Cheapest Universities in Malaysia, Tuition Fees, & Visa Requirements 2023

Sprawling the south china sea and home to a lot of cultural heritage, amazing geography, and a futuristic capital city, Malaysia is a truly unique country. Malaysia is also home to some of the cheapest, most affordable, low tuition fees universities in the world.

So, grab your Malaysian student visa and get ready to study in Malaysia.

Choosing to Study in Malaysia, you will not only discover all shades there is to beauty, but there are lots of eye-catching senses that can keep one busy.

Table of contents

About Malaysia

This beautiful country covering a total landmass of about 329,750 sq km houses about 25 million people. These comprise Malays, Indians, Chinese, and the indigenous people living together peacefully.

The currency used in Malaysia is called the Malaysian ringgit (MYR). 

This beautiful country is full of colorful markets, mosques, Hindu shrines, and Buddhist temples often found side by side. There is also an abundance of annual festivals celebrating both traditional and modern aspects of Malaysian culture in Malaysia.

One-half of the country, located on the southern tip of the peninsula below Thailand, is known as Peninsular Malaysia.

In Peninsular Malaysia, you will find most of the highest-ranking universities in Malaysia. This area comprises the most vibrant and diverse urban cities.

Malaysia is also one of the world’s stable countries in terms of political stability, she is second to Singapore when it comes to regional economics. However, Malaysia offers a better organic lifestyle than its city-state rival.

So, considering studying in this amazing country, you need all the information you can get. Therefore, this post will cover some mind-blowing subjects that will be beneficial to you looking for the cheapest universities to study in Malaysia.

Things to know before studying in Malaysia

Almost everyone wishes to study abroad someday in places where they don’t just get value for their money but have the best study experience ever. However, their decisions are always clouded because of study locations like Canada, the USA, CHINA, CYPRUS, GERMANY, ITALY, the UK, etc., which have been there for years.

These Asian countries marked with great infrastructural development, supported by their respective government, have put themselves on the world map by gaining entrance into the  QS best universities in the world ranking.

This has dragged our attention to these countries, because it is difficult to get into these rankings without visible infrastructural and intellectual advancement.

We think the only thing holding these countries back, especially Malaysia is that students are not yet acquainted with the country. Students will normally want to know about a country before going there to study.

Thus, this is the reason for this post. To expose the uniqueness of Malaysia and its readiness to give you an affordable world-class university study experience.

When we say things you need to know before studying in Malaysia, we refer to a range of things that can make your study in Malaysia worthwhile.

So, I may be referring to the culture of the people, popular courses offered by the top universities in the country, amazing sites to visit when you are in the country, and work opportunities available.


When you want to study abroad, one of the things you should consider is your accommodation. Usually, two types of accommodations are available to international students: On-campus accommodation and Off-campus accommodation.

Mostly, on-campus accommodation is ideal for international students because of the living units. For example, the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia has a well-equipped on-campus accommodation outfitted with telephone ports. Students on-campus also have access to the university’s IT facilities and internet connection.

However, the only issue with on-campus accommodation is that there are limited seats available. So, if you are going to study in Malaysia, you either apply early or go for off-campus accommodation.

Some facilities you can always find  in on-campus accommodation include:

  • Cafeterias
  • Multipurpose hall
  • Tennis courts
  • Store and common room

Like we said earlier, getting into this on-campus accommodation can be difficult, but you need not worry because you can go for many private off-campus residences.

But do well to consider the following when going for an off-campus accommodation – Price, Facilities offered, Proximity to the campus so as to cost of transportation.

Health Insurance

This is one of the most important things you need to know before planning to study in Malaysia. Just like in another study abroad destinations, you need to have health insurance throughout your study in Malaysia. The treatments that need to be covered by this policy include:

  • Personal  Accident & Death;
  • In-patient  Services;
  • Repatriation; and
  • Out-patient Services.

The yearly range for a minimum premium is RM300.00 (source: Universiti Teknologi Malaysia). We advise students to buy insurance policies only from those the school specifies.

Compared to other studies abroad locations like AUSTRALIA, USA or UK, medical insurance in Malaysia is not that costly. Thus, with medical insurance, you don’t have to worry about an emergency.

Work Opportunities

The third thing you will need to know before you study in Malaysia is the work opportunities available as a student there. Work-study in Malaysia is gradually gaining ground for international students in the country. These days, international students take part-time jobs to help them fund their stay in the country.

