Cheapest Universities in Malaysia, Tuition Fees, & Visa Requirements



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, in both its landscapes and its citizens.

Choosing to Study in Malaysia, you will not only discover that the country’s natural beauty extends beyond its ancient rain forest, national park and astonish beaches, but there are a lot of other eye-catching senses that can keep one busy.

About Malaysia

This beautiful country covering a total land mass of about 329,750 sq km houses about 25 million people, which comprises of Malays, Indians, Chinese and the indigenous people who all live together in peace.

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

Ranging from colorful markets to the mosques, Hindu shrines and Buddhist temples that are often found side by side, and the abundance of annual festivals celebrating both traditional and modern aspects of this Malaysian culture.

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 ranked universities in Malaysia, This area comprises the most vibrant and diverse urban cities.

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

So thinking about studying in this amazing country, you need all the information you can get. Therefore, this post will be covering some mind-blowing subjects as it patterns to you who are looking for the cheapest universities to study in Malaysia.

Thus, this article will be covering the following subjects;

  • Things to know before studying in Malaysia
  • List of Cheapest universities in Malaysia and Their Tuition Fees.
  • Advantages of Studying in Malaysia
  • Universities in Malaysia 
  • Cost of Studying and Living in Malaysia
  • How to get a study visa to Malaysia and its Requirments

Things to know before studying in Malaysia

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

But hear this, there is going to be an uproar in the choice of study abroad location in the future with the emergence of countries like Singapore and Malaysia. I urge you to take advantage of this opportunity now there is no much competition for it.

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

This only has dragged our attention to these countries, owing to the fact that it is difficult to get into these rankings without visible infrastructural and intellectual advancement.

For me, I think the only thing that is holding these countries back especially Malaysia is the idea that students are not yet acquainted with the country who will normally want to know about the country before going there to study.

Thus, this is the reason this article is written by our WSF team to expose the uniqueness of this country and their readiness to give you a world class study experience.

When I say things you need to know before studying in Malaysia, I am referring to a range of things that can actually 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 or maybe the kind of food unique to the people, and work opportunities available etc.

I know that what really fuel our desires to study in countries like USA, UK, AUSTRALIA, ITALY OR even CHINA is the fact that these places have great infrastructures and they are home to some of the WORLD BEST UNIVERSITIES TO STUDY IN. secondly, we are familiar with their cultural facets which have been shown in many of the HOLLYWOOD movies or some trending topics on the internet.

Thus, I am trying to give you a second option by demystifying Malaysia so you wouldn’t hurry up to the traditional favorite study abroad location you and your friends are used to.



when you want to study abroad one of the things you should put considerations is your accommodation, usually, there, are two types of accommodations available to international students. namely; 1. on-campus accommodation and 2. off-campus accommodation.

mostly, the on-campus accommodation is ideal for international students because of the living units, in schools like  Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, aside it’s from its on-campus accommodation is well equipped, they outfitted with telephone ports and they have access to the university IT facilities and internet connection.

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

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

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

Like I said getting into this on-campus accommodation can be difficult but you need not to worry there are  lots of private off-campus you can go for, But do well to put the following into consideration when going for an off-campus accommodation : 1. price 2.facilities offered and 3. the 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 studying in Malaysia. Just like in other studies abroad destination, you need to have health insurance throughout the period of your study in Malaysia. The treatments that needs to be covered by this policy includes:

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

The range per year for a minimum premium is RM300.00 (source: Universiti Teknologi Malaysia). It is advised that students should buy insurance policies only from the provided nominated by the school.

Medical insurance Malaysia compares to other studies abroad locations like AUSTRALIA, USA OR UK is not that costly. thus with medical insurance at hand, you don’t have to worry during an emergency.

Work Opportunities:

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

Though in Malaysia, tuition fees and cost is relatively modest to compare to students home country it may seem high so the student needs something to help meet up with 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 of the popular places to work include restaurants, petrol kiosks, mini markets, and hotels.

However, international students are barred from working as a cashier, singer, musician, guest’s relations officer and masseur. Additionally, students shouldn’t involve themselves in any activity deemed illegal.

Scholarships available to Students

Aside from the part-time jobs available to students, you can as well avail yourself the scholarship opportunities that are available for all level of study in the country.

The cost of studying in places like UK and USA is within the range of $30,000, in Malaysia it is around $9000. but then some of the prominent scholarship ones can apply for includes

Malaysian International Scholarship (MIS) initiated by the Malaysian Government and the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP).

