Study in Malaysia

About Education in Malaysia

Education System: Six years of free primary education are followed by three years of general lower secondary education. Two further years of education at the upper secondary level, in either a vocational or an academic program, are offered. Technical schools also offer secondary program, but students must have a strong math and science background in order to attend. A selective one-year pre-university course prepares students for admission to the universities. Malay is the medium of instruction in primary and secondary schools, with English as a compulsory second language. Muslim religious instruction is compulsory for all Muslim children while private Christian schools offer religious training to their students. The academic year runs from July to March.

The entrance requirement for universities and university colleges is generally the Matriculation Certificate. Bachelor’s programs have a nominal duration of 3 to 4 years. The nominal duration for programs in medicine and dentistry is 5 years. In terms of level, the bachelor’s degree (MQF level 6) is comparable to an HBO or WO bachelor’s degree in the Netherlands, depending on the type of study. A master’s degree is awarded after 1 or 2 years of study following the completion of a bachelor’s programed. There are 3 pathways to a master’s degree: by conducting research, by completing coursework, or a combination of these two. In terms of level, the master’s degree (MQF level 7) is comparable to an HBO or WO master’s degree in the Netherlands, depending on the type of study. A PhD (MQF level 8) requires at least 2 or 3 additional years of study in general, but can require as many as 7 years for certain specializations. In addition to degree programs, some universities also offer non-degree Diploma programs. The entry requirement of these programs is the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM). The study duration of diploma programs offered by public universities is typically 3 years.

In the 1990’s the responsibility of accreditation in public and private higher education sector was divided between the National Accreditation Board and the Ministry of Education’s Quality Assurance Division. These 2 accrediting organizations were merged to form the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) in 2007. The MQA is responsible for accreditation of programs at bachelor’s level and lower (Diploma and Certificate level). Master’s programs offered by private higher education institutes also fall within the accreditation scope of MQA. Accreditation by the MQA also applies to higher (professional) education offered by foreign educational institutes or by Malaysian educational institutes in cooperation with a foreign partner. Once accredited, these programs are also listed in the Malaysian Qualifications Register. An overview of accredited programs can be found in the Malaysian Qualifications Register (MQR). See under List of Higher Education Institutions.

You will need a work permit called an ‘Employment Pass’ after completion of your graduate program. An Employment Pass is valid for a minimum of two years and a maximum of five. If you would like to stay in Malaysia for a short period of time (less than one year,) and are offered employment within a particular sector, you may also be eligible for a Visit (Temporary) Employment Pass.

The application process for both these permits types is the same. In each case, the application process for a permit will be outlined on your letter of acceptance from your host employer.

For the most part, you will need to first have a job offer from a Malaysian company in order to obtain a work permit. When you are offered a job in Malaysia, you will be placed into one of three expatriate worker categories: Key Posts, for graduates in high level managerial roles in foreign-owned private companies in Malaysia, Executive Posts, for those in intermediate posts that require academic qualifications and professional experience, and Non-Executive Posts, for graduates holding technical positions which require applied, practical skills.

After you have received your letter you will need to complete the DP11 Form, and include it along with a passport-sized photograph, a copy of the photo page of your passport and the documents from your employer in your complete application.

You can submit your complete application by post or in person to the Malaysian Employment Pass Division.

As of October 2011, high-achieving students in Accounting, Finance, Electronics and oil & gas fields may apply for an Employment Pass (Category II). Students must be completing studies of at least a degree level at a SETARA Tier-5 Malaysian institution, with an academic standard of a high 2:1. You must be selected by a reputable firm for a graduate position on a contract that is minimum 2 years in length, with a salary of RM2, 500 (US$765) per month. Your company will then apply for the pass on your behalf.

About Malaysia

Malaysia is a federal state that has a monarchy system of governance. It is comprised of 13 large states and 3 different federal territories. Its area is about 330,803 square kilometers. The Malaysian land is divided into two parts, namely Malaysian Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia, between which the South China Sea flows. The population of Malaysia is around 31 million as of March 2017, based on the latest United Nations estimates.

Malaysia borders Brunei, Thailand, and Indonesia. Its sea borders Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines. Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia.

We hope that we were able to provide you much information about Malaysia. Despite maximum research individual experiences can also vary. We look forward to assisting and wishing you good luck in your professional progression.

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