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Cost of a degree in Malaysia? International qualification but paying in RM?

cost of a degree

Cost of a degree in Malaysia? International qualification but paying in RM?

Many years ago, someone told me that if I have two children, I need to have at least RM2 million for their education. When I asked further, the person (who’s in the financial industry) told me that it’s RM250,000 per year for a 4 year programme in the UK. He said the fee alone is £15,000 and another £12,000 for living expenses. So, it’s £27,000 or RM150,000 per year. I asked why he said it’s RM250,000 then? He said must include inflation mah…

The article below is more about UK qualification because I am also a UK graduate for my first degree. My alumni is University of the West of England (UWE), UK.

Is Malaysia popular for international students intending to do a degree?

Perhaps it’s good to note that it’s possible to graduate with a UK degree here within Malaysia itself. In fact, we have over 130,000 international students doing just that; studying for a degree in Malaysia. Close to 100,000 are in private tertiary institutions and these institutions are most probably running a course where the student could graduate with a foreign degree as well. Info source:

More information from an informational website: Just always note that the numbers will always differ depending on the tertiary institution yeah. This is their disclaimer which is definitely a valid one. (Note: All figures are estimates and serve only as a guideline)

UK Engineering Degree in Malaysia?

If an international student wishes to study for a UK degree and they do it here in Malaysia with a tertiary institution which has been approved to run the course with the foreign university, below would be the typical total fee plus living expenses here in Malaysia. Just need to note that if someone prefers to rent one whole condo versus one room, then of course the cost below will not be so low.

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Typical fees for Business and IT disciplines

Generally, the most expensive one is usually Engineering because of the need to use machines and other equipments. Even at the most expensive course, the investment would be roughly RM50,000 – RM85,000 for the whole course yeah. If we include the living expenses as per what was mentioned above, it’s an extra RM54,000. Thus, total cost for an Engineering degree (franchised UK engineering programme) would only come up to RM140,000.

Two kids? RM140,000 x 2 = RM280,000. Manageable yeah. Just need to start sooner than later so that the money will be available by then. Alternatively, local universities are pretty well ranked even against many of these foreign UK universities which are the awarding university yeah. Please do refer to this informational website:

Expectations of the partner UK university for an engineering degree programme?

Which UK university engineering programme could a student expect to study for if they do it here in Malaysia? Here’s one. Coventry University, UK. INTI International University (Yes, I am an alumni of INTI) runs an engineering course in collaboration with Coventry University. It’s ranked top 50 in the UK out of probably 200 universities. (click here to view) As for the world, it’s ranked 601 – 650 and this is around top 3% university in the world. Of course this is not Cambridge or Oxford University but top 3% is okay lah. Click here to view.

Some comparisons with local institutions with engineering programmes as well?

If you need a comparison, University Malaya is ranked at 65th in the world. (click here to view) This is our top university in Malaysia. Meanwhile if we look at private universities which are homegrown, we have Taylor’s University which is ranked top 332 in the world. (click here for the ranking) Or Sunway University which is ranked 651 – 700 in the world. (click here to view) By the way, this is also the reason why we have many international students here in Malaysia. Be proud yeah, we have come a long way from the time when I studied for my degree way back in 1994.

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Yes, you should come to Malaysia if you are an international student

The degrees are conducted in English. This is a super plus. The degrees are internationally recognised. Depending on which is the awarding university, you may be getting a UK degree and yet can spend much lower than going directly to the foreign country. Third, you are not going to be the first batch or second batch yeah. You are just adding on to the over 130,000 international students today.

As a Malaysian, I welcome all of you yeah. By the way, the typical accommodation cost which you pay in the UK for ONE ROOM, you could rent one whole apartment here in Malaysia if truly necessary.

Is a degree needed in the current world?

As they say, a degree is not so special these days (throw a stone and it may land on a degree holder) but a degree will always be a stepping stone for many people. By the way, the throw a stone and hit a degree holder is not so true yeah. The % is probably 20% or thereabouts versus 50%. Why I say so is because even in Singapore, they have only reached 33% in 2020. (click here to view)

We can also say many successful entrepreneurs can be successful without a degree and that’s true as well. Just look a little further below the entreprenurs and we would realise that most of their staffs, the managers do have tertiary qualifications yeah. Happy studying for your first degree. Perhaps a Master degree may be the minimum in the future yeah. Yes, I have an MBA from UUM, Malaysia. Oh yeah, UUM is ranked 511-520 in the world yeah. (clikc here to view) Happy studying even if you think you want to be an entrepreneur in the future.

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Next suggested article:  Degree is no longer needed, they say.

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.


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