Explore Courses

Top Reasons to Study in Malaysia: Universities, Cost & Stay Back Options

Updated on 21 November, 2023

Bulbul Sharma

Bulbul Sharma

Manager- Content @upGrad

Sitting quaintly right in the middle of Thailand and Singapore, Malaysia is one of the most charming countries in Asia. It’s endowed with scenic beauty and consistently strives towards better and more innovative technology. 


In recent years, Malaysia has strengthened its position as one of the top-notch educational destinations. In fact, as per UNESCO figures, it’s the 11th most popular country to pursue higher education

With its multicultural backdrop and ever-growing popularity, it’s not hard to reason why study in Malaysia. 

Start Your Study Abroad Journey with upGrad Abroad

Top Reasons to Study in Malaysia

Wondering why one must study in Malaysia, or what makes it so student-friendly? Well, let’s see.

  • Malaysian universities offer several distinct courses, all at an affordable tuition fee. 
  • The student population in Malaysia is as diverse as it gets, so individuals get a taste of the multicultural environment. It’s good for personal growth and allows for broader connections, which further helps in building a career.
  • The cost of living in Malaysia is ideal for all international students. One can get a meal as cheap as $4. The rent is also relatively inexpensive, and the excellent transportation infrastructure is a bonus.
  • Fan of good food? Malaysia is full of people of different nationalities and cultures, so there is an abundance of food. One can try cuisine from Chinese and Indian to Malaysian and Middle-East.
  • The country has a tropical climate, with pleasant weather all year round. The rain and heat are balanced perfectly. The average temperature stays at around 27-28°C.

Best Universities to Study in Malaysia

Let’s take a quick look at the top universities in Malaysia. The rankings are all as per the QS World University Rankings 2023. 

Universiti Malaya70
Universiti Putra Malaysia123
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia129
Universiti Sains Malaysia143
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia203
Taylor’s University284
UCSI University284
Universiti Teknologi Petronas361
Universiti Utara Malaysia481
Management and Science University601-650

Cost of Study 

Deciding to study abroad cannot be an easy choice to make. There are many factors to consider – from choosing the right country and course to planning the requisite finances. 

The cost of living in Malaysia is quite feasible, and education is inexpensive, too. 

While every educational institute has a fee structure, public universities are cheaper than private ones. 

On average, any international student would need to shell out around MYR 7,000 yearly for any bachelor’s degree. If one decides to study further and take a master’s course, it would cost around MYR 11,000 per year. 

Private institutions, especially ones that offer specialist courses like medicine and engineering, might be more expensive. 

Important Study in Asia Articles

Tsinghua UniversityPeking Uni

NUS Acceptance Rate for Indian Students

Best Universities in Japan

The University of Tokyo Acceptance RateNanyang Technological University Acceptance Rate
 University of Hong Kong Acceptance Rate for International Students 


Worried about not having enough financial support to study in Malaysia? Bright students that display an enthusiastic approach and eagerness towards their course can apply for scholarships such as:

  • MIS Scholarship for Undergraduate studies
  • MIS Scholarship for Postgraduate studies

Requirements to Study in Malaysia

Students planning to pursue their education from a Malaysian university will need to fulfill the following entry requirements:

  • A properly completed entrance application form
  • Proof of paid application fee
  • High school passing certificate (if applying to a bachelor’s course)
  • Bachelor’s degree (if applying for a master’s degree)
  • Academic transcripts
  • Passport size photographs
  • Valid identity card such as a passport
  • Letter of Recommendation (if the university requires)
  • Statement of Purpose (if the university requires)

Make sure to check the additional specific requirements mentioned on the chosen university’s official website.

Get all your Study Abroad doubts clarified Now for FREE: Fix an Appointment Now

Resources to Study in Singapore
INSEAD SingaporeThe National University of SingaporeSingapore Institute of Management
Singapore Management UniversityNational University of Singapore Business SchoolNanyang Technological University
National University of Singapore

Right Cities to Live and Study in Malaysia

Drive away all the confusion about which city or university to pick for graduation or post graduation. Here’s a list of cities in Malaysia with a low cost of living, perfect for students:

  • Kuala Lumpur: Kuala Lampur is the country’s capital and the most crowded city. It is the country’s cultural, commercial, and economic hub and houses excellent institutions like Universiti Malaya, Victoria International College, MAHSA University College, etc.
  • Selangor: The way this city has accelerated its growth in terms of development and finances is phenomenal. It stands tall as the country’s industrial hub, thus ensuring great connections for students seeking hands-on experience. 
  • Penang: A big favorite of all international students, Penang plays a pivotal role in the economy of Malaysia. Its scenic beauty is incomparable. The city also has some of the most popular universities like Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang Medical College, etc.

Cost of Living in Malaysia

Still wondering why you should study in Malaysia? Here’s another reason. 

Well, Malaysia happens to be the second cheapest country in all of Asia. One person’s average living cost in Malaysia is estimated at MYR 4,139 monthly.

The cost of living in Malaysia for a family of four is quite affordable too. It’s around MYR 9,197. 

Stay Back Options

International students planning to fly to Malaysia can get a student pass allowing a multiple entry visa. It gives valid permission to stay back to study at the chosen university during the degree. 

This pass will be valid only for 12 months or the course’s duration if it’s less than 12 months. 

Post-completion of the course, if an individual gets a good-paying job, they can apply for a work visa or employment pass. 

For the same, the person needs to have a two-year extended job contract with a salary of at least MYR 5,000 at a Malaysian company. 

One can apply for a temporary employment pass if this condition is not met. 

Related Topics on Studying Abroad

Best Country for Aerospace EngineeringBest country for automobile engineeringmasters in hotel management abroad
Universities for Master’s in BiotechnologyBest Country to Study BiotechnologyBest Countries for Aerospace Engineering
Europe Scholarship for Indian StudentsTop Universities for BS NutritionTop Universities for MS Nutrition
Resources to Study in Singapore
INSEAD SingaporeThe National University of SingaporeSingapore Institute of Management
Singapore Management UniversityNational University of Singapore Business SchoolNanyang Technological University
National University of Singapore


What are the top reasons to study in Malaysia?

Many students choose Malaysia to further their higher education because of its multi-ethnicity, affordable tuition fees, and inexpensive cost of living for international students.

What are the benefits of studying in Malaysia?

One of the prime reasons for choosing Malaysia for studying is its excellent reputation in higher studies. It also has budget-friendly cities and diverse cultures. 

What are the top courses in Malaysian universities?

Malaysian universities offer some of the best degree courses in computer science, Information Technology, Cloud Computing, Software Engineering, etc.

What is the highest-paying job in Malaysia?

A career in banking in Malaysia is quite rewarding and pays around MYR 41,220 yearly.

Bulbul Sharma

Manager- Content @upGrad

Bulbul is a self-driven professional and an expert writer & editor. She has been a part of the ed-tech industry for the past 2 years now and is motivated to provide study abroad aspirants with factually correct and relevant information. Her knack for impactful writing makes her blogs worth a read!

See More

Refer Your Friend & Earn upto ₹15000

Help your friend upgrade to a Global Career and earn rewards together.