Studying a Masters program on low or cheapest tuition in Malaysia will afford you the opportunity to benefit immensely from one of the world’s fastest growing economies and higher education systems. If you did not know, Malaysia is one of several Southeast Asian countries taking a prominent place on the world stage in our early twenty-first century.
Thus it goes without saying, Malaysia is a super attractive postgraduate destination for local and international students, with several programmes offered in English at a wide several institutions. If you’d like to know more about postgraduate study in Malaysia, this page will cover all you need to know and more.
Malaysia’s rapidly developing tertiary education system has public and private domestic universities in it, as well as a number of international branches set up in collaboration with foreign institutions. All these offer postgraduate programmes, but most Malaysian Masters degrees are awarded by public institutions.
Public universities majorly receive funding and investment from the government, but are autonomous tertiary education providers with the autonomy to administer their own teaching and research programs. It is these public universities that have been greatly successful in regional and international rankings.
- Private universities are a more recent phenomenon in Malaysian higher education, having been established following an act passed sometime in 1996. These ones are established and funded by independent or charitable organisations, but the overall quality of their programmes is still monitored by branches of the Malaysian government.
The increasing number of international branch campuses in Malaysia is evidence of the country’s interest in collaborating with overseas research institutes, attracting international students and contributing to a global research agenda. The Masters programmes they offer may be accredited by the Malaysian host institution or the overseas partner, depending on the specific arrangement for each individual campus. Find out more about studying a Masters degree at an international branch campus.
Malaysian university rankings
Malaysian universities perform well across the three major global rankings tables, with a clutch of institutions appearing in the top 300 of the QS World University Rankings. Given the relatively small size of Malaysia’s higher education sector, its performance on the world stage is particularly impressive.
Fees and funding for Masters degrees in Malaysia
Note that the tuition fees for Malaysian Masters programmes are generally cheap and low cost in comparison to other destinations for postgraduate study. A range of funding packages are also available for Masters courses in Malaysia, with the Malaysian government particularly keen to increase research outputs and international prestige through investment in its universities.
The exact costs will vary between universities and subject areas. As a general guide, international students will pay an average of MYR 27,000 (USD $6,470) at a Malaysian university. MBA programmes are generally more expensive.
Fees at the international campuses in Malaysia will be higher than local ones. For example, an MBA would cost around MYR 75,000 (USD $19,200) per year.
Funding for Masters programmes in Malaysia comes in different forms. Universities actively offer fellowships and scholarships from their own funds and endowments in order to support local and international postgraduate students. These funds will cover full fees and maintenance, but are awarded on the basis of solid merit and is quite competitive but not impossible to win.
In some cases you could take up an assistantship within your department, while being paid in return for taking up teaching and administrative duties.
These opportunities might likely be offered to PhD students, but may be available to sufficiently advanced Masters students in some cases.
The Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education also offers two generous scholarship programmes for foreign students wishing to enroll at a Malaysian university:
- Malaysian International Scholarship (MIS), aimed at talented international postgraduates in certain subject areas – find out more about the MIS programme
- Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP), awarded to
- nationals from the Commonwealth countries – find out more about CSFP
Applying for a Masters in Malaysia
Please note that Malaysia does not operate a central admissions service structure. Instead you are encouraged to apply for a Masters degree in Malaysia by reaching out to the universities directly. Individual universities typically have varying admissions requirements for postgraduate degree programs, but all will ask that you hold an undergraduate Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject area. If you do not hold a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, it is possible you can still be admitted if you demonstrate a good deal of professional experience.
In most cases, other entry criteria for Malaysian Masters programmes will be determined by individual universities. Majority will want to see some evidence of your enthusiasm and aptitude for postgraduate program. This process would involve putting together a personal statement, covering your existing academic experience and research interests as well as providing up to date information on any relevant professional work experience you’ve acquired. In some cases, they may ask you to support this statement with academic transcripts and references.
Do make sure you have your existing degrees recognized and accredited by your prospective university in Malaysia. This will usually be a quick and simple process for undergraduate qualifications awarded by well-known higher education systems.
If you are not aware, the official language of Malaysia is Malay, but a sensational move to increase the recruitment of international students has seen a large influx of English taught Masters programmes introduced at Malaysian universities.So If English is not your first language, you will be required to take a test of academic English. Common standardized international language tests such as the TOEFL and the IELTS are usually accepted by Malaysian institutions. Minimum required scores are usually in the range of 550-700 for the TOEFL and 5-7 for the IELTS. Individual Malaysian universities will also be able to provide specific information about the language requirements and other criteria for their postgraduate programmes.