Monday, 27 January, 2020 09:05:31 PM

Higher Education in Malaysia → Private Universities

Malaysian Private Universities

There are two types of Private Universities in Malaysia:
A- 11 are International University's branch campuses operating in Malaysia
B- 38 are Malaysian Private Universities

As in 2019, Malaysia has :

1) 414 Private colleges
2) 38 Private universities
3) 10 Private University-colleges
4) 1 Public University-college
5) 10 Foreign Universiti branch campus
6) 20 Public universities

MQF Levels 1 • Skills 2 • Vocational and Technical 3 • Higher Education
8     Doctoral Degree
7     Master's Degree
    Postgraduate Certificate & Diploma
6     Bachelor's Degree (Honors)
    Graduate Certificate & Diploma
5 Advanced Diploma Advanced Diploma  Advanced Diploma
4 Diploma Diploma Diploma
3 Skills Certificate 3 Vocational And Technical Certificate


2 Skills Certificate 2  
1 Skills Certificate 1

Malaysian Private Universities

Private Universities in Malaysia
There are total 38 Private Universities in Malaysia


Sunway University has an EXCELLENT rating in the MQA Rating System for Institutions of Higher Learning (SETARA) 2011.

The University firmly establishes its status as one of Malaysia’s premier institutions.
Operates on a not-for-profit basis under the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation the University is located on a substantial, modern, purpose-built campus offering first class undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
Under the Sunway group have a range of pre-university, professional accounting and diploma courses.

Upgraded to University in 2010

Manipal International University (MIU)

Universiti Selangor (UNISEL)

Selangor (2 campuses in Selangor)

Universiti Tun Abdul Razak

Selangor 1999

International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF)

Kuala Lumpur

Albukhary International University

AIMST University

(formerly known as Asian Institute of Medicine, Science & Technology)

Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP)

Selangor (formerly The Institute of Technology Petronas - ITP)

Multimedia University

1- Cyberjaya campus
2- Melaka branch campus

Management and Science University
Selangor (formerly was KUTPM)
upgraded in 2007

Raffles University Iskandar (RUI)


LIMKOKWING University of Creative Technology (LUCT)

Upgraded in 2007

Quest International University Perak

Open University Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur

UNITAR International University


GlobalNxt University

Asia’s Newest University

AI-Madinah International University (MEDIU)

In 2013, MEDIU is ranked 3rd place for Malaysian Private Universities and 18th place for Malaysian Universities. (Source by webometrics: Jan 2013)

UCSI University

Formally Sedaya University College

Asia Metropolitan University (AMU)

Formally Masterskill University College of Health Sciences
Upgraded on Oct 18, 2012

Asia e University (AeU)

Kuala Lumpur


Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNiTEN)

UNITEN is one of the first private universities and is owned by utility companies, TNB.  

UNITEN offer programmes that focus on developing scholars, professionals and specialists in their respective fields.
1- Engineering,
2- Computer Science,
3- Information Technology,
4- Accounting,
5- Business Management
1- Kajang campus
2- Bandar Muadzam Shah branch campus
 Year 1999
UNiTEN programmes have demonstrated high degrees of competence and are recognized worldwide. They are also specifically designed for the career development of highly motivated executives who are determined to succeed.


Malaysia University of Science and Technology (MUST)

Malaysia University of Science and Technology (MUST) is a research-based postgraduate university established in 2000 with the assistance of a prestigious universities, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA.
The objective of MUST is to produce a pool of scientists and technologists, who are creative, innovative and able to compete globally.  
Year 2000
MUST offers quality programmes that are backed by highly qualified faculty members committed to the pursuance of knowledge, state-of- the-art laboratories, and information technology facilities.

Wawasan Open University (WOU)

Wawasan Open University is Malaysia's first private not-for-profit tertiary institution dedicated to working adults.

Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL)

1016, Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: +603 - 2175 4000
Fax:+603 - 2175 4001
3 faculties in Kuala Lumpur campus and 7 other campuses around Malaysia


Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)

The university offers 3 year diploma courses based on STPM entry in the fields of
1- business
2- technology
3- science

A limited range of 2 year certificate courses post SPM are also conducted by TAR College.4 campuses:
1- Kuala Lumpur campus
2- Petaling Jaya campus,
3- Bandar Sungai Long campus
4- Perak campus


International Medical University (IMU)

IMU is the premier private medical university in Malaysia. The university is in partnership with 26 international research-intensive universities in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the USA.

Kuala Lumpur


In 2013, there are 97,000 foreign students are studying in Malaysia. Malaysia’s target is to reach 100,000 foreign students.
The average yearly tuition fee in Malaysia is US$6,000 compared to US$22,000 and US$14,000 in the US and UK, respectively,
Students’ average yearly cost of living in Malaysia is US$4,000 against US$13,000-$15,000 in the US and UK.
Malaysia has 21 public-sector universities, five branch campuses of UK and Australian universities along with more than 33 private-sector universities and over 500 higher education institutes that provide a diverse range of courses in various areas of specialisations.

