The recent rapid development of the country has made it an attractive destination for all sorts of people. This has led to the culture and people being incredibly diverse, with lots of different ethnic groups and religions. You will find bustling cities, beautiful beaches and never-ending rain-forests all located in Malaysia, and lots of wildlife too. Malaysia is one of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries, which means it is home to around 20% of the world’s animal species.
The system and structure of tertiary education is run by the country’s Ministry of Higher Education. Individuals who choose to study in Malaysia for higher education can take certificate, diploma, undergraduate or postgraduate courses. There are 6 Malaysian universities in the 2019 QS World University ranking top 500. The highest ranked of these is Universiti Malaya (UM) which comes in at 87th place. Universities in Malaysia can offer high quality education alongside a unique experience.
Malaysia has two mainland areas (West Malaysia and East Malaysia) separated by the South China Sea. The climate is tropical, and you can expect warm weather throughout the year. The generous monsoon seasons keep the country green and the plants healthy. Malaysia shares a land border with Thailand to the north, and Singapore to the south, but is otherwise surrounded by the sea.
There is evidence of modern human habitation in Malaysia that goes back 40,000 years. Over this time, the country has been under the rule of different countries, which adds to its cultural diversity. Since becoming independent in 1957, Malaysia has had one of the best economic growths in Asia. The economy is fuelled not only by the country’s natural resources, but also by tourism, science and medical tourism. The UN Development Program have commended the Malaysian healthcare system, which is heavily invested in by the government. Malaysia’s emerging economy and rapid development makes it ideal for international students who want to get an education in an interesting and upcoming country.
The long and colourful history of Malaysia is reflected in its government, which is based on the British parliamentary system. The country also has a constitutional monarchy, with the head of state elected every five years. The country’s diversity is also evident in the variety of religions being practised. Although Islam is the official religion of Malaysia, freedom of religion or worship is given, so there are alternative religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism, with many other minority religions.
Malaysia uses the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) as its currency.
Tuition fees will vary at each institution, but will be lower at one of the many public universities. On average, an international student can expect to pay around MYR 7,000 per year for a bachelor’s degree. Masters degrees will cost an international student around MYR 11,000 per year. Private and foreign institutions may have higher tuition fees, particularly for specialist subjects such as medicine.
There are scholarships available for people undertaking postgraduate studies, which would help with funding. Your institution will be able to provide you with information about this.
The cost of living in Malaysia is low in comparison to other tourist destinations like America and the UK. It is recommended that you budget for between MYR 10,000 and MYR 15,000 per year. This includes food, travel and accommodation. If you are living in a bigger city such as Kuala Lumpur, your living costs will be higher than if you are living in a smaller city or town. You will also need to make sure you have health insurance for your time in Malaysia, your institution can give you advice on the best policies for students.
International students are not permitted to work during term-time, but you will need to prove you have sufficient funds to be able to enter Malaysia. This means that ensuring you have the required funding in place in plenty of time.
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