As prices continue to rise, so does the cost of higher education. Thus, it’s no surprise to know that people prefer to work right after high school because they can’t afford a university education.

However, you have an option to study abroad where the costs aren’t as expensive as what you’ll spend in your country. For instance, do you know that you may only pay a little more or less than about $800 a year on tuition fees in Malaysia? In Universiti Malaysia Pahang, for example, because it is state-funded, you only spend that amount per academic year.

We listed seven cheap universities in Malaysia where you can enroll to obtain your university education. Please go through each of them. Who knows? We may convince you to study at any of these universities.

Affordable Schools in Malaysia for International Students

1. Universiti Malaysia Pahang

The Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) is a state-funded technical university granted autonomous status in 2015. It now controls its administration, human resources, and finances. The Malaysian government started it in 2002 through the Royal Decree of His Majesty Yang DiPertuan Agong.

It specializes in engineering and technology while its research focuses on industrial and applied research projects to enrich the learning/teaching processes and to promote the commercialization of its products.

The university’s main campus is in Pekan and currently houses the Faculty of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, the Faculty of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, and the Center for Modern Languages and Human Sciences.

On the other hand, its Gambang campus is home to the other six faculties and one institute. This low-cost education university in Malaysia is within the East Coast Industrial Belt of Peninsular Malaysia which hosts various multinational corporations in the petrochemical, chemical, automotive, manufacturing, and biotechnology industries.

2. Universiti Malaysia Perlis

The Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) is a public university in Perlis, the smallest state in the country. It was the 17th government-funded university established in 2001. The first classes occurred in June 2002 with 119 students. Today, it offers a wide selection of undergraduate, graduate, and diploma programs. Moreover, it has campuses in 30 locations within Perlis.

The City Campus offers programs in the following areas: Environmental Engineering, Business Innovation and Techno-Entrepreneurship, Bioprocess Engineering, and Human Development and Techno-Communication

On the other hand, its Nature Campus in Pauh Putra provides degrees in the following fields of study: Mechatronic Engineering, Computer and Communication Engineering, Microelectronic Engineering, and Electrical Systems Engineering

Its Unicity Nature Campus houses the Institute of Sustainable Agrotechnology and the Faculty of Engineering Technology.

3. Universiti Malaysia Sabah

The Universiti Malaysia Sabah started in 1994 and was the ninth state-funded academic institution for higher learning established by the government. However, it started with 205 students the following year. At present, it has three campuses in the Federal Territory of Labuan, Sandakan, and Kota Kinabalu.

Since 2014, this cheap university in Malaysia has established ten faculties in the following fields of study: 1) Business, Economics, and Accountancy 2) Computing and Informatics 3) Engineering 4) Food Science and Nutrition 5) Humanities, Art, and Heritage 6) Medicine and Health Science 7) Psychology and Education 8) Science and Natural Resources 9) Sustainable Agriculture 10) International Finance.

Moreover, it has institutes and academic centers that offer pre-university, undergraduate, and postgraduate studies.

4. Tun Hussein Onn University of Malaysia

Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia is a state-funded university in the state of Johor. It gained its full university status in 2007 but began offering academic programs in 1993. Previously, it was a school for training polytechnic academic staff in different engineering fields. However, after three years, it became an institute of technology as an acknowledgment of its excellence in producing staff for technical education.

The university offers programs in eight faculties, namely: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Technical and Vocational Education, Computer Science and Information Technology, Technology Management and Business, Applied Science and Technology, and Technical Engineering.

The academic institution offers diploma, degree, postgraduate, offshore, executive, and short courses programs.

5. Technical University of Malaysia, Melaka

The Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka is another university funded by the government in the state of Melaka. It pioneers the use of a “practice and application-oriented” method of teaching and learning for higher learning. It began in 2000 as the first technical state-funded university in the country.

Today, this cheap university in Malaysia offers programs in eight faculties, namely: Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electronics and Computer Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Technology Management and Techno-Entrepreneurship, Information and Communication Technology, Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technology, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Technology

The university boasts an above-average rate of general employability of its graduates.

6. University of Science, Malaysia

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) began in 1969. It is one of the oldest institutes for academic learning in Northern Malaysia. Its main campus is in Penang, while its engineering campus is in Nibong Tebal. It has another campus for health studies in Kelantan. It has collaborated with India for its Doctor of Medicine undergraduate degree. USM is the second university in the country.

Aside from being a research university, USM offers programs in the following fields: Pure Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Applied Sciences, Social Sciences, Building Science and Technology, Humanities, Education

The university researches in the following areas: Brain and Neuroscience, Aquaculture, Environmental Science, Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Studies, Information Technology, Natural Language Processing and Computer-Aided Translation, Food Technology, Biotechnology, Polymer Science and Technology, Engineering, and more.

7. University of Malaya

The University of Malaya (UM) is the oldest academic institution for higher learning in Malaysia. It is a government-funded research university and a premier institution with the highest ranking. It has produced two Malaysian Prime Ministers and other cultural, political, and business figures of national prominence.

The university ranks among the top 500 academic institutions for higher learning in the world.


University education doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg. There are universities around the world where you can obtain your degree at a minimal expense. For instance, you may opt to study in Malaysia, where the cost of education is way cheaper than in your country of origin.


We hope that this article on cheap universities in Malaysia was helpful. Head to our open courses page to explore the programs in Malaysia that currently accept international applicants. You can also get more insights about studying in the country on our Study in Malaysia page, including practical tips and information about universities and scholarship opportunities!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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