Though in Malaysia, tuition fees and cost are relatively modest to home country students, they may seem high, so the international student needs something to help meet the expenses incurred.

The student can work during the study in Malaysia for a maximum of 20 hours per week during:

  • Semester breaks
  • Festive holidays
  • More than seven days of holiday

Thus, some popular workplaces include restaurants, petrol kiosks, mini markets, and hotels.

However, international students are barred from working as cashiers, singers, musicians, guest relations officers, and masseurs. Additionally, students shouldn’t involve themselves in any activity deemed illegal.

Scholarship Opportunities Available to Students

Aside from the part-time jobs available to students, you can also avail yourself of the scholarship opportunities available for students of all levels of study in Malaysia.

The cost of studying in places like the UK and the USA is about $30,000, whereas in Malaysia, it is around $9000. But then, some prominent scholarships one can apply for are the Malaysian International Scholarship (MIS) initiated by the Malaysian Government and the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP).

Some of the benefits of the MIS scholarship include:

  • Approved tuition fees
  • Medical/Health insurance
  • Annual grant for books and internal travel
  • Monthly maintenance allowance
  • Airfare for travel to Malaysia

In addition to government scholarships, individual universities also extend scholarships to attract brilliant minds worldwide. The University of Malaya, for example, offers Graduate Research Assistantship Scheme.

List of Cheapest Universities in Malaysia and Their Tuition Fees

Most international students who have applied for degree programs in some of the renowned Universities in Malaysia believe that the tuition fees are very low and affordable. Apart from that, they have an extensive range of academic programs to choose from while offering a superior quality education system.

In this section, we will finally list some of the cheapest universities in Malaysia and their tuition fees so you can choose. Know also that because these universities are affordable does not mean their standard and quality of education is reduced.

  • Tun Hussein Onn University of Malaysia
  • Universiti Utara Malaysia
  • University of Malaysia, Kelantan:
  • National Defense University of Malaysia
  • Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia
  • University of Malaya
  • University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka
  • Universiti Malaysia Pahang
  • University of Science, Malaysia
  • Sultan Idris Education University
  • Universiti Malaysia Perlis
  • Universiti Malaysia Sabah
  • International Islamic University, Malaysia
  • Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

#1. Tun Hussein Onn University of Malaysia

Annual Tuition Fees: 7,350 MYR.

The Tun Hussien Onn University of Malaysia (UTHM) is a public university incorporated in September 1993.

One of the primary objectives of this University is to impart training to the staff in obtaining adequate knowledge and skills in the engineering field. UTHM is one of the cheapest universities in Malaysia.

The Centre for Graduate Studies(CGS) monitors the implementation of postgraduate academic programs at UTHM.

It aims to offer postgraduate programs to achieve a high-income nation and nurture world-class scholars through quality teaching and research.

Also, according to TOPUNIVERSITIES.COM, The rankings for The Tun Hussien Onn University of Malaysia are:

  • QS WUR By Subject Ranking: #301-350
  • Asian University Rankings: #301-350

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#2. Universiti Utara Malaysia

Annual Tuition Fees: 8,880 MYR.

Universiti Utara Malaysia is one of the cheapest universities in Malaysia. It is a public university popularly known as the ‘Management University’.

The affordable Malaysia university began operation in April 1998. It is the sixth Malaysian public university.

Also, it is the only university set up to specialize solely in management education from the very beginning of its establishment.

In 2008, the Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)’s academic system was restructured to increase students and bring UUM to the forefront in the international academic arena.

The resulting 13 faculties from the UMM restructuring are divided into 3 main Academic Colleges. The UUM College of Business (UUM COB), UUM College of Arts (UUM CAS), and the UUM College of Law, Government, and International Studies (UUM COLGIS).

Through these academic colleges, Universiti Utara Malaysia offers a variety of Bachelor’s and Master’s programs.

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#3. University of Malaysia, Kelantan

Annual Tuition Fees: RM 3,255 – 3,767

University of Malaysia, Kelantan, is another affordable university in Malaysia. This cheap Malaysian university is a public university which is located in Kelantan. The establishment of this university was raised during a cabinet meeting held in Malaysia in June 2006.

University Malaysia Kelantan has 4 faculties that offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Agro-Industry & Natural Resources, Entrepreneurship & Business, Heritage & Creative Technology, and Veterinary Medicine. The university has two centers and an institute besides the four faculties.

