Going Abroad From Malaysia

Many students dream about going abroad to study in countries like the UK, the US, Australia, Canada, China, Taiwan, and others. However, a large number of students are unable to do so because of financial constraints. What would you say if we told you that there’s a way around this obstacle? Students can have a chance to experience life as an undergraduate abroad by reducing the cost of their education – and this is possible through a credit transfer or advanced standing arrangement with foreign universities.

Malaysia has a well-developed transnational education or advanced standing structure for students studying here in Malaysia to continue their education overseas at a much reduced cost. This means that students spend their initial years studying in Malaysia compared to pursuing the entire programme overseas. This arrangement also allows international students who come to Malaysia to take advantage of this opportunity so that they can achieve their dream of experiencing student life abroad in not one, but two countries.


In a nutshell, if you want to:

  • study for a foreign degree but pay lower fees, or
  • want to enjoy lower fees but the course of our choice is not available in Malaysia,

then you can begin right here with Malaysia’s private higher educational institutions (HEIs).


The advanced standing pathway for an overseas degree qualification

‘Advanced standing’ is one of the ways you can pursue a course you are interested in that is offered by a university abroad without busting your education budget. Such an arrangement between Malaysian institutions and universities from the UK, Australia, Canada, Taiwan, and others have been developed by private colleges in Malaysia since the early 1980s. With an ‘advanced standing’ status, recognition (full or part) is given by a foreign university of a particular course pursued at a Malaysian private HEI (such as a diploma or Year 1 or Year 2 of a bachelor’s degree) that allows a student advanced entry into the foreign university’s degree programme.

The features of this programme are:

  • Local private HEIs cooperate with a consortium of overseas universities

  • The course curriculum of local private HEIs are recognised with either full or part exemption for a foreign degree programme

  • Students of local private HEIs have a choice of overseas universities (within the consortium) to complete their degree programmes

  • The degree qualification is awarded by the overseas university


The advantages of advanced standing programmes:

Besides enabling students to obtain a foreign degree at a lower cost, advanced standing programmes also give students more flexibility in choosing where they want to study and for how long. With some programmes, students may have the opportunity to choose from a few foreign universities from various countries. Generally, if you choose a degree programme that is recognised with advanced standing status, you will:

  • have the flexibility to acquire a degree qualification that is awarded by a foreign university

  • enjoy substantial cost savings in acquiring a foreign degree qualification as you will spend the first one to two years studying at a Malaysian PHEI

  • have a wide option of universities and courses

  • have the advantage of experiencing learning and life as a student in two countries
  • have the option of completing the entire degree programme in Malaysia if you face financial constraints during your studies (please note that if a student completes the entire programme at a private university in Malaysia, the degree will be awarded by the Malaysian private university)


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