Student Info & Guide

How to study for a foreign degree qualification in Malaysia

by StudyMalaysia on December 21, 2016 | Top Stories

How to study for a foreign degree qualification in Malaysia

Going abroad to study to get a foreign degree qualification may be the dream of many students but not all may be able to afford the steep tuition fees and cost of living. Before you throw away your hopes, there are many more affordable options you can explore which may give you the outcome you want. Here are some ways you can study for a foreign degree qualification starting right here in Malaysia.

Advantages of a '3+0' degree programme
  • It will definitely be more economical because the course fees and the living expenses for the entire duration of the course are paid in Malaysian Ringgit
  • For example, the total tuition fees for a ‘3+0’ engineering degree in a private college in Malaysia is estimated at RM55,000, whereas the tuition fee for the same 3-year degree programme in the UK is about £33,000
1. ‘3+0’ degree programmes that lead to a foreign university degree

The '3+0' programme is an extension of the '2+1' twinning programme; but the '3+0' allows you to complete the entire foreign degree programme at a private HEI in Malaysia. You will study the same syllabus and obtain the same qualifications as students at the host university overseas. You will also go through the same method of assessment. In some instances, students can opt to complete their studies at the overseas host university.
This is definitely a more economical option because the course fees and the living expenses for the entire duration of the course are paid in Malaysian Ringgit.

Table: Examples of foreign universities that collaborate with private HEIs in Malaysia to offer '3+0’ degree programmes

(Note: the entire duration of study is in Malaysia)

UK Universities
  • University of Derby with HELP Academy for accounting and business management degree programmes
  • Anglia Ruskin University with First City University College for accounting, business management and marketing degree; with HELP College of Art and Technology for accounting, business management, engineering, IT, and marketing degree programmes
  • University of Hertfordshire with The One Academy (TOA) for degree programmes in graphic design, interactive media design and interior architecture and design
  • Sheffield Hallam University with First City University College for electrical & electronic engineering degree programme
  • University of Greenwich with SEGi College for business, accounting, computing, finance and early year education degree programmes
  • University of Sunderland with SEGi College for hospitality, business, engineering, accounting, finance and marketing degree programmes; and with IACT College for degree programmes in advertising design, media, culture and communication
  • University of Abertay Dundee, Scotland with SEGi College for business, engineering and marketing degree programmes
  • Nottingham Trent University with First City University College for graphic design, interior architecture and software engineering degree programmes
  • York St. John University with SEGi College for psychology and music studies degree programmes
Australian Universities
US Universities
  • Troy University with SEGi College for communication, psychology and business administration degree programmes
  • Campbell University with Tunku Abdul Rahman University College for BSc degree majoring in analytical chemistry, chemistry, food science, sports and exercise science, management mathematics, applied physics, microelectronics, interactive software technology , software engineering, enterprise information systems, information security, and internet technology

(Source: Study in Malaysia Handbook (9th International Edition)
(Note: The collaboration arrangement may not be up-to-date and is subject to change)

Advantages of studying at a foreign university branch campus in Malaysia
  • You will be awarded the same qualifications as students studying at the main campus abroad
  • Besides the lower cost of living in Malaysia, you will also pay lower tuition fees at the branch campus
  • You will have the opportunity to study for one or more semesters at the main campus overseas and need to pay only the fees of the Malaysian branch campus.

(Note: This arrangement is not for all students and is subject to the student obtaining the appropriate visa from the relevant government and fulfilling other academic requirements of the university concerned.)

2. Foreign university degree qualifications from foreign universities located in Malaysia

Currently, there are nine reputable foreign university branch campuses in Malaysia which offer foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate studies. The courses offered at the branch campuses here are identical to that of the host university overseas.

The first branch campus that was set up in Malaysia was Monash University, Australia in 1998. This was followed by Curtin University Sarawak Campus; The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus; and Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus. The fifth was Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia which was established in 2009 - the first university to be built within EduCity of the Iskandar Development Region (Iskandar Malaysia), Johor. After that, University of Southampton Malaysia Campus and Heriot-Watt University Malaysia were established, followed by University of Reading Malaysia campus in 2013. In 2015, Xiamen University of China set up its first overseas branch campus in Malaysia.

Among these foreign universities, Monash University, The University of Nottingham and University of Southampton are highly ranked in QS World University Rankings® 2015/16 and Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-2016.

Table: Examples of foreign university branch campuses in Malaysia

 No. Name of Branch Campus and year established in Malaysia

Location in

Malaysia
Year established in Malaysia

Country of Origin

1. Monash University Sunway Campus Malaysia Selangor 1998 Australia
2. Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia Sarawak 1999 Australia
3. The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus Selangor 2000 United Kingdom
4.

Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia

Johor 2009 United Kingdom
5. Heriot-Watt University Malaysia Putrajaya 2012 United Kingdom

(Source: Education Guide Malaysia (14th edition, by Challenger Concept)

When you complete your studies at one of these universities in Malaysia, you will be awarded the same qualifications as students studying at the main campus abroad. Besides the lower cost of living in Malaysia, you will also pay lower tuition fees at the branch campus in Malaysia. In addition, you will have the opportunity to study abroad for one or more semesters at the main campus overseas and need to pay only the fees of the Malaysian branch campus.

(Note: This arrangement is not for all students and is subject to the student obtaining the appropriate visa from the relevant government and fulfilling other academic requirements of the university concerned.)

3. Foreign universities’ external degree programmes that lead to a foreign degree qualification
Advantages of external degree programmes
  • Once again, the main advantage is the significantly lower cost of tuition fees and living expenses as compared to studying abroad.

Coaching students in Malaysia to acquire an external degree offered by foreign universities is a long established practice in Malaysia. Dating back to the early 1980s, the most popular external degree programmes then were from the University of London (UOL). Due to the demand for international bachelor’s degrees at that time, Malaysian educational institutions began offering what was known as the ‘UOL external degree programme’.

The external degree programme does not require the students to be physically present at the campus. The overseas university sets the entry requirements, syllabus and examinations. However, the overseas university does not play a role in teaching the students. Private colleges in Malaysia fulfill this role by offering tutorial support to these ‘external’ students and preparing them to sit for the final examination at approved centres. This arrangement significantly lowers the cost of tuition fees and living expenses when compared to studying abroad.

Students who pass their examinations once they have reached the required standard, or successfully complete a programme put together from various courses or modules, will get their degrees from the overseas university. The degree obtained is no different from that awarded to the ‘internal students’ of the university. This is yet another avenue in acquiring a foreign university bachelor degree qualification without leaving Malaysia.

Many Malaysian private colleges have proven track records in coaching students in successfully acquiring degrees under the external degree programme. A good example is the University of London’s law and management programme. The University of London International Programme offers well-known foreign external degrees in economics, management, law, finance, banking and information systems.

Table: Some examples of external degree programmes

Name of PHEIs Name of external programme Awarding university Duration
HELP Academy BSc (Hons) (Accounting & Finance; Banking & Finance; Economics; Economics & Management)  University of London, UK (External degree) 3 years after A-levels or its equivalent
Brickfields Asia College (BAC) LL.B University of London, UK (External degree) 3 years after A-levels or its equivalent

Source: StudyMalaysia Research Team

Sources for this article include:

  • Study in Malaysia Handbook (10th International Edition), published by Challenger Concept)
  • Education Guide Malaysia (14th Edition), published by Challenger Concept)
  • Information from various PHEIs

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