The university is developing at a rapid pace to internationalize its academic program.

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#4. National Defense University of Malaysia

Annual Tuition Fees: RM3,000.

The National Defense University of Malaysia (UPNM) is the first university established to meet the needs and requirements of the Malaysian Armed Forces. It is estimated that about 20,700 undergraduate students have enrolled in the University.

The institution was also branded as the sole organization responsible for upgrading the knowledge and academic status of the armed forces by offering bachelor’s degree courses in the fields of engineering, sciences, and management while not neglecting the basic requirements of military training. In addition, this Malaysian defense university offers affordable education to students.

The bachelor’s degree courses were accredited and awarded by the University of Teknologi Malaysia in the beginning. Lecturers come from within the armed forces, some hired by the academy, and the rest deputized by UTM where all were fully committed to changing the face of the Malaysian armed forces. However, UPNM now offers Masters’s and Ph.D. programs.

Furthermore, the National Defense University of Malaysia has the following rankings:

  • World Ranking: #8555
  • Country Ranking: #43

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#5. University of Malaya

Tuition Fees: RM 40,883.69 – 89,996.85

The University of Malaya is one of the oldest and most acclaimed Public Research Universities in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is also one of the cheapest universities in Malaysia. The University of Malaya derives its name from the term ‘Malaya’ as the country was then known.

The growth of the University was very rapid during the first decade of its establishment. This resulted in the setting up two autonomous Divisions on 15 January 1959, one located in Singapore and the other in Kuala Lumpur.

Furthermore, the University of Malaya has enjoyed a good World University Ranking score for four consecutive years. The University of Malaya World Ranking from 2015 to 2018 is as follows:

  • 2018: 60.8 (Score) #114 (Rank)
  • 2017: 57.1 (Score) #133 (Rank)
  • 2016: 62.1 (Score) #146 (Rank)
  • 2015: 61 (Score) #151 (Rank)

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#6. University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka

Annual Tuition Fees: RM 4,000.

University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka is a public university in Malaysia with seven hundred and sixty-six acres of lush green surroundings. The University is famed for its state-of-the-art facilities in all the major departments. The technical university is also one of the cheapest universities in Malaysia.

This affordable Malaysian university is one of the largest universities in Malaysia, with a total student enrollment of 10,930.

This technical Malaysian university has ten (10) faculties, including the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and The Institute of Technology Management and Entrepreneurship.

Furthermore, as of 31 May 2020, the Graduates’ General Employability rate for Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka is 86%.

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#7. Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia

Annual Tuition Fees: RM 5,866.

Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), which was previously known by the name ‘Kolej Universiti Islam Malaysia’, came into operation in 1998. It is one of the cheapest universities in Malaysia.

This affordable Malaysian university has nine (9) faculties, including the Faculty of Dentistry, Faculty of Syariah and law, and Faculty of Leadership and Management.

In addition to its undergraduate programs, this Islamic Malaysian university also offers graduate programs through its Centre for Graduate Studies (CGS).

You can easily get a Master of Da’wah and Islamic Leadership, a Master of Counseling (Family Counseling), and a Master of Counseling (Substance Abuse) at USIM.

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#8. Universiti Malaysia Pahang

Annual Tuition Fees: RM 3,665

Universiti Malaysia Pahang is a self-governed public technical university located at Pahang in Malaysia. They are primarily focused on engineering and technology. This university is also one of the cheapest universities in Malaysia.

This affordable Malaysian university has nine (9) faculties, including the Faculty of Computer Systems & Software Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, and Centre for Modern Language & Human Sciences.

UMP Pekan Campus has a student center, Hostel and cafeteria, Lakes for water activities, and Free wifi. On this same campus, you have UMP’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Faculty of Manufacturing Engineering.

In the way of Rankings, QS World Ranking ranks Universiti Malaysia Pahang:

  • #251 – 300 (2013 to 2015): QS Asian University Rankings.

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#9. Universiti Sains Malaysia

Annual Tuition Fees: RM 11,512.87  18,839.25.

Universiti Sains Malaysia is an autonomous university that was established in June 1969. About twenty-eight thousand three hundred (8,300) post-graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in this University in 2009. It is one of the cheapest universities in Malaysia, with low tuition rates.

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) has three campuses, the main campus on the island of Penang, a health campus in Kelantan, and the engineering campus in Nibong Tebal. USM also collaborates overseas with KLE University, India which offers the Doctor of Medicine (USM) undergraduate degree.

