. Most of the universities accept and enrol students from all over the world, at the start of the year in February and later in July.

With the number of courses available for students, higher education in Malaysia is well structured and organized. The government has shown a keen interest in the overall development of the students over the years. Providing high-quality education has been the moto for Malaysia, and as a result, it has become of one the most favoured destination for higher education among the students all over the world. Factors like low peace, technologically developed and high employment rate in the country, has attracted students from all over the globe. Students enrolled in a Malaysian not only grow in their professional careers but learning about so many different cultures and traditions also helps them to grow personally, which helps them to take giant strides in their lives. Low tuitions fees, high-quality education, cultural diversity, amazing infrastructural facilities and amenities, living in harmony and so many other fascinating things that the country offers to its international students. Malaysia is truly a place to learn and grow.

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