Top universities & colleges in Malaysia

Why go abroad when you can study in Malaysia! :)
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Malaysia has more than 590 higher education institutions and more than 1,270,000 students of all higher education. With so many universities and colleges to choose from, you might need some help. Let us guide you through all the different types of higher education institutions and how to choose from them.

Private universities and colleges

These are colleges and universities that do not get funded by the government and rely on the students' tuition contribution. With that said, their fees may be higher than in public universities.

There are three types of private institutions:

  1. Universities. They offer both undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses and can confer these degrees.
  2. University Colleges. They don't have a full university status and often are part of a bigger university, and they mainly offer pre-university and diploma programmes. They can confer degrees under specialised fields and disciplines.
  3. Colleges. They offer diploma and pre-university programmes. Some of these establishments can provide degree courses, twinning programmes included, through a local or foreign partner university.

Foreign universities

Foreign universities in Malaysia are also considered private and they work together with Malaysian institutions. Malaysian students who study in these schools will get an international qualification without leaving the country.

Currently, there are 11 Foreign Branch Campuses in Malaysia, with more than 100,000 international students from different countries.

  • Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus, Sarawak
  • Heriot-Watt University Malaysia, Putrajaya
  • Curtin University, Sarawak
  • Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia, Johor
  • Monash University Malaysia, Selangor
  • University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Selangor
  • University of Southampton Malaysia Campus, Johor
  • Xiamen University Malaysia Campus, Selangor
  • Raffles University Iskandar, Johor
  • University of Reading Malaysia
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong Campus, Sarawak (in 2018)

Public universities

While students still pay for their tuition fees, Public Universities are funded by the government as they pay for most of the operating costs. These universities are in overall bigger with thousands of students studying there.

There are 20 public universities in Malaysia:

  • Universiti Malaya (UM)
  • Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
  • Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
  • Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)
  • Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)
  • Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)
  • Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI)
  • Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia
  • Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM)
  • Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP)
  • Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT)
  • Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP)
  • Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM)
  • Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA)
  • Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK)
  • Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM)
  • Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM)
  • Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia
  • Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS)

Top Universities and Colleges in Malaysia

The higher education system in Malaysia is improving every year and boasts top colleges and universities. Most of them have been recognised not just locally, but also abroad. To put together this list, we referred to both the internationally-recognised QS World University Rankings and the prestigious Malaysian rating system, SETARA.

Best universities in Malaysia according to QS World University Rankings

Top Universities in Malaysia

Best universities in Malaysia according to the SETARA 2017 rankings

SETARA is a ranking / rating system carried out by the Ministry of Education Malaysia to assess the Malaysia’s universities and colleges.

Ranking University
6 Star: Outstanding International Medical University
6 Star: Outstanding Monash University Malaysia
6 Star: Outstanding Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
6 Star: Outstanding Universiti Malaya
6 Star: Outstanding Universiti Putra Malaysia
6 Star: Outstanding Universiti Sains Malaysia
6 Star: Outstanding Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
6 Star: Outstanding Universiti Teknologi Petronas
5 Star: Excellent Curtin Universiti Sarawak Malaysia
5 Star: Excellent Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak
5 Star: Excellent The University of Nottingham Malaysia
5 Star: Excellent Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia
5 Star: Excellent Universiti Malaysia Perlis
5 Star: Excellent Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
5 Star: Excellent Universiti Teknologi MARA
5 Star: Excellent Universiti Tenaga Nasional
5 Star: Excellent Universiti Utara Malaysia
5 Star: Excellent Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation
5 Star: Excellent International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance
5 Star: Excellent Management and Science University
5 Star: Excellent Sunway University
5 Star: Excellent UCSI University
5 Star: Excellent Taylor’s University
5 Star: Excellent Universiti Malaysia Pahang
5 Star: Excellent Universiti Malaysia Terengganu
5 Star: Excellent Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia
5 Star: Excellent Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman
5 Star: Excellent Kolej Universiti Sains Perubatan Cyberjaya
5 Star: Excellent Lincoln University College
4 Star: Very Good AIMST University
4 Star: Very Good Universiti Malaysia Sabah
4 Star: Very Good Universiti Multimedia
4 Star: Very Good Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris
4 Star: Very Good Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia
4 Star: Very Good Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka
4 Star: Very Good Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia
4 Star: Very Good Al-Madinah International University
4 Star: Very Good Asia E University
4 Star: Very Good City University
4 Star: Very Good INTI University
4 Star: Very Good MAHSA University
4 Star: Very Good Malaysian Institute for Supply Chain Innovation
4 Star: Very Good Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia
4 Star: Very Good Perdana University
4 Star: Very Good SEGI University
4 Star: Very Good Universiti HELP
4 Star: Very Good Universiti Infrastruktur Kuala Lumpur
4 Star: Very Good Universiti Kuala Lumpur
4 Star: Very Good Universiti Malaysia Kelantan
4 Star: Very Good Universiti Nilai
4 Star: Very Good Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin
4 Star: Very Good Universiti Tun Abdul Razak
4 Star: Very Good KDU University College
4 Star: Very Good Kolej Universiti Hospitaliti Berjaya
4 Star: Very Good Kolej Universiti Insaniah
4 Star: Very Good Kolej Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Selangor
4 Star: Very Good Kolej Universiti TATI
4 Star: Very Good Kolej Universiti Teknologi Antarabangsa Twintech
3 Star: Good Open University Malaysia
3 Star: Good Universiti Selangor
3 Star: Good Asia Metropolitan University
3 Star: Good Malaysia University of Science and Technology
3 Star: Good Manipal International University
3 Star: Good UNITAR International University
3 Star: Good Universiti Teknologi Kreatif Limkokwing
3 Star: Good Universiti Terbuka Wawasan
3 Star: Good Kolej Universiti Islam Melaka
3 Star: Good Kolej Universiti Widad
3 Star: Good Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University College
3 Star: Good Linton University College

Tuition fees

To give you a general idea of the tuition fees of Malaysian universities you can see the ranges per level below.

Study Level Tuition Fee, per year
Foundation / Pre-U RM 8,000 - 23,000
Diploma RM 6,000 - 30,000
Bachelor's degree RM 9,000 - 40,000
Master's degree RM 13,000 - 40,000

Our only goal is to help you find the study and university which fits you best, look around at our website and compare universities and courses with each other and apply for more information.

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