Education Pathway for Malaysian Students After SPM/IGCSE to Study in UK via Twinning or Transfer

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Cost Effective Education Pathway to Studying in UK via the Degree Transfer or Twinning Offered at Malaysian Private Universities

One of the most popular study destinations, the UK enjoys a proud tradition of education with universities rooting back to the 12th and 13th centuries. Known for its language, history, culture and innovation, the UK has an average student retention rate of 82%. With a comprehensive support systems in place for international students, studying in the UK is definitely a life-changing experience.

The UK welcomes over 400,000 international higher education students each year, and it’s easy to see why.

Sitting at the top of the world rankings, UK universities have a reputation for developing the skills that employers are looking for. It’s not only about attending lectures – you will actively engage with your tutors through lively seminars, discussions and practical projects. This will help you develop critical thinking, creativity and confidence.

Alongside benefiting from the academic tradition of some of the world’s most famous universities, you will have access to the latest facilities due to the UK’s reputation for world-class research. UK education will also help you develop your English skills and confidence in speaking the language, an attribute that is highly valued by employers worldwide.

Whatever aspirations bring you here, and whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, boarding school or further education college, you will learn in a safe, multicultural environment. You will be supported while you study as all UK institutions have extensive student support and welfare services you can call on. There’s also a cultural adventure on offer, from music festivals and football matches to ancient castles and vibrant nightlife

With costs lower than in Australia and the USA and courses starting from three years, you can enjoy a life-changing student experience safe in the knowledge that you are getting good value for money. Students after SPM or IGCSE/O-Levels who desire to study in the UK in a cost effective manner can do so via the transfer or twinning programmes available at some Malaysian Private Universities. Students can enter the Foundation programme for 1 year and then continue on to degree and then finish the final part of their study in UK. This pathway is known as the Twinning or Degree Transfer. Read on to find out all about the education pathway.

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Best Cost Saving Education Pathway to Studying in UK for Malaysian Students after SPM or IGCSE/O-Levels

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Bernice, Digital Marketing at Taylor’s University

Wherever in the world you choose to pursue your career, a degree from a university in the United Kingdom is internationally respected and considered as a mark of quality education. Degrees and qualifications from UK higher education institutions are known around the world as high quality and world class. This standard of excellence is set by some of the older universities with recognizable names, such as Oxford and Cambridge.

Choosing to study overseas at a UK university has many financial, cultural and social advantages as well. A shorter and a more intensive course structure means you will be able to fast-track your career and minimise your living costs while you study. The country also has a range of programs designed to provide students with discounts and access to cheap public transport and study essentials.

UK Twinning & Transfer Degree Programmes at Malaysia’s Private Universities

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Malaysian students who have just completed their SPM or IGCSE/O-Levels and would like to study in UK for the final part of their study can choose the degree transfer or twinning options offered at some top private universities.

First, you can take the Foundation programme for 1 year. Then. you will enter into Year 1 of the degree programme. The duration of study in UK will vary on the course and from university to university.

You could study 1+2, 1.5+1.5 or 2+1. This is for the 3-year degree programmes. For 4 year degree programmes like engineering, you could study 1+4 or 2+2.

What is the UK Twinning or Transfer Programme at Malaysia’s Private Universities?

Twinning Programmes offered at private universities in Malaysia make studying abroad a more affordable option. Malaysia is well known for its undergraduate twinning degree (‘2+1’, ‘1+2’) programmes, where students pursue the first or second year of the degree programme in Malaysia and the final part at the  overseas university partner.

This allows Malaysian students to save a lot of money and still have the opportunity to study partly overseas to gain the experience as well as the degree. In the twinning programme, students can complete from 1 to 2 years in Malaysia, before going to the partner university in UK to complete the degree.

Twinning Programmes to UK
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Mr. Lonnie from EduSpiral, guided us in our confusion of which course to take that has a high job demand & salary and after the counseling, we decided on Fintech.
Bryan & Wen Kai, Fintech at Asia Pacific University (APU)
  • A Twinning Programme means that the overseas partner university has evaluated the degree subjects and accept the students for entry as long as they meet the minimum requirements.
  • The credits a student accumulates at the private university in Malaysia can be transferred, so they can pick up where they left off when they study abroad.
  • The partner university would have signed an agreement with the private university for such an arrangement.
  • Twinning programmes are also known as “2+1”, “1.5+1.5” or “1+2”, where the first number refers to the time spent in Malaysia while the second number is for time spent overseas. For example, a 2+1 means that you will spend 2 years in Malaysia and the final year overseas.
  • You are limited and have to go to the partner university in Australia.
Degree Transfer Programme to UK
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I didn’t know what to study after A-Levels. EduSpiral helped me to understand what I am good at as well as what’s in demand for the future.
Renee Tan, Mechanical Engineering at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia
  • A Degree Transfer means that after completing 1 or 2 years of study, the student will have to submit the transcripts, course outline, syllabus and high school certificates to the university overseas for evaluation for exemptions. The university overseas will take some time to go through and then inform you which subjects have been exempted . You may have to take extra subjects.
  • A Degree Transfer means that after completing 1 or 2 years of study, the student will have to submit the transcripts, course outline, syllabus and high school certificates to the university overseas for evaluation for exemptions. The university overseas will take some time to go through and then inform you which subjects have been exempted . You may have to take extra subjects.
  • In a Degree Transfer Programme, you are not limited to the partner university and you have the choice to transfer to a few universities overseas. Some of the Twinning Programme partner universities’ rankings may not be appealing to you so you can try to transfer your credits to higher ranking universities.
  • Although you may have to do a few more extra subjects but you are able to transfer to more universities and not bound to the partner university in twinning programmes.

