The fee structure in Malaysian public universities can be fairly complex so it is worth spending a bit of time researching the costs involved. In general, however, doctoral education in Malaysia is offered at lower costs that in the UK, USA or Australia.
The total cost of the programme will depend on the length and the subject studied but you can expect the university fees for a three-year PhD around MYR 65,000 (USD $13,900). This could be more or less depending on the institution.
A variety of funding packages are also available for your studies in Malaysia. From scholarships, to financial aid to teaching and research assistantships you have many options for covering the costs incurred in the course of your PhD.
PhD scholarships in Malaysia
In order to encourage international talent, there are many scholarships available to help with both tuition fees and living expenses. These scholarships may be funded by the Malaysian government, private institutions or the universities themselves.
It is worth checking with the institution you are applying to for the most up to date list of available scholarships.
Malaysia International Scholarship (MIS)
A government-funded initiative to attract talented graduate students to Malaysia. This scholarship is open to all international students with excellent academic records including a Masters degree in a field related to the PhD they intend to study.
In order to obtain this scholarship, you will need to present a research proposal that aligns with the interests of the Malaysian government therefore this scholarship tends to be focused on the Sciences , Engineering and Communications Technology.
This award covers relocation to Malaysia, university fees and a monthly stipend to help with living expenses for three years.
Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan
Similar in benefit to the Malaysia International Scholarship, this award is available to students from commonwealth countries. As with the MIS, you will need a Masters degree in a related field and be able to justify your research proposal in order to be eligible for this award.
Find out more about the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan.
Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme Scholarship (MTCP)
This award provides opportunities for international students to pursue advanced academic study in Malaysia. This scholarship is a bilateral agreement between Malaysia and other countries and is available on a government-to-government basis.
As with other scholarships, eligibility for this award depends on a Masters degree in a related field, and projects are restricted to a number of priority study areas, focused around Science, Engineering, Health and Finance.
As a recipient of this award you will be expected to make significant contribution to your home country after you complete your doctorate.
Find out more about the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme Scholarship (MTCP) for Postgraduate Studies.
Universities may award scholarships based on academic merit and following the recommendation of the host department/research centre. These usually include tuition fees (sometimes excluding other fees) and a stipend.
Teaching and research assistantships
Another way of funding your studies is to work for the university at which you’re studying for your doctorate. This can be done in the form of a teaching or research assistantship; the university will subsidise the cost your tuition in lieu of payment for your work.
You undertake teaching and / or research duties within their institution. You may be asked to keep office hours and to mark exam papers which will be time spent away from your PhD. However, you will also gain academic experience and may be involved directly in the research work of senior members of staff.
Alternatively, you may be expected to hold the role of a research assistant while studying for your PhD. So long as you can fulfil these conditions without it affecting your ability to complete your studies it is a good way to have your fees to wholly or partially subsidised.