Additionally, USM’s academic is conducted via the Technology-Based Schools, Liberal Art Schools, Science Schools, and Health Science Schools. Through these schools, USM offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in a variety of academic disciplines.

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#10. Sultan Idris Education University

Graduate Studies Annual Tuition Fees: RM3,643.20 – 6,420.

Sultan Idris Education University (UPSI) is a public University that began its operations in the year 1922.

UPSI has two campuses, Sultan Abdul Jalil Shah Campus (KSAJS) and Sultan Azlan Shah Campus (KSAH), which are unique in educational leadership based on historical splendor and leading global changes.

UPSI is committed to bringing educational changes by spreading knowledge through teaching and learning, research, publication, negotiation, and community service. These are done in the context of human capital development excellence in the country and at an international level.

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Advantages of Studying in Malaysia | Benefits of Studying in Malaysia

If you still haven’t found enough reasons to study in Malaysia, these benefits of studying in Malaysia are striking reasons why you should reconsider Malaysia.

  • The Universities in Malaysia are of a very high standard in terms of structures and academics.
  • The World ranking of Malaysian Universities is very high compared to other parts of Europe.
  • Ability to get foreign degree qualifications studying fully in Malaysia from countries like the US, UK, Australia, Canada, etc., at a much lower cost
  • International Students are highly welcome because of the friendly nature of Malaysians.
  • You can study in Malaysia and get a much lower cost for foreign degrees.
  • The infrastructure in Malaysia is one of the most developed in Asia, with state-of-the-art infrastructure and world-class university campuses.
  • Malaysia is one of the world’s safest and most stable countries, with a relatively low crime rate. The country is free from most natural disasters, which makes it very comfortable for International Students

Comparatively low expenditure on studying and living in Malaysia

The expenditure on studying and living in Malaysia is comparatively low for countries like Australia, the US, the UK, France, Canada, etc., as the conversion of Malaysian currency is advantageous. A quick look at the comparison chart shows the expenditure involved in different countries:

Country Tuition Fees (annually)Living Costs
Total Education Cost
(per annum)
MalaysiaUSD 5,000USD 4,000USD 9,000
AustraliaUSD 15,000USD 10,500USD 25,500
USAUSD 18,000USD 13,000USD 31,000
United KingdomUSD 15,000USD 12,000USD 27,000
CanadaUSD 13,000USD 8,500USD 21,500

The Comparison Table of Studying and Living Cost in Malaysia is for a typical Business Degree Student.

Universities in Malaysia 

As stated earlier, you can gain a degree from world-class universities by choosing Malaysia as your study abroad location.

Malaysia has many international university branch campuses like the UK’s University of Nottingham and Australia’s Monash University. Having these branch campuses in the country is a plan to improve and expand the country’s range of higher education options.

The leading universities that will run this project were carefully selected, including the UK’s University of Reading, the University of Southampton, and Newcastle University Medicine.

The Netherlands’ Maritime Institute of Technology, Singapore’s private Raffles University, and the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts from the US are also included.

Though the overseas universities in Malaysia are growing, their homegrown universities are not neglected. In 2020 The Malaysian higher education system was ranked 27th according to the  QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings. This is an indication that they are doing good.

Some of the high-ranking Malaysian universities include:

  • Universiti Malaya (UM) 
  • University Putra Malaya (UPM)
  • Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
  • Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)
  • The University of Science, Malaysia (USM)

Cost of Studying and Living in Malaysia

One of the many reasons international students choose Malaysia is its cost-effective, high-quality tertiary education.

As an example, you can acquire a UK engineering degree (3 years) in Malaysia through a 3+0 foreign university franchised degree program at an estimated RM68,000 (US$17,000). In contrast, the tuition fee of the same 3-year degree program at the host university in the UK is about £36,000 (or RM217,000 or US$54,250).

As such, a student can save up to RM149,000 (US$37,250) in tuition fees if he or she chooses to study in Malaysia (see Table above). If you consider the cost of living, students who complete their entire 3+0 degree in Malaysia can save up to an estimated RM216,000 (US$54,000).

The major components of education cost are:

  • Course fees which include tuition fees and other study fees payable to the institution, depending on what you are studying and the duration of your course/study program; and
  • Living expenses will depend on where you are staying, your type of accommodation, and your lifestyle.