Some of the benefits of 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 a number of scholarships to attract brilliant minds from across the world. University of Malaya, for example, offers Graduate Research Assistantship Scheme.

List of Cheapest Universities in Malaysia and Their Tuition Fees.

Majority of the international students who have applied for degree programs in some of the renowned Universities in Malaysia hold the view 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 superior quality education system.

In this part of the article, we are going to finally list some of the cheapest universities in Malaysia and their tuition fees so you could make your choice. know also that they do not mean that the standard and quality of education is reduced.

  1. Tun Hussein Onn University of Malaysia
  2. Universiti Utara Malaysia
  3. University of Malaysia, Kelantan:
  4. National Defense University of Malaysia
  5. University of Malaya
  6. University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka
  7. UniversitiSains Islam Malaysia
  8. Universiti Malaysia Pahang
  9. Universiti of Science, Malaysia
  10. Sultan Idris Education University
  11. Universiti Malaysia Perlis
  12. Universiti Malaysia Sabah
  13. Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
  14. International Islamic University Malaysia

  1. Tun Hussein Onn University of Malaysia:

It is a public university which was incorporated back 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 field of engineering.

The Centre for Graduate Studies(CGS) is responsible for monitoring the implementation of postgraduate academic programmes in UTHM. It aims to offer postgraduate programmes towards achieving a high-income nation and to nurture world-class scholars through quality teaching and research.


  • QS WUR By Subject Ranking
  • Asian University Rankings

Tuition fees: RM 6,000.

  1. Universiti Utara Malaysia:-

It is a public university which is popularly known as the ‘Management Universiti’, came into operation in April 1998. It is the sixth Malaysian public university. It is the only university that was set up to specialize solely in management education from the very beginning of its establishment.

Universiti Utara Malaysia courses

In 2008, the Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)’s academic system was restructured to enable an increase in students as well as to bring UUM to the forefront in the international academic arena. The resulting 13 faculties are divided into 3 main Academic Colleges:

  • UUM COB (UUM College of Business)
  • UUM CAS (UUM College of Arts and Sciences)
  • UUM COLGIS (UUM College of Law, Government and International Studies)


Bachelor in Social Work Management (Honours)Sintok
Bachelor of Business Mathematics (Honours)Sintok
Bachelor of Communication (Honours)Sintok
Bachelor of Counselling (Honours)Sintok
Bachelor of Education – Accounting (Honours)Sintok
Bachelor of Education – Business Management (Honours)Sintok
Bachelor of Education – Information Technology (Honours)Sintok
Bachelor of Industrial Statistics (Honours)Sintok
Bachelor of Information Technology (Honours)Sintok
Bachelor of Media Technology (Honours)Sintok
Bachelor of Multimedia (Honours)Sintok
Doctor of Philosophy Research ProgrammeSintok
English ProgrammeSintok
Master in Applied LinguisticsSintok
Master of Arts in CommunicationSintok
Master of Arts in Contemporary Malay Language StudiesSintok
Master of Arts in Islamic StudiesSintok
Master of Arts in PsychologySintok
Master of Arts in Social WorkSintok
Master of EducationSintok
Msc in CounselingSintok
Msc in Educational ManagementSintok
Msc in Information & Communication TechnologySintok
Msc in Information TechnologySintok
Msc in Intelligent SystemSintok
Msc in PrincipalshipSintok
Msc in TechnopreneurshipSintok
Msc of Decision ScienceSintok
Msc of Managerial CommunicationSintok
Msc of MathematicsSintok
Msc of Statistics

Tuition fees: RM7,030.

  1. University of Malaysia, Kelantan:-

It is a public university which is located at Kelantan. The establishment of this university was raised during a cabinet meeting held at 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 as well as 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 programme

Tuition fees: RM 73,776

  1. National Defense University of Malaysia:-

It is the first ever university which was established to meet the needs and requirements of 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 in upgrading the knowledge and academic status of the armed forces by offering bachelor degree courses in fields of engineering, sciences and management while not neglecting the basic requirements of military training.

The bachelor degree courses were accredited and awarded by University Teknologi Malaysia in the beginning. Lecturers – some 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.

World ranking8555
Country ranking43

Tuition fees: RM192,000.

    1. University of Malaya

University of Malaya is one of the oldest and acclaimed Public Research Universities located at Kuala Lumpur 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 and this resulted in the setting up of two autonomous Divisions on 15 January 1959, one located in Singapore and the other in Kuala Lumpur.

