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Study Options at Malaysia

Universities and Colleges in Malaysia offers a number of courses that vary from certificate courses to doctorate degrees. The higher education institutions in Malaysia can be divided into public and private universities that offer excellent educational programs. Private universities operate under the Private Higher Education Institutions Act 1996. Private universities offer their diplomas, foundation courses and degree qualifications. Foreign universities also come under the private institutions that offer different diplomas, foundation courses and degrees. Public universities are government funded which comes under the direct supervision of Ministry of Higher Education. Such universities are grouped into three major categories: Focused universities, comprehensive universities and research universities. These public universities offer bachelors and postgraduate degrees. They also offer the diploma and foundation courses. Community and Polytechnic institutions offer diploma and certificate level programs.

The certificate courses are for the students who are not sure where their field of interest lies. Students who fail to achieve good academic standings takes the shortest route and are the one to enrol in such courses. The program completion time for these type of courses is 1 – 1.5 years.

A lot of pre-university courses and foundation courses are offered by different universities and colleges. Such kind of programs are the stepping stones in student’s careers which help them to find their field of interest and prepare them to excel in their careers. The pre-university programs are mostly held overseas. Few of the popular programs include the American degree program, Canadian pre-university program, and the Australian matriculation program. The program completion time for these type of courses is 1 – 1.5 years.

Diploma courses are more like a degree course with less number of modules, time, efforts and money. These courses serve the students when they know their field of interest and want to focus in a particular direction. Most of the diploma courses can be upgraded into degree courses by simply taking additional courses. The program completion time for these type of courses is 1 – 1.5 years.

A degree course which is also called as the undergraduate or the bachelor’s degree is often pursued by the students who want to achieve a minimum qualification in their academic careers. Students can choose from the broad generalist degrees like science, arts and commerce. If students wish to pursue a specialized degree they can choose from the variety of courses being offered in the field of Engineering, IT, Medicine and Pharmacy.

Students can also enrol in two degrees at the same time in two different disciplines. The double degree usually takes a year longer to complete. However, the electives from one discipline are counted towards the other. The double degree usually increases your job prospects and weighs heavily on your resume. If you are a motivated student, honours degree helps you to explore more in your area of interest. To complete an honours degree, you need to spend an extra year after the end of your undergraduate degree. Students apply for the honour degree usually in the third year of their studies. A degree program usually takes 3 - 4 years to complete in Malaysia.

Students who are focused and have the curiosity to learn more in their respective area of studies opts for the master’s program after completing their undergraduate coursework. Most of the master’s program requires a detailed research to be conducted by the students. This requires the students to write a dissertation or the thesis on their chosen topic. If a thesis is not expected from the student, they are supposed to take extra courses, which means attending more classes. The master’s program normally takes 1 – 3 years of completion time, and are expected to maintain a good academic standing.

Universities in Malaysia also offers various doctorate degrees in across different disciplines. It is a professional degree that allows individual to gain expertise on one topic of their interest. This degree allows an individual to continue their careers either as academic professional or conduct research work in their corporate jobs. Individual who opted for a doctorate degree is expected to conduct a research of his own and submit a thesis on the chosen topic. The thesis might or might not be published in an academic or renowned journal based on the quality of work and its credibility. The doctorate degrees are extremely competitive and usually takes 4 – 5 years based on the performance of individuals and are expected to maintain a good academic standing throughout.

Different universities in Malaysia also offers languages courses. Such kind of universities or colleges comes under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Higher Education. Such institutions can offer courses for languages, computer literacy training or other courses based on different skill set. The skill training courses provide training based on practical knowledge and hands-on experience for the students. The span over which these courses are offered is short, usually 6 months. The students are offered the passes which are for 6 months at a time, which can again be renewed for 3 months.

The number of private universities in Malaysia also offers a twinning degree (2+1). This allows students to complete a part of their academics in Malaysia and the remaining part of the academic coursework, in the universities partnering institution. Such an option has been very popular among students as it helps them secure a degree from well-accredited institutions and gain exposure worldwide. The number of institutions from the US, UK, Australia and Germany are involved in such affiliated ties with different Malaysian universities.

Academic intake for these courses varies from universities to universities. Students are mostly enrolled starting in February of each year and then in July. Also, most of the universities in Malaysia allows students to work part-time when they are enrolled in a university. This helps students to earn a little income to compensate for his/her expenses, and at the same time gain some hands-on experience and practical knowledge

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