10 Cheap Universities in Malaysia for International Students

A Southeast Asian country famous for several landmarks, including the Petronas Towers and Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia is also home to several world-class universities that international students may want to consider enrolling in.

In fact, the University of Malaya is in the top 100 colleges and universities in the world under the QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) World University Ranking. So, if you’re planning to study abroad you may want to check out this list of affordable universities in Malaysia.

Cost of Studying in Malaysia

The total cost of studying, including tuition and living expenses, for an international student in Malaysia is RM 140,000 or around $33,000 USD. This amount is for a three-your bachelor’s degree.

Are Universities Free in Malaysia?

The Ministry of Education of Malaysia is currently finalizing the mechanism that will be used in providing free university education for domestic students or Malaysian citizens. Currently, Malaysian citizens are enjoying highly-subsidized university education since the government is aiming for 50 percent of its workforce to have a university education.

What are the languages of instruction for universities in Malaysia?

While English is used as the primary language of instruction for most private Malaysian universities, Bahasa Malaysia is normally used in many bachelor’s degree courses in public universities. On the other hand, English is used as the language of instruction for postgraduate degree courses.

Cheapest Universities in Malaysia for International Students

1. University of Malaysia, Kelantan

The University of Malaysia, Kelantan is a state-sponsored university that was established in 2006. Located in Kelantan, the university features four faculties offering undergraduate and post-graduate degrees for its students.

Among the degrees offered by the university were Entrepreneurship and Business, Veterinary Medicine, and Agro-Industry and Natural Resources, among others.

With the tuition fee of $700 to $2,000 a year, the University of Malaysia, Kelantan is the cheapest university in Malaysia for international students.

The university has three campuses: the main campus in Bachok, the City Campus in Pengkalan Chepa, and the second campus Forest Park Campus in a rural area in Jeli. Students at the university can look forward to a hostel, a library, sports and cultural facilities, and a cafeteria.

2. National Defense University of Malaysia

  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: RM 5,050 ($1,200 USD) for the initial semester and RM 3,550 ($800 USD) for subsequent semesters.
  • Graduate Tuition Fee Link

The National Defense University of Malaysia was established mainly to meet the educational needs of the armed forces of Malaysia. It is considered as the only higher education institution that can raise the status of the Malaysian armed forces.

While most of the lecturers at the university are members of the armed forces, some are hired to provide quality education to the students.

Aside from offering bachelor’s degree programs for the men and women in uniform, the university and offer master’s and Ph.D. degrees to international students.

3. University of Malaya

The University of Malaya is a Kuala Lumpur-based public research university. Established in 1905, it is the only Malaysian university to be ranked among the top 100 higher education institutions in the world. It offers several undergraduate and graduate courses to both local and international students.

This affordable university in Malaysia has also partnered with several universities in the United Kingdom, France, Australia, and Japan, including the University of Sydney, University of Nottingham, Osaka University, École Polytechnique, and the University of Melbourne.

The school has produced prominent personalities in the business, cultural, and political landscape of Malaysia, including three prime ministers.

4. Tun Hussein Onn University of Malaysia

The Tun Hussein Onn University of Malaysia or the Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia was established in 1993 and focused mainly on training polytechnic academic staff. It soon became an institute of technology to acknowledge the fact that it produces a good number of well-trained technical education staff.

In 2007, it attained its full university status. It currently offers programs in eight different faculties, including civil and environmental engineering, applied science and technology, electrical and electronic engineering, and technology management and business, among others.

The programs offered by the university include diploma programs, undergraduate degree programs, post-graduate degree programs, and offshore programs.

Aside from learning, students can also relax and visit the sports and recreation facilities of the university. Moreover, student societies also allow the students to explore their passions together with other like-minded individuals.

5. Universiti Malaysia Sabah

The next cheapest university in Malaysia is the Universiti Malaysia Sabah. This university was established in Kota Kinabalu in 1994. It is the ninth Malaysian government-funded higher learning institution. While the university was established in 1994, it admitted the first batch of 205 students in 1995.

Presently, the university has three campuses in Malaysia and ten facilities with several fields of study, including computing and informatics, psychology and education, and international finance, among others.

Currently, the university is supervised by a Board of Directors that is made up of a chairman and ten members on a three-year term. The minister of education appoints the members of the board.

Students at the university can look forward to a different learning experience since Sabah is a state full of natural attractions. The area is rich in natural treasures that the students can explore during their free time.

6. Universiti Malaysia Pahang

  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: RM 10,685 ($2,300 USD) for the first semester and RM4,610 ($1,100 USD) for the subsequent semesters,
  • Graduate Tuition Fee Link

The Universiti Malaysia Pahang was initially called the Kolej Universiti Kejuruteraan dan Teknologi Malaysia or the University College of Engineering & Technology Malaysia. The university was established in 2002 and received its autonomy in 2015.

This cheap university in Malaysia offers several engineering and technology-based programs. It is among the best universities when it comes to research and innovation under the Malaysia Technology University Network.

The main campus of the Universiti Malaysia Pahang is located in Pekan and is home to its four engineering faculties. The Gambang campus of the university is located in the East Coast Industrial Belt where several multinational companies are located.

7. University of Science Malaysia

The University of Science Malaysia is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in northern Malaysia. Established in 1969, the university was established as a statutory body as the second university in the country.

The university has three campuses: the Main Campus in Penang, the Health Campus located in Kelantan, and the Engineering Campus, which is situated in Nibong Tebal. It is one of the biggest universities in Malaysia in terms of enrollment.

The university offers several programs in different fields of study, including pure sciences, applied sciences, humanities, education, and pharmaceutical sciences, among others.

8. Technical University of Malaysia, Malacca

The Technical University of Malaysia, Malacca or the Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) is a government-funded university that pioneered the “Practice and Application Oriented” method of teaching and learning in the university level.

While the university is the 14th public university in the country, it is the first technical university that is funded by the government. Established in 2000, the university offers several programs in eight different faculties, including electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering, electronics and computer engineering, and information and communication technology.

There are three main campuses of the university: the Main Campus, the City Campus, and the Industry Campus. Around 86 percent of the graduates of the university found employment right after they graduated.

9. Universiti Malaysia Perlis

The Universiti Malaysia Pahang is a higher learning institution established in Perlis in 2001. It was initially called the Kolej Universiti Kejuruteraan Utara Malaysia. The university is Malaysia’s 17th public institution of higher learning.

The Universiti Malaysia Pahang aims to produce highly-skilled engineers who can fulfill and support the Industrial Blueprint of Malaysia.

This affordable university in Malaysia was able to attain its autonomous status in 2015. It currently has around 30 locations on three campuses in Perlis. These campuses are the City Campus, the Unicity Nature Campus, and the Nature Campus Pauh Putra.

Aside from the four walls of the classroom, the students can also expand their knowledge by visiting the libraries of the university. They can also plan through the career development services offered at the university.

10. Universiti Putra Malaysia

The final university in our list of low tuition universities for international students is the Universiti Putra Malaysia, which is considered as one of the leading research universities in Malaysia. Previously called, the Universiti Pertanian Malaysia or the College of Agriculture Malaya, it offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in the fields of science, medicine, engineering, and business, among others.

The university also has several faculties handling several departments each.

The main campus of the Universiti Putra Malaysia is located in Serdang, Selangor. It also has two branch campuses located in Mengabang Telipot, Terengganu and Bintulu, Sarawak.

Aside from suitable student accommodations, students can also look forward to a variety of food and beverage options showcasing different cultures around the world.


I hope that this info on the cheapest universities in Malaysia was informative!