Studying in Malaysia: What You Need to Know

Malaysia Flag

Malaysia is a country that is known for its diverse culture, vibrant economy, and thriving tourism industry. But did you know that Malaysia is also considered as one of the biggest global education hubs for foreigners? With its affordable education fees, excellent quality of education, and an array of courses offered in various fields, it’s no wonder that Malaysia has become a popular destination for international students seeking to further their education. 

In this article, we will be discussing what you need to know when studying in Malaysia.

1. Education as a Key Focus


One of the main reasons why Malaysia has become an education hub for foreigners is the country’s education system. Education has always been a priority in the country, with the earliest schools established during the British colonial period. After Malaysia gained independence in 1957, the government made education a key focus of its development agenda. Malaysia modelled its education system after the British’s own education system, which is known for its high standards of education. Today, Malaysia has a well-developed education system that includes both public and private schools, as well as higher education institutions. This is the reason why foreign parents love to send their children for secondary level education here in Malaysia.

2. The Education System

Graduation Pic

Malaysia’s education system is divided into primary education, secondary education, and tertiary education. Primary education is compulsory for all children in Malaysia, and it provides a strong foundation for further education. Secondary education is divided into two stages: lower secondary and upper secondary. Tertiary education is where Malaysia truly shines, offering a variety of courses in fields like engineering, medicine, business, and more. 

International schools in Malaysia also have a different learning syllabus. Syllabuses most parents are seeking for their children are International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), International Baccalaureate (IB) and Australian Matriculation Programme (AUSMAT). These syllabuses are the gateway to higher education or professional studies in top universities in the world.

3. Bilingualism, Safety and Inclusivity

Bukit Bintang

One of the key features of Malaysian education is its emphasis on bilingualism. Most Malaysians are fluent in at least two languages – Bahasa Malaysia (the national language) and English. This has helped to make Malaysia a popular destination for international students, they can easily communicate with locals and their classmates. Also, did you know that Malaysia is home to more than 170,000 international students from 162 countries? Well now you do! Furthermore, Malaysia is also ranked as 18th safest in the world and the 4th safest in Asia Pacific. 


Another notable aspect of Malaysian education is its focus on inclusivity. The government has made a concerted effort to ensure that all children, regardless of their socioeconomic background, have access to quality education. This includes children with disabilities too. The government’s Special Education Integration Programme and Inclusive Education Programme help children with disabilities to adapt to help them learn. This has resulted in a high literacy rate in the country, with over 95% of Malaysians being able to read and write in 2021, with the highest recorded in the year 2010 with the literacy rate being over 98%, according to 

4. Innovative Teaching Methods

Malaysia is also known for its innovative teaching methods. Many schools and universities in the country have adopted technology and digital tools to enhance the learning experience for students. At GoLearn, we make use of this teaching method to offer online tutoring services for children all over Malaysia. Not only that, we also offer private tutoring services to help children unlock their true potential.  Some schools have implemented e-learning platforms that allow students to access course materials and communicate with their teachers online. This has proven especially useful during the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many schools to switch to remote learning. 

In terms of higher education, Malaysia has made significant strides in recent years. The country is home to several world-class universities, including the University of Malaya, which is ranked among the top 100 universities in the world. The government has also established several initiatives to promote research and innovation in universities, with the aim of positioning Malaysia as a hub for knowledge and innovation. Many undergraduates from local universities in Malaysia has successfully been accepted into prestigious universities in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many more.


All in all, Malaysian education is unique and the diversity in the system has evolved significantly over the years, and year by year, its emphasis on bilingualism, inclusivity, and innovation has helped to make it one of the most dynamic education systems in the world. We hope that you are well informed about studying in Malaysia after reading this article. 

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