Malaysia has always been a country that places the utmost importance on the education of its next generation. In fact, there are obviously more bachelor or diploma holders today than there have ever been — which has indirectly led to an oversaturation of talent in certain markets.
But that’s not what we’re here to discuss today. Indeed, interest in education in Malaysia is at an all-time high, coupled with the fact that many universities in the country already have their foot in the global and international charts when it comes to institutes of higher education. And the country’s home-grown institutions are now enhanced by a growing number of selected international branch campuses — offering students, new and old, even more opportunities to learn. Also, the various incentives, programs, and scholarships offered by the ministry of education is just the icing on the proverbial cake when it comes to selecting this country as your study hub.
For those of you who are considering picking Malaysia as your go-to country of choice to study, you may be overwhelmed by the massive selection of universities and colleges found here. Fret not! We’re here to review the top five universities (in no particular order) in Malaysia so that you’ll have an easier time picking whichever would fit your goals best.
Starting this list off strong, UM is one of Malaysia’s highest-ranking Malaysian institutions — both locally and internationally. It is a public research-driven university placed in the heart and soul of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur (KL). UM is also Malaysia’s oldest university and was established in 1949 based on a merger between several existing colleges in neighbouring Singapore.
As for the fields of study, you’ll find aplenty here to dip your toes in ranging from techno-based courses to humanities to medicine, and many, many more!
As a matter of fact, UM boasts an enrollment of more than 14,580 undergraduates and more than 13,700 postgrads. Its international flair, in particular, is more apparent as it is considered one of the more popular choices of universities among international students.
University Science of Malaysia
Situated in the self-proclaimed foodie central of Malaysia, University Science of Malaysia or Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) is another public research institute that is no stranger to the international rankings. USM has its main campus, covering a wide range of subjects including Computer Science, Management and Econ courses, as well as its International Language school, in Georgetown on the main island. Whereas, two additional campuses focusing on engineering and healthcare/medicine can be found on the western and eastern side of Peninsular Malaysia — in Nibong Tebal and Kubang Kerian respectively.
As an institute, USM boasts one of the strongest lineups of faculty members in terms of scoring for published research appears. It is also the second-highest in terms of research citations per paper (only behind University Malaysia Sarawak), which brings credence to its position as the nation’s top research centre.
University Putra Malaysia
Another mainstay in the world rankings, University Putra Malaysia (UPM) has established a stable reputation as one of the top institutes in the country in recent years. It is, unsurprisingly, another public research university that is located on the fringes of KL in the town of Serdang. Contrary to its current-day facade, UPM was originally founded as an agricultural college and has slowly evolved its focus from the fields of agriculture and forestry, to also including a comprehensive list of courses across just about every subject area.
And similar to the other universities in this piece, UPM is one of the top choices among international students — most notably at the postgraduate level.
University of Malaysia Sarawak
Located in the east on the Borneon island of Sarawak, UNIMAS is a relative newbie in the scene as it was founded as recently as December 24, 1992. But make no mistake about it, UNIMAS is still a mighty juggernaut in the local education industry regardless of its relative infancy.
Most recently, UNIMAS has been ranked among the top 200 in Asian University Rankings 2017 by QS World University Rankings. This is certainly an impressive achievement considering UNIMAS was only established less than three decades at that point.
As for its locale, UNIMAS is located in the peaceful and quiet township of Kota Samarahan in Sarawak’s capital city of Kuching. It also comprises eight faculties covering plenty of subject matter, three institutes, and seven centres.
University Kebangsaan Malaysia
Last but certainly not least, is the second-placing university in Malaysia — University Kebangsaan Malaysia or otherwise known as UKM.
Like most of the top universities in Malaysia, UKM is a publicly funded institute that boasts an impressive intake of students at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. UKM offers its students comprehensive and wide-ranging subjects to learn alongside a strong focus on research.
The Bangi-based campus UKM was established in 1970 and has been a constant in the QS World University Rankings, particularly in the QS Top 50 under 50 category. This category ranks the world’s top 50 universities that are under 50 years old. UKM often scores particularly well in attracting overseas faculty members and is ranked 12th in Asia in this indicator — which is two spots above Malaysia’s #1, UM.