University of Malaya ranking

Universiti Malaya (UM) Rankings
Historical DataScoreRank
World University Rankings 201860.8=114
World University Rankings 201757.1=133
World University Rankings 201662.1146
World University Rankings 201561=151

Tuition fees: RM 44,800

7.University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka:

University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka is a public university with a span of 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.

Tuition fees: RM118,656 per annum

8.UniversitiSains Islam Malaysia:-

UniversitiSains Islam Malaysia which was previously known by the name ‘KolejUniversiti  Islam Malaysia came into operation on 1998. Tuition fees: RM2,544 quarterly

9.Universiti Malaysia Pahang:-

Universiti Malaysia Pahang is a self-governed public technical university located at Pahang in Malaysia. They are primarily focused on engineering and technology.

Tuition fees: RM 2,15

10.Universiti of Science, Malaysia:-

Universiti of Science is an autonomous University which was established in the year June 1969. About twenty-eight thousand three hundred post-graduate and undergraduate students have enrolled in this University back in the year 2009.

Tuition fees: RM2,750

11.Sultan Idris Education University:-

It is a public University which kicked-off its operations in the year 1922.

UPSI has two campuses namely Sultan Abdul Jalil Shah Campus (KSAJS) and Sultan Azlan Shah Campus (KSAH) that is unique in term of education leadership based on historical splendor and leading global changes.

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

Tuition fees: RM2,00

Advantages of Studying in Malaysia | Benefits of Studying in Malaysia

As long as studying in Malaysia is a concern about the benefits/advantages of studying here cannot be overemphasized.

  • The Universities in Malaysia are of very high standard, both in 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 US, UK, Australia, Canada, etc. at a much lower cost
  • International Students are highly welcome because of the friendly nature of Malaysians.
  • You are able to study in Malaysia and foreign degrees at a much lower cost.
  • 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 safest and most stable countries in the world 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 of studying and living in Malaysia

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


Tuition Fees (annually)

Living Costs

Total Education Cost
(per annum)


USD 5,000

USD 4,000

USD 9,000


USD 15,000

USD 10,500

USD 25,500


USD 18,000

USD 13,000

USD 31,000

United Kingdom

USD 15,000

USD 12,000

USD 27,000


USD 13,000

USD 8,500

USD 21,500

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

Universities in Malaysia 

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

Malaysia is home to a lot of international universities branch campuses like the UK’s University of Nottingham and Australia’s Monash University. Having these branch campuses in the country is a plan targeted at improving and expanding the country’s range of higher education option.

The leading universities that will run this project were carefully selected  and they include 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, its homegrown universities are not neglected. In 2016 The Malaysian higher education system was ranked 27th according to the  QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings . which is an indication that they are doing good.

some of the high ranking Malaysian universities include:

  • Universiti Malaya (UM) 
  • Universiti Putra Malaya (UPM)
  • Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
  • Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)
  • Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)

Cost of Studying and Living in Malaysia

One of many reasons why international students choose Malaysia is because of 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 programme at an estimated RM68,000 (US$17,000), whereas the tuition fee of the same 3-year degree programme 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 2.24). If the cost of living is taken into account, 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 programme; and

  • Living expenses which will depend on where you are staying, your type of accommodation and your lifestyle.

Education Costs in Malaysia

Cost of Studying and Living in MalaysiaYour course fees will consist of your tuition fees plus other related study expenses. Below are types of fees that you may incur during your course of study :

1. Academic Fees:

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

2. Non-academic Fees:

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

The breakdown of estimated tuition fees at various levels of study at private higher educational institutions (PHEIs) in Malaysia are outlined below :

A. Pre-University Programmes

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

Types of Pre-UniversityDuration of Study No. of Subjects Studied/(Typical  Exam Result
Announcement Date)
Estimated Tuition Fee per Course (RM)
Cambridge GCE A-Levels, UK15-18 months

3 – 4 subjects /

for 3 subjects
SACE, Australia 
(formerly SAM)
11 months

5 subjects /

AUSMAT, Australia10 months

5-6 subjects /

CIMP, Canada12 months

6 subjects /
usually 1 month after exam)

RM27,000–30,000 (US$6,750-7,500)

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)24 months

6 subjects /

RM115, 000

Monash University Foundation Year (MUFY)12 months

4/5 subjects /
usually within 2 months after exam)

(US$ 6,250)
New South Wales High School Certificate (NSW HSC)12 months

5 subjects
(usually within 2 months after exam)

RM13,000 – 21,000
University’s Internal Programme (private)10 – 12 months

5-6 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 Programmes

Malaysia offers you many study pathways to complete an entire 3-year bachelor’s degree programme at a very 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:

Item 3+0 Engineering 
Degree in Malaysia 
(Estimated cost)
Host University in 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 a duration of 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 costRM15,000£5,000
Total tuition fees and living expenses for 3 yearsApprox. RM140,000
Approx. £59,000
Estimated savings for 3+0 degree programmeRM184,000 (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

(Average cost: RM40,000 or US$10,000)


(Average cost: RM60,000 or US$15,000)


(Average cost: RM45,000 or US$11,250)

of Study
3 years4 years3 years
Areas of
Hospitality & 
Tuition Fee

(Average cost: RM45,000 or US$7,500-16,250)

(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:

ProgrammeDurationTuition 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) years Tuition 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 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 UK)Total Tuition Fee (in Malaysia & UK)
Number of years 
(4 yrs in Malaysia + 0 yr in UK)
RM163,200 @40,800 per year£0 yearRM163,200 or US$40,800 for 4+0 years (Entire course in Malaysia)
Number of years 
(3 yrs in Malaysia + 1 yr in UK)
RM122,400 for 3 years£16,420 for 1 yearRM212,710 or US$53,178 for 3+1 years
Number of years 
(2 yrs in Malaysia + 2 yr in UK)
RM81,600 for 2 years£32,840 for 2 yearsRM262,220 or US$65,555 for 2+2 years
Number of years 
1 yr in Malaysia + 3 yrs in UK)
RM40,800 for 1 year£49,260 for 3 yearsRM311,730 or US$77,933 for 1+3 years
Number of years 
(0 yr in Malaysia + 4 yrs in UK)
RM0 year£65,680 for 4 yearsRM361,240 or US$90,310 for 0+4 years (Entire course in 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 UK at any level (e.g. 1 year in Malaysia and 2 years in UK or 2 years in Malaysia and 1 year in the UK). Students could also pursue their first year in Malaysia, second year in Edinburgh – and the third year back in Malaysia.)

C. Postgraduate studies

Public universities and PHEIs in Malaysia offer international students postgraduate programmes 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 Fulltime (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

Breakdown of living cost in Malaysia

An average international student is expected to spend about RM1,800 (US$450) per month for his or her living expenses. The cost can be broken down as:

  • Accommodation

    For your accommodation monthly 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-storey house, double-storey 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 meals per day. 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 at 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 travelling to and from classes. However, other travelling 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 suf cient (include you in case you need outpatient treatment at a private clinic) during the year. This estimate is the amount you will have to pay for your medical and hospitalisation 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, movie, etc

Using the estimate above, the total cost of living for a student 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

  1. As an international student, one of the documents that will grant you access into the country is your Study visa. Thus 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 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 itself will directly apply for the pass on your behalf.

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, 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:

  1. Foreigner in Government Schools;
  2. Foreigner in Private Schools;
  3. Foreigner in public higher education institutions;
  4. Foreigner in private higher education institutions;
  5. Foreigner in language centers;
  6. Foreigner in training centers under Department of Skill Development;
  7. Holder of Dependant Pass (Expatriate)

While the list of documents required for 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:

1. Foreigner in Government/Private Schools:

  • You have to apply at State Immigration Office via schools
  • If you belong to the People Republic of China (PRC), you 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, however, approach the respective State Immigration Department.

2. Foreigner in public higher education institutions

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

3. Foreigner in private higher education institutions/training centers

  • 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.

4. Foreigner in language centers

  • Application for 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.

 5. Holder of Dependant Pass (Expatriate)

  • You have the option of applying 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 students Pass.
  • Spouse 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 Malaysian student visa (Student Pass)

A valid Passport: If you are applying online through Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS), you have to upload scanned pages of the passport containing your bio-data in PDF format.

When uploading this piece of document required for Malaysian student visa (Student Pass), also 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 centre/ training center in Malaysia. Consequently, the offer letter is among the most important documents required for 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: Two sets

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

Personal Bond form (stamped)

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

Benefits of student pass

1. Dependant Pass: The Student Pass allows Masters and Ph.D. students to bring their dependents to Malaysia during the course of their study.

Each dependent is issued a Dependent Pass that is valid for a period of 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.

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

3. 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 the purpose of social visit.

Documents required for Malaysian student Visa with Reference

  • Original approval letter from the Immigration Department of Malaysia/other authority agencies
  • Original passport
  • Two photocopies of your passport
  • Two photocopies of the Malaysian Student Visa application form (Form IMM.47)
  • Two passport size photographs
  • Two photocopies of your air ticket along with the original

Receipt of payment of Malaysian Student Visa fee


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