Scholarships for International Students in Malaysia: Top Universities Scholarships, Financial Aid Providers and Study Loans

Higher education is one of the most essential investments an individual makes before planning their road ahead in life. Making it cost-effective by planning your budget and looking for scholarships or funding available can help you prevent burning a hole in your pocket. As an international applicant planning to study in Malaysia, finding financial aids that either fully or partially cover your overall expense is not a far fetched dream. Both the government of Malaysia and Universities in Malaysia offer various scholarships, loans, and other financial aids to international and local students each year. The types of scholarships for international students in Malaysia are- Bursaries, Grants, Education funds, Tuition waivers, and loans.   

Some of the popular Government-backed financial assistance bodies include:

  • Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional (PTPTN), MOHE
  • The Ministry of Higher Education (Scholarship Division)
  • JPA Scholarship Programme
  • State Foundations
  • Government Linked Companies

Other than these, funding in Malaysia for education is also provided by private sector NGO in the form of grants, scholarships for international students in Malaysia.

Malaysia Government Scholarship

The scholarship is provided by Ministry of Education, Malaysia for international students to study masters program in Malaysia. More than 34,500 Participants from 144 Developing countries have benefited from the same. The duration os the scolarships is 12-24 months and is accepted by pubmic or private universities in Malaysia.

  • For the Master’s Degree Program, applicants should obtain a minimum of Second Class Upper (Honours) or a minimum CGPA of 3.0 at the Undergraduate Degree level.
  • Scholars must undertake full-time study for postgraduate programs at the selected Higher Learning Institutions.
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency such as IELTS (minimum total score 6.0); or TOEFL paper-based test with a score of 500 or an internet-based test with a score of 60.

Global Scholarships for International Students in Malaysia

Malaysia Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan: Available for students from Commonwealth countries planning to study masters and Ph.D. courses from Malaysian Universities. Malaysia Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) covers air tickets, tuition fee waiver, grants for books, and travel within the country, health insurance. The scholarship is offered for 12-24 months for master's applicants and 3-years for Ph.D. courses. 

  • Application deadline: July 
  • Number of scholarships given: Multiple
  • Eligibility: Age less than 45 years, GPA of 3.5 on a scale of 4.0 in bachelor’s, IELTS- 6.5/TOEFL-92

Malaysian International Scholarship: This is available for all international students planning to study masters and doctorate courses in Malaysian Universities. Malaysian International Scholarship (MIS) covers air tickets, tuition fees, monthly allowance, the grant for book and internal travel, medical insurance, thesis allowance, and journal publication grant. It is a fully-covered grant offered for the complete duration of the entire course of study. 

  • Application deadline: July, 31
  • Number of scholarships: Multiple
  • Eligibility: Age less than 45 years, GPA of 3.5 on a scale of 4.0 in bachelor’s, IELTS- 6.5/TOEFL-92
  • Documents Required: Medical Certificate, acceptance letter from Malaysian University, research proposal (if intended for Ph.D. course).  

Scholarship for International Students in Malaysia by Top Universities

Malaysia is a country that dwells on providing top-notch higher education facilities to all its students with the help of scholarships and grants. Here goes of the list of top universities in Malaysia offering scholarships to both local and international students.

University Scholarship Award Amount
University Putra Malaysia Graduate Research Scholarship 700-1,200 RM
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia International Doctoral Fellowship 2,000
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia UKM Vice-Chancellor Scholarships Tuition Fees waiver
UCSI University University Trust Graduate Scholarship Tuition Fees waiver
University of Nottingham Developing Solution Masters Tuition Fees waiver
Heriot-Watt University Sharing Entrepreneurship Women Scholarship Tuition waivers

Country-Specific Scholarships for International Students in Malaysia

United Nations University IIGH Scholarship

  • For: Students from developing countries. Women are encouraged to apply.
  • Level of study: Research (Topics to be related to UNU-IIGH themes)
  • Application deadline: July, 31
  • Number of scholarships: Not mentioned
  • Value of scholarship: Monthly stipend
  • Duration of scholarship: 12 months

TWAS/USM Postgraduate Fellowship for Young Scientists Malaysia

  • For: Developing countries (does not include Malaysia)
  • Level of study: PhD and Fellowship
  • Application deadline: August, 31
  • Number of Scholarships: Standard monthly allowance
  • Value of scholarship: Monthly stipend
  • Duration of scholarship: up to 3 years

Albukhary Foundation Scholarship

  • For: Developing countries (Students from marginalized backgrounds)
  • Level of study: Undergraduate studies
  • Application deadline: 31, August
  • Number of scholarships: Up to 10
  • Value of scholarship: 100 % tuition fee waiver, accommodation, meals, uniforms, insurance, monthly allowance (Depends upon case to case)
  • Duration of study: Depends upon course to course

Financial Aid Providers to Study in Malaysia

In a country like Malaysia, having a rapid influx of international students, financial aid providers come in from various backgrounds. They include governmental and non-governmental organizations, private and government-linked companies, and several trade associations. Some of the biggest financial aid providers in Malaysia are mentioned below.

  • Ministry of Higher Education – Scholarship Division
  • The Public Service Department Programmes (JPA) – Local and overseas
  • Kojadi Education Loan to study in Malaysia
  • The Star Education Fund
  • Yayasan Tunku Abdul Rahman Scholarship
  • Kuok Foundation
  • Sin Chew Daily Education Fund

Study Loans in Malaysia

Even though there are plenty of students who apply for scholarships for international students in Malaysia, not all of them get the same. An alternative to a scholarship is a financial loan. Lately, many financial loans are available to students who wish to study abroad. These loans help them get through their tuition fee, airfare charges, accommodation charges, and other living expenses. A study loan is only granted in Malaysia if there is a guarantor, i.e. someone who would ensure that the loan taken is repaid. If this is not the case, then the student will not be given any kind of study loan in Malaysia.

Study loans in Malaysia are given by, governmental, non-governmental, and privately backed bodies. Some of the biggest study loans providers in Malaysia are:

  • PTPTN Study Loan
  • KOJADI education loan
  • Kuok Foundation

Studying in Malaysia is one of the best choices that a student can make. Firstly, the cost of studying in Malaysia is comparatively cheaper than in other countries. Adding to this, there are many ways in which students can procure financial assistance to study in Malaysia as seen above. Malaysia is home to several international campuses of universities from the UK and Australia that helps international students to gain higher education at a cheaper price. All in all, with international campuses and various scholarships for international students in Malaysia to avail,  is a steal worthy deal for international students.


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