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Malaysia Becoming World’s Premier Education Hub

Each of the popular expat destinations has its own unique

draw. For Australia it’s the climate and the outdoor lifestyle. For the Gulf it

is the safety and the tax-free income opportunities. Malaysia, it seems, is

focusing on something rather more unusual; becoming the global leader in expat

education. What’s more, Malaysia’s plans seem to be working, with student

numbers having increased by 70% over the last 7 years.

From Malaysia’s perspective the move to education hub is one

of genius. Foreign students are unable to work in Malaysia without formal

approval. Even those that are lucky enough to gain approval are limited to no

more than 20 hours of work per week. As a result, welcoming expat students has

very little impact on the availability of work for Malaysian nationals.

On the other hand these expats bring with them large sums of

cash, required to pay for their tuition and living expenses, the vast majority

of which ends up in the local economy. This mixture of nationalities also

presents opportunities for Malaysia to learn from other nations and possibly

recruit graduates into important positions; something that would be far more

difficult for graduates leaving universities in their home countries.

However the arrangement is far from one-sided. To begin with,

expat students benefit from some of the highest standards of education offered

anywhere. For those in the know, Malaysia offers some of the most highly-rated

undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses available anywhere in the world.

This is partly due to Malaysia’s own efforts over the last

decade to mimic the standards expected of the top global universities. However

Malaysia has also benefited from a number of well-established Western

universities setting up satellite sites in Malaysia. Here the same standards as

their mother universities are maintained, helping to raise the overall quality

of education available in Malaysia.

Generally speaking, the costs of living and tuition fees in

Malaysia are also much lower than you might encounter elsewhere. Many countries

offering comparable levels of education – such as the UK and the USA – are

considerably more expensive. This means that budget-conscious students can gain

access to a world-class education system without having to pay over the odds

for it.

Lastly, expats report that Malaysian nationals are

surprisingly friendly and welcoming towards foreign students. They generally

feel very welcome here and enjoy the Western-standards of living and low

crime-rate of Malaysia.

In short, it seems that Malaysia’s decade-long gamble is

starting to pay off. Students from around the world are flocking to the country

to save money while gaining access to some of the most highly-rated degree

courses available anywhere in the world. 

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