Last Updated Monday, 20 June, 2016 09:37:49 PM

Higher Education in Malaysia  →  Private Universities

Private Universities in Malaysia

There are total 38 Private Universities in Malaysia

Asia e University (AeU) Kuala Lumpur


Asia Metropolitan University (AMU) Formally Masterskill University College of Health Sciences

Upgraded on Oct 18, 2012

UCSI University Formally Sedaya University College


Universiti Selangor (UNISEL) Selangor (2 campuses in Selangor)


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)




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
GlobalNxt University Asia’s Newest University


Manipal International University(MIU)  
UNITAR International University 2012
Open University Malaysia Kuala Lumpur


Quest International University Perak  
LIMKOKWING University of Creative Technology (LUCT) Putrajaya

Upgraded in 2007

Raffles University Iskandar (RUI)  

Management and Science University  

Selangor (formerly was KUTPM)

upgraded in 2007

Multimedia University 1- Cyberjaya campus
2- Melaka branch campus


Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNiTEN)
1- Kajang campus
2- Bandar Muadzam Shah branch campus


Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (UNIRAZAK) Selangor


Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP)
Selangor  (formerly The Institute of Technology Petronas - ITP)


International Medical University (IMU) Kuala Lumpur


Malaysia University of Science and Technology (MUST) Selangor


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


Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) 4 campuses:
1- Kuala Lumpur campus
2- Petaling Jaya campus,
3- Bandar Sungai Long campus
4- Perak  campus


Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) 3 faculties in Kuala Lumpur campus and 7 other campuses around Malaysia


Wawasan Open University (WOU) Penang


Albukhary International University Kedah


International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) Kuala Lumpur


As in 2014, there were about 40,000 students from China pursuing pre-university, undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Malaysia.

Chinese students feel at home here as they have no problems in terms of communication and food while Malaysia offers a reputable study environment. Chinese culture being widely practiced and well-preserved here

The low cost of living and affordable fees have also led to more Chinese nationals studying in Malaysia.

Students can obtain an Australian or British degree in Malaysia at a fraction of the cost.

Shanghai Jiao Tong overseas campus in Kuching City

Shanghai Jiao Tong University, one of China’s top four universities, will open its Sarawak Campus here within the next five years.

While waiting for the completion of the campus it will take in its first batch of students in Srawak in September 2014 using Chung Hua Middle School No.1 at Pending as one of its temporary campuses.

The university set a target of between 300 to 1,800 students at its temporary campus and up to 5,000 students from throughout Malaysia, Asean and China at its permanent campus.

The task of setting up of the campus is handled by SJT-UNI (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd headed by chairman Datuk David Teng who is also Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) treasurer.
The establishment of Jiao Tong University branch campus is parallel with the drive of Malaysia education blueprint to provide quality tertiary education to our Malaysian citizens, in particular to the people of Sarawak.
The setting up of Shanghai Jiao Tong University Campus Sarawak will help turn Malaysia into an educational hub of excellence in Asia.
Many first-hand cutting edge technologies have been created by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, including :
1- first man-made satellite,
2- first nuclear powered submarine,
3- first carrier rocket and also
4- world’s first operation of rejoining severed limb

With the establishment of the branch campus in Kuching, the university could transfer the technology it has to Malaysia.

The expertise the University will greatly help Malaysia in the development of high technology sector such as micro satellite to monitor environmental and natural resources, providing Sarawak that added boost to produce manpower for SCORE (Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy) which would require engineers and managers.

The establishment of the campus pave the way for Malaysian and Chinese bachelor degrees to be recognized in both countries.

The state of Sarawak currently has two private foreign university Sarawak campuses namely :
1- Curtin University in Miri
2- Swinburne University of Technology in Kuching

Shanghai Jiao Tong University was established in 1896 with ‘first class talent cultivation’ as its principle mission. The university is also known as the ‘Eastern MIT’ (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) because it is the top engineering university in China, producing over 200,000 graduates and top engineers.

As in 2016, Malaysia has :

1) 414 Private colleges
2) 37 Private universities
3) 10 Private University-colleges
4) 1 Public University-college
5) 10 Foreign branch campus
6) 20 Public universities


n Private Universities in Malaysia

There are total 18 Private Universities in Malaysia : List of Private Universities

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



International Medical University (IMU)International Medical University (IMU)

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.



1016, Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: +603 - 2175 4000
Fax:+603 - 2175 4001

الجامعة الإسلامية العالمية ماليزيا
International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)

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

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.

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.

Private higher education cost on upward spiral :



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.

Education in Malaysia – Blog about various issues surrounding the state of the Malaysian education system, both private and public, the resulting products of the system as well as the job market in relation to fresh graduates. Read the great posts on scholarships.

Estimated Tuition Fees for a Bachelor's Degree in Malaysia

  Private Colleges 3+0 Foreign Degree Programme Foreign University Branch Campuses Degree Programme Malaysian Private Universities Degree Programme
  (RM) (RM) (RM)
Business   RM40,000 -50,000
(3 years)
RM50,000 -  90,000
(3 years)
RM30,000 - 40,000
(3 years)
Engineering RM45,000 - 50,000

3 years for UK degree

RM85,000 - 100,000)

(4 years for Aust. degree)(3 years for UK degree)


(4 years for Malaysian Degree)

IT RM35,000 - 40,000

(3 years)

RM55.800 - 85,000

(3 years)

RM35,000 - 45,000

(3 years)

Medicine .   RM330.000


RM250,000 - 350,000


Hospitality & Tourism RM45,000 - 48,500

(3 years)

  RM31,000 - 55,000

(3 years)


(3 years)

  RM53.000 - 59,000

(3 years)

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 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 :


  Private Higher Education Institutions 2007 Number of Institutes
1 Private Universities 16
2 Private University Colleges 16
3 Foreign Branch Campus Universities in Malaysia 4
4 Private Colleges (non-university Status) 485

Total :


Private Higher Educational Institutions in Malaysia

The private higher educational institutions in Malaysia that offer certificate, diploma and undergraduate degree and postgraduate degree courses programmes are :

1 - private colleges,

2 - private universities and

3 - branch campuses of foreign universities.

  Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)
The college which has campuses in Kuala Lumpur and Penang offers 3 year diploma courses based on STPM entry in the fields of business, technology and science. A limited range of 2 year certificate courses post SPM are also conducted by TAR College.

  Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (UNIRazak)
The history of Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia started off on September 16, 1993 as Pusat Latihan Staf Politeknik (PLSP). The core business of PLSP then was to train and produce polytechnics academic staff to become knowledgeable and skilful in various engineering fields. The training institute was jointly administered by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Ministry of Education.

  Malaysia University of Science & Technology (MUST)

Malaysia University of Science and Technology (MUST) is a research-based postgraduate university that was established in 2000 with the assistance of one of the most prestigious universities in the world, 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.  

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. We provide a conducive learning environment with excellent lecturer to student ratio in order to fulfill the needs and aspirations of each student, modeled after MIT, where critical, innovative, and cutting-edge research is nurtured and developed to its highest potential.

  Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN)

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

UNITEN offer programmes that focus on Engineering, Computer Science, Information Technology, Accounting, Business Management and related areas to develop scholars, professionals and specialists who are superior in their respective fields. These 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.

Undergraduate Programmes  |  List of University CollegeList of Government Universities  | List of Private Universities  | List of Oversea Universities  |  INDEX Universities  |


 INDEX : Private Universities in Malaysia  June 20, 2016 09:37:49 PM

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