Education Costs in Malaysia

Your course fees in Malaysia will include your tuition and other related study expenses. Below are the types of fees that you may incur during your course of study in Malaysia:

Academic Fees:

  • Registration fee
  • Tuition fee
  • Deposit
  • Computer/Science laboratory fee
  • Health & hospitalization insurance premium
  • Library fee
  • Other incidental costs, such as examination fees

Non-academic Fees:

  • Student visa fees
  • Medical check-up
  • Health and hospitalization insurance premium

In the next sections, we will show you the breakdown of estimated tuition fees at various levels of study at private higher educational institutions (PHEIs) in Malaysia.

A. Pre-University Programs

Suppose you have completed IGSCE or O-level and are looking for pre-university studies to prepare for a bachelor’s degree program or professional courses. In that case, Malaysia offers a wide variety of pre-university programs. Here are some types of pre-university programs, the duration of the study, and the estimated tuition fee.

Types of Pre-UniversityDuration of StudyNo. of Subjects Studied/(Typical  Exam Result
Announcement Date)
Estimated Tuition Fee per Course (RM)
Cambridge GCE A-Levels, UK15-18 months3 – 4 subjects /
for 3 subjects
SACE, Australia
(formerly SAM)
11 months5 subjects /
AUSMAT, Australia10 months5-6 subjects /
CIMP, Canada12 months6 subjects /
usually 1 month after the exam)
RM27,000–30,000 (US$6,750-7,500)    
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)24 months6 subjects /
RM115, 000
Monash University Foundation Year (MUFY)12 months4/5 subjects /
usually within 2 months after exam)
(US$ 6,250)
New South Wales High School Certificate (NSW HSC)12 months5 subjects
(usually within 2 months after exam)
RM13,000 – 21,000
University’s Internal Programme (private)10 – 12 months5-6 subjects /


  • StudyMalaysia Research Team;
  • Education Guide Malaysia (14th edition)
  • Brochures & website of various colleges

(Estimated currency exchange rate: US$1=RM4.00; £1=RM5.50)
(Note: All figures are estimates and serve only as a guideline)

B. Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Malaysia offers you many study pathways to complete an entire 3-year bachelor’s degree program at a competitive cost if you have pre-university qualifications such as GCE A-Levels, SAM or other equivalent pre-university qualifications. The estimated tuition fees for various study modes (‘3+0’, twinning, ADP, home-grown, foreign university, etc.) that lead to a bachelor’s degree qualification are:

3+0 Degree Program, Taking an Engineering Degree as Example:

Item3+0 Engineering
Degree in Malaysia
(Estimated cost)
Host University in the UK
(Estimated cost)
Tuition fees (for international
RM68,000 per course for a
duration of 3 years
£12,000 per academic year
or £36,000 for 3 years (full-time)
Basic living expensesRM54,000 for 3 years£670 per month or
estimated £18,000 for 3
academic years (3 x 9 months)
Other costsRM15,000£5,000
Total tuition fees and living expenses for 3 yearsApprox. RM140,000
Approx. £59,000
Estimated savings for 3+0 degree programRM184,000 (US$46,000) 

Source: HELP College of Arts & Technology; StudyMalaysia Research Team

Estimated Tuition Fees per Course for a home-grown Bachelor’s Degree at Malaysian Private Universities:

Areas of
Tuition Fee
RM29,000–54,000   (Average cost: RM40,000 or US$10,000)RM30,000–75,000   (Average cost: RM60,000 or US$15,000)RM30,000–55,000   (Average cost: RM45,000 or US$11,250)
of Study
3 years4 years3 years
Areas of
Hospitality &
Tuition Fee
RM30,000–65,000   (Average cost: RM45,000 or US$7,500-16,250)RM255,000–450,000
(Average cost: RM320,000 or US$80,000)
(Average cost: RM120,000 or US$30,000)
of Study
3 years5 years4 years

Source: StudyMalaysia Research Team; Brochures of some institutions

Estimated Tuition Fees for an American Degree Transfer Program:

ProgramDurationTuition Fee: Studying in Malaysia+US
American Degree
Transfer Program
2 (in Malaysia)+2 (in US) yearsRM26,000-45,000 (US$6,500-11,250) for 2 years in Malaysia and US$13,000-40,000 per year in the US

Source: StudyMalaysia Research Team and Study in Malaysia Handbook 8th International Edition)

Estimated Tuition Fees for a 2+1 UK Degree Transfer Programme (Law):