Despite intense competition from other countries such as the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and India, Malaysian universities have prospered in the international education market, with an edge in providing low cost studies ranging between US$20,000 - US$30,000 for an undergraduate engineering degree, or US$15,000 - $25,000 for an undergraduate degree in IT, Business, Social Sciences, or Humanities.

Cost of Living in Malaysia

Main reason for international students to study in Malaysia is the relatively cheap cost of living for average student.
The total cost of expenditure for accommodation, either on campus or off-campus, is reasonable within budgets.
1) Average monthly rental for a twin sharing room is RM500 (USD150)
2) Monthly expenses in food, transportation, laundry and essentials : RM1,000 (USD300)
Per year, the average total cost of living around RM20,000 (USD6,000)
IN just five years, the average cost of obtaining a franchise degree at a private higher education institution here has gone up from RM40,769 in 2008 to RM50,000 this year.
Comparatively, the price tag for a degree from one of the more popular foreign branch campuses here, which used to be RM65,230 in 2008, has jumped to a whopping RM80,000 now. That's an average of 22 to 23 per cent increase across the board.


Wawasan Open University College is Malaysia’s first private not-for-profit open learning university. A university aimed at providing new opportunities for higher learning to working adults who wish to study in Malaysia for accredited qualifications or for personal enrichment. The flexible, self-paced learning environment is specially designed for the convenience and accessibility of adult learners. It aims to bring down the personal cost of learning to a level that more people can afford.
Wawasan Open University College headquarters is located in Penang. Learners are supported by trained tutors in learning centres in Penang, Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru.
Wawasan Open University College 51-20, Menara BHL Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah 10050 Penang Tel No: 04-227-3323

Malaysia's higher education system which has been recognized as one of the best in the world is a popular choice for students particularly from South East Asia and Asia Minor to pursue their education.

Malaysia's popularity as an education centre had also increased with the establishment in Malaysia of branch campuses by renowned international universities.

Study by the Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne, Australia, which placed Malaysia's higher education sector as the 27th of 50 top universities in the world.

Among the Malaysian courses that international students are drawn to are :
1- Engineering,
2- Medicine,
3- Islamic banking
4- Social science

Malaysia's ministry also finding ways to draw more students from developed countries like Europe to study in Malaysia.

The number of overseas students pursuing higher education in Malaysia was far lower than that of Malaysians studying abroad.

Sixth-biggest education exporting country by 2020

Malaysia wants to become the world’s sixth-biggest education exporting country by 2020 with a target of 200,000 international students.

Malaysia is supporting the development by mostly privately funded two education “cities”:

1- Kuala Lumpur Education City (KLEC)
Kuala Lumpur Education City (KLEC), launched in 2007, is still in development and aims to house both international and local universities, as well as primary and secondary schools in a 500-acre KLEC Academic Park. The hub will offer education from University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School, Epsom College, and Universiti Sains Malaysia (and potentially other schools) to those in the region with an expected student population of nearly 30,000.

2- EduCity at Iskandar
EduCity at Iskandar is a similar idea: a 350-acre campus on which several universities will be housed as well as elaborate sports and leisure facilities including a 14,000-seater stadium and an Olympic-length swimming pool. The idea is to create a “student village” of about 16,000 students on the campus, where students from each university share access to the amazing recreational and sports facilities. Mohd Hisham Kamaruzaman, acting chief operating officer of Education@Iskandar Sdn Bhd (owned by Iskandar Investment Berhad, which is developing EduCity), told University World News that “the student village and sports complex will be ready by August, in time for the next academic year.” Several universities are already open in EduCity, with more about to start.

The Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013–2025

Targets of the Blueprint are:

1- Universal enrolment from pre-school to upper secondary education in 10 years;
2- Halving the achievement gaps between the rich and the poor, urban and rural, and between the states that form Malaysia in eight years;
3- Rising from the bottom-third to the top-third of countries in international assessments like PISA and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) in 15 years;
4- Building an education system that gives children an appreciation of their unique identity as Malaysians.
There are three “waves” to the Blueprint’s action plan:

Wave 1: Blueprint implementation – more support for teachers and a focus on core student skills.
Wave 2: Building upon progress.
Wave 3: To occur between 2020 and 2025, schools will take over their own administration.

Global Enrolments
Malaysia was ranked 55 out of 77 countries in the recent Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report.
Not one Malaysian public university placed in the top 400 of the 2012–2013 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.
And yet, Malaysia is busily solidifying its image as an education hub in Asia, thanks in large part to its successful efforts to attract international universities: the Iskander Education Hub EduCity is one example of such an effort.
With estimates that 42% of global enrolments (or 212.9 million enrolments) will be from the East Asia and Pacific region by 2035, Malaysia’s educational capacity and the quality of its educational system is an important aspect of the regional and global markets.

Malaysia is among the Asian Higher education leaders like China, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.
The country is heavily investing in turning itself into a leading destination for international students.
As of 2012, Malaysia is the world’s 11th largest exporter of educational services, and host to more than 90,000 international students from 100 different countries. The government’s bigger ambition is to bring this to the level of the 6th largest education exporter by 2012 having 200,000 international students.