Degree Transfer
Duration of
Estimated Tuition Fee: Malaysia + Overseas
UK Degree Transfer Programme (Law)2 (in Malaysia)+1 (in UK) yearsTuition Fee: RM60,000 (or US$15,000) for 2 years in Malaysia + £10,000 – £14,000  per year in the UK, depending on the choice of university and course. Living expenses: RM1,800 (or US$450) per month in Malaysia; £800 per month in the UK

Source: HELP University;  StudyMalaysia Research Team 
(Estimated currency exchange rate: US$1=RM4.00; £1=RM5.50)
(Note: All figures are estimates and serve only as a guideline)

Comparison of Tuition Fee for a Foreign University Branch Campus Bachelor of Engineering (4 years study duration in Malaysia and UK)

Duration of StudyTuition fee (Studying in Malaysia)Tuition fee (Studying in the UK)Total Tuition Fee (in Malaysia & UK)
(4 yrs in Malaysia + 0 yr in the UK)RM163,200 @40,800 per year£0 yearRM163,200 or US$40,800 for 4+0 years (Entire course in Malaysia)
(3 yrs in Malaysia + 1 yr in the UK)RM122,400 for 3 years£16,420 for 1 yearRM212,710 or US$53,178 for 3+1 years
(2 yrs in Malaysia + 2 yr in the UK)RM81,600 for 2 years£32,840 for 2 yearsRM262,220 or US$65,555 for 2+2 years
(1 yr in Malaysia + 3 yrs in the UK)RM40,800 for 1 year£49,260 for 3 yearsRM311,730 or US$77,933 for 1+3 years
(0 yr in Malaysia + 4 yrs in the UK)RM0 year£65,680 for 4 yearsRM361,240 or US$90,310 for 0+4 years (Entire course in the UK)

Source: Heriot-Watt University Malaysia
(Estimated currency exchange rate: US$1=RM4.00; £1=RM5.50)
(All figures are estimates and serve only as a guideline)

(Note: Heriot-Watt University allows students in Malaysia to transfer to the UK at any level (e.g. 1 year in Malaysia and 2 years in the UK or 2 years in Malaysia and 1 year in the UK). Students could also pursue their first year in Malaysia, the second year in Edinburgh – and the third year back in Malaysia.)

C. Postgraduate studies

Public universities and PHEIs in Malaysia offer international students postgraduate programs at very competitive tuition fees. The estimated tuition fees are as follows:

Estimated Course Fees for Master of Business Administration (MBA) Awarded by Malaysian Universities

ProvidersQualificationCourse Fee (RM)Duration
Private universitiesMaster of Business AdministrationRM25,000-36,000 per course (US$6,250-9,000)1 to 1.5 years full-time
Public universitiesMaster of Business AdministrationRM21,000-26,000 per course (US$5,250-6,500)1 to 1.5 years full-time

Source: StudyMalaysia Research Team; brochures of some institutions

Cost Comparison for a UK MBA in Malaysia and UK:

DescriptionEstimated Cost (Fees and Living Expenses) at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia CampusEstimated Cost (Fees and Living Expenses) at Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh, UK (for international students)
MBA full-time (1 year)Tuition fee: RM 55,800 (PT Only)
Living expenses: RM 36,000/year
TOTAL: RM91,800 or US$22,950
Tuition fee: £16,950 (Full Time)
Living expenses: £20,000 – £31,000/year
TOTAL: £36,950-47,950
Estimated Cost Savings when studying in MalaysiaTuition Fee Savings: RM37,425 or US$9,356
Living Expenses Savings: RM 101,500 or US$25,375
TOTAL SAVING:RM138,925 or US$34,731

Source: Heriot-Watt University Malaysia; StudyMalaysia Research Team
(Estimated currency exchange rate: US$1=RM4.00; £1=RM5.50) (Note: All figures are estimates and serve only as a guideline)

Cost of Living in Malaysia

Academic or Educational costs are not the only kinds of the cost you’ll incur while studying in a university program in Malaysia. You’ll also have to consider other costs that relate to your well-being in Malaysia, otherwise known as the Cost of Living.

A sum of academic costs and cost of living will give you the perfect total cost of studying in any country.

Breakdown of living costs in Malaysia

An average international student is expected to spend about RM1,800 (US$450) monthly on living expenses. The cost can be broken down as:


For your monthly accommodation, an estimate of about RM300 (US$75) to RM600 (US$150) should be budgeted. Geographical area, type of accommodation, in this case, could be on-campus or off-campus living in an apartment, condominium, single-story house, double-story house, etc the kind facilities available in the house (e.g. with or without air-conditioning) and of course,, the number of people sharing the room (or the apartment or house) all can affect the cost of your accommodation.

Food / Housekeeping:

When it comes to Your food and housekeeping cost, it is estimated to be around RM600-900 (US$150- 225). Assuming you spend  RM20-30 (US$5- 7.50) for three daily meals. On the other hand, if you cook and share the cooking cost with your friends, it would be cheaper. it is also possible to have a fast-food meal for below RM10 (US$2.50) in Malaysia.

For instance, a McValue meal at McDonald’s is RM5.95. Meal sets at KFC start at RM6.90, and pizza deals for group meals from Domino’s are also below RM10 per pax. More so, in Malaysia, Local food like rice and noodles at food stalls or coffee shops ranges from RM4-10 (US$1-2.50).

At mid-range restaurants, you can expect to pay RM20-40 for a meal (US$5-10). A coffee from Starbucks costs an average of RM12-16 (US$3-4).

Clothing and laundry

In Malaysia, Your clothing expenses for things like washing, ironing, dry-cleaning, etc. may cost something around RM60 (US$15) per month.

Public Transport

In this part, students who stay on campus or near campus may not incur any cost of traveling to and from classes. However, other traveling may cost approximately RM80-150 (US$20-37.5) per month.

Telecommunication / Mobile Phone Bills and Utilities

The mobile phone packages in Malaysia are very competitive. How much you spend will depend on your usage and the promotional package you choose. The average student may spend about RM30-50 (US$7.50-12.50) per month.

Books, Reading Materials and Stationery

The estimated cost of books and stationery should be around RM50-100 (US$12.50-25) per month, but it would largely depend on the course you have signed up for and the number and nature of projects in your course.

Medical / Hospitalisation Insurance

If you put aside RM50 (US$12.50) per month for medical expenses, it would be sufficient (including you in case you need outpatient treatment at a private clinic) during the year. You will have to pay this estimate for your medical and hospitalization insurance of about RM500 (US$125) per year.

Personal Expenses

Your monthly personal expenses largely depend on your personal lifestyle. However, the cost can be estimated to be between RM100 (US$25) and RM200 (US$50). This includes your socializing needs, toiletries, haircut, clothes, movies, etc

Using the estimate above, a student’s total cost of living will average at RM1,800 (US$450) per month or RM21,600 (US$5,400) per year.

It is important to remember that the above estimate is only a guide in planning your budget to study in Malaysia and geographical location and personal lifestyle should be factored in when planning your personal budget.

How to get a study visa to Malaysia and its Requirements | Malaysian student Pass

As an international student, one of the documents that will grant you access to your chosen country of study is your Study visaThus, in this article, we are going to discuss extensively how you gain your study visa to Malaysia from any country.

All international students need a Student Pass to study in Malaysia at all levels of education. Interestingly, the Student Pass acts as a student visa in Malaysia. So, when we discuss documents required for the Malaysian student visa, it basically means documents required for the Student Pass.

Obtaining a student pass is easy because once you are admitted, the university will directly apply for the pass.

You’ll need to submit a personal bond which you’ll be required to pay $69-$365 depending on your country of origin.

Note that once your acceptance and student pass are approved, you’ll need to apply separately for a single-entry student visa through the Malaysian embassy or High commission available in your home country.

For this, you’ll need to provide evidence of your offer of study and student pass, plus showing proof of financial stability to cover tuition fees, and living expenses. Depending on what your country of origin is, you might be asked to submit additional information.

You must apply for the pass at the Department of Immigration Malaysia.

Study Pass Application Categories

Depending on the course and type of school you are applying to, you have the following types of application categories:

  • Foreigner in Government Schools;
  • Foreigner in Private Schools;
  • Public higher education institutions foreigner;
  • Foreigner in private higher education institutions;
  • Foreigner in language centers;
  • Holder of Dependant Pass (Expatriate)
  • Foreigner in training centers under the Department of Skill Development;

While the list of documents required for the Malaysian Student Visa (Student Pass) more or less remains the same across all application categories, the process of applying for the pass may vary.

How to apply for different Student Pass Application categories

Here is the application procedure to get the Malaysia student pass for each of the categories listed above.