Whilst University of Malaya is the top most university in Malaysia, there are 5 other state universities ranked within the 500 best universities in the world.
In addition to these there are branch universities in Malaysia, such branch campuses include the University of Nottingham of UK, The Monash and Swinburne universities of Australia.
There are also many private universities in Malaysia, which offer twinning programmes such as 2+1 or 2+2 degree options. These have been running in Malaysia for the past 20 years.
Such twinning programmes allow students to either complete a degree of a prestigious foreign university (from USA, UK, Australia, Germany, New Zealand and France) whilst studying full time in Malaysia or to do part studies in Malaysia and complete the degree in the foreign university.

One of the main attractions of studying in Malaysia is the relatively low cost of tuition fees and living costs compared to Australia, UK and USA.
However Malaysia is more than a mere budget option. The quality of teaching, facilities and recognition of degrees together with world’s most culturally diverse society makes it a well worth option to be considered by prospective students.

2 of the most popular branch universities of Australia – The Monash University with its Sunway Campus and The Swinburne University with its campus in Sarawak.
Both these universities conducts a wide range of degree courses where they facilitate students complete their courses entirely in Malaysia and provides the opportunity to transfer to the Australian campuses at any stage of their studies without any restrictions.

Private universities such as Taylor’s University and INTI University, which conducts globally recognized degree programmes.


Estimated Tuition Fees for a Bachelor's Degree in Malaysia
Estimated Tuition Fees for a Bachelor's Degree in Malaysia

Private Universities award their own degree to students. These private universities degrees are degree programmes developed by Malaysia's private universities which comply with international quality assurance best practices and education excellence.
Their programmes are under strict scrutiny of the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) to ensure compliance to the Board's standard.
Many private universities also have the recognition of foreign bodies by collaborate with reputable foreign universities. Some private universities also collaborate with local research agencies, industries and top ranking universities in the world to conduct research, and staff exchange and development programmes.
In less than 10 years Malaysian private universities have developed fast and gained international recognition with increasing of international students.
There are also universities that have been granted the status of university-college by the Government. Such higher education institutions were previously private colleges which have shown good track record in conducting '3+0' degree programmes.
A university-college is a specialist university focusing on certain disciplines of study with lower student enrolment capacity. Many of these universities continue to collaborate with its '3+0' degree university-partners to internationalize their degree programmes.
Some of these university-colleges ore well recognized by their foreign university-partners. A student can study one degree programme and graduate with two degree qualifications (one degree certificate from the university and the other from the overseas university-partner) at the cost of one degree, without leaving Malaysia.
The areas of study include Business, Life Science, Applied Science, Engineering, Hospitality, Creative Art, Social Science, IT, Medicine, Dentistry & Pharmacy.

The main benefit of pursuing a locally degree is the cheap course fee with the added advantage of a globally recognized qualification. Such degree programmes hove made these universities a much sought-after place by both local as well as international students.


Five steps to study in Malaysia

• Before leaving your country to Malaysia, Student informs educational institution of his/her port of entry (airport), flight number, arrival date and time. Student’s application to study is accepted by educational institution which will then help to apply for student pass at the Malaysian Immigration Department in Malaysia (except students from PRC)
• Upon arrival at airport in Malaysia, Educational institution’s representative will receive the student at the immigration check-point.
• Upon acceptance, letter of approval for student pass will be released by Malaysian Immigration Department to the education institution for them to pass on the approval letter to student.
• Within 2 weeks of student’s arrival, the educational institution will submit the student’s passport to Immigration Department to affix the Student Pass sticker.
• Student submits application form to study together with relevant documents to the intended educational institution which has the official approval from Ministry of Home Affairs to recruit international students.

Application procedures for student pass:

All applications for students’ passes by international students are done through Malaysian educational institutions. The processing, approval and issuance of student passes and visas are done by the Immigration Department in Malaysia except for the students from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The students from PRC will get their visas from the Embassy of Malaysia and the Council of Malaysia in PRC.

For further information about the immigration procedures and student pass, the international student can contact the Immigration Department in Malaysia at the following address:
The Director Visa,
Pass and Permit Division Headquarters of Malaysian Immigration Department
1st - 7th Floor (Podium),
Block 2G4 Federal Government Administrative Centre,
Putrajaya, Malaysia
Tel : 603-88801000 Fax : 603-88801200 Website :

Year 2006 Total 323,787 Students enrolled in Private Universities and Colleges

Qualification Levels Number of enrolments
Certificate 68,442
Diploma 123,937
First Degree 124,071
Master's Degree 6,477
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 860

Total :


Year 2006 Total 323,787 Students enrolled in Private Universities and Colleges

Year 2006 Students enrolment in Private Higher Education Intuitions

Private Universities and Foreign Branch Campus Universities


University Colleges


Private Colleges and Institutes (non university status) 152,085

Total :


Year 2006 Students enrolment in Private Higher Education Intuitions

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