Foreigners in Government/Private Schools

  • You have to apply at the State Immigration Office via schools
  • Suppose you belong to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). In that case, your institution must send your application directly to the Student Pass Unit of the Department of Immigration Headquarters at Putrajaya (for all new applications). For extension of your Student Pass, you can approach the respective State Immigration Department.

Public higher education institutions Foreigner

  • Your university can apply directly at the State Immigration Office
  • Students from India, Bangladesh, or Pakistan must apply directly at the Department of Immigration Headquarters in Putrajaya. If you already have a Malaysian student visa but want to extend it, you can apply at the State Immigration Office.

Private higher education institutions/training centers Foreigner

  • Education Malaysia Global Service (EMGS) issues Student Pass for new applications. You need to apply via the universities/colleges/training centers.
  • For extensions of your Student Pass, you can apply at the State Immigration Office.

Foreigners in language centers

  • Application for a new Student Pass can be made at the Department of Immigration Headquarters in Putrajaya via languages centers.
  • For extensions, you must approach the State Immigration Office.

 Holder of Dependant Pass (Expatriate)

  • You can apply at an Expatriate Service Division, Immigration Headquarters in Putrajaya, or at a relevant State Immigration Office.
  • Your passport will bear the stamp of endorsement to study in Malaysia.
  • Holders of Dependant Pass below 18 years are exempted from having to apply for the student’s Pass.
  • Spouses of Dependent Pass holders are allowed to pursue study in Malaysia, but first, they must convert their Dependent Pass to Student Pass.

Documents required for a Malaysian student visa (Student Pass)

To process your Malaysian Student Visa, you need the following documents.

A valid Passport

If you are applying online through Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS), you must upload scanned passport pages containing your bio-data in PDF format.

When uploading this document required for a Malaysian student visa (Student Pass), make sure that the image is clear, and all details are visible.

Academic Transcripts and Certificates

Academic Transcripts and Certificates are to be scanned and uploaded as ONE single PDF file.

Offer Letter

To be eligible for the Malaysian student visa, you must be offered a place at a school/higher education institution/language center/ training center in Malaysia. Consequently, the offer letter is among the most important documents required for a Malaysian Student Visa. When applying online, make sure that the PDF file is not larger than 550KB, which is the maximum size allowed.

Pre-arrival Medical Report

Before entering Malaysia, you are required to attend a mandatory Pre-arrival Medical checkup at a registered medical clinic. If however, you have attended a non-registered clinic, you must upload the report of the Medical Examiner’s Report as part of the list of documents required for a Malaysian student visa.

Support letter 

Issued by the Ministry of Education / Department of Skill Development.

Form Immigration 14

You need two sets of Immigration Form 14.


Two sets of colored photos (3.5 cm x 3.5 cm);

Personal Bond form 

The personal Bond form should be stamped

Additionally, students who wish to transfer university/college have to obtain a release letter from their previous university/college, an attendance report, an academic performance report, and a support letter from the Ministry of Education.

Benefits of Student Pass

Here are the benefits of the Student Pass for the various kinds of Malaysia student visas.

Dependant Pass

The Student Pass allows Masters and Ph.D. students to bring their dependents to Malaysia during the course of their studies.

Each dependent is issued a Dependent Pass valid for up to 12 months, provided the members have individual or separate passports.

Who is included in the dependant list: Spouse, children, mother, and father only.

Multiple Entry Visa (MEV) 

As holders of Student and Dependent Passes, you automatically become eligible for the Malaysian Multiple Entry Visa (MEV), allowing you to travel unrestricted between your home country and Malaysia.

Visa on Arrival for Students (VOAS)

If you have a Malaysian student Visa Approval Letter (VAL) issued by the Department of Immigration Malaysia, you can avail VOAS facility.

Apply only for Visa with Reference

International students pursuing higher studies in Malaysia must apply for the Visa with Reference meant for students, and not Visa WITHOUT Reference. Malaysian Student Visa without reference is only for a social visit.

Documents required for Malaysian student Visa with Reference

You’ll need the following documents to process a Malaysian student visa with reference.

  • Original approval letter from the Immigration Department of Malaysia/other authority agencies
  • Original passport
  • Two photocopies of your passport
  • Photocopies of the Malaysian Student Visa application form (Form IMM.47) – two
  • Passport size photograph (two)
  • Two photocopies of your air ticket along with the original
  • Receipt of payment of Malaysian Student Visa fee

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