What are the Foundation Programmes that you Can Take at the Private Universities?

Foundation in Business into Finance at Taylor's University
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Chun Tim, Foundation in Business into Finance at Taylor’s University

Foundation courses can be seen as preparatory courses that assist students to transition from SPM or IGCSE/O-Levels in Malaysia to specific bachelor’s degree programmes.

In addition, the Foundation Programme in Malaysia is a pre-university program designed to help students meet the entry requirements for first-year university and prepare them to handle the rigours of undergraduate studies. Students gain a solid grounding in academic and communication skills, with a focus on developing their Critical Thinking and English language skills.

Below is a list of the most popular Foundation Programmes in Malaysia:

  1. Foundation in Science
  2. Foundation in Arts
  3. Foundation in Business & Management
  4. Foundation in Computing & Technology
  5. Foundation in Information Technology (IT)
  6. Foundation in Engineering
  7. Foundation in Communication & Media Studies
  8. Foundation in Natural & Built Environment or Architecture
  9. Foundation in Design
  10. Foundation in Life Sciences

Where can you study a UK Twinning or Degree Transfer Programme in Malaysia?

Actuarial Science at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia
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Bryan Yap, Foundation in Business (Actuarial Science) at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia

When choosing a private university for a Twinning or Degree Transfer Programme, it is important to look at the ranking of the partner university, cost of studying overseas and if the university has a specific department to assist students in their applications overseas.

The following universities below have arrangements with overseas universities in the UK. The partnerships are for various courses offered at the university.

Students wanting advise and help in choosing the right university for your Twinning or Degree Transfer Programme may WhatsApp us at 01111408838 for advise.

  1. Taylor’s University
  2. Heriot-Watt University Malaysia
  3. Asia Pacific University (APU)
  4. HELP University
Qualifications framework
EduSpiral advised & helped me choose the best college for A-Levels. I obtained a scholarship & have graduated from a top ranked UK University. Lucas, A-Levels at HELP Academy & Law Degree from Queens University Belfast
EduSpiral advised & helped me choose the best college for A-Levels. I obtained a scholarship & have graduated from a top ranked UK University.
Lucas, A-Levels at HELP Academy & Law Degree from Queens University Belfast

There are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications of UK degree-awarding bodies, one that applies to Scotland and one that operates in the rest of the UK. These are:

  • The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications of Degree Awarding Bodies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ)
  • The Framework for Qualifications of Higher Education Institutions in Scotland (FQHEIS).

These frameworks are the principal national reference points for academic standards in UK higher education. There are 160 universities and colleges in the UK that are permitted to award a wide variety of degrees to suit most educational aspirations.

Easy Access to Travel to Europe

The UK is ideally placed for taking short trips to other countries. Many European destinations can be reached in just a few hours from London, which makes it a great travel hub.

Working in the UK for Students

Post-study work opportunity

Many international students want to stay in the UK after they graduate and put the skills they have learnt into practice. Students may be able to extend their stay if they meet the requirements for the schemes that the UK Government operates.

With the new Post-graduate work visa policy in place, students enrolling for the 2020/21 academic year will be eligible to work for 2 years after finishing their studies.

Unlike certain requirements in other countries where only graduates in specific fields can apply for a work visa, the current measure allows graduates in the UK to apply for jobs regardless of the subjects they pursued.

Students can switch to a skilled work visa after two years

For graduates who managed to find employment, they will be able to switch to a skilled work visa after two years – as long as the job can meet the skill requirement of the route.

Part-time Work

Working part-time while you are studying can be a great way to help with the cost of living in the UK and gain work experience in your field of study.

If you have a Tier 4 (general) or a Tier 4 (child) visa, you can work during your studies and holidays if you:

  • are studying at a publicly-funded higher education institution
  • are studying a short-term study abroad program with an overseas higher education institution
  • are over 16
  • are studying a course at NQF level 6 (degree level) and above

However, there may be limits on the type of work you can do and your working hours. Most students can work up to 20 hours a week and full-time during holidays. To find out more, visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website.

You must not work if your passport sticker or identity card says, ‘No Work’ or ‘Work Prohibited’, as you will breach your immigration conditions, which is against the law in the UK.

Finding part-time jobs in the UK
  • You can find part-time jobs in your campus or off-campus
  • The best way to get a job on campus is to regularly check your placement centre’s notice board or staying in touch with the concerned authority for openings
  • On-campus work opportunities include administrative jobs, at the cafeteria or a teaching assistant
  • For off-campus jobs, look for vacancies online on portals like StudentJob, Employment 4 Student, Careers Group London, etc.
  • Look out for jobs in the hospitality and retail industry, they are usually available in abundance
  • You can also work as a tutor if you are a student with any existing qualification or expertise

Teaching and learning style

The education system in the UK has a reputation for excellence and most international students highly rate the quality of teaching they receive. You can expect to be taught in many different ways. Most students attend lectures and seminars and sometimes have tutorials and workshops, too.

During your course term in the UK, you are likely to be given great freedom to explore your own ideas and be creative. You may be expected to be an active member of the teaching and learning process, where you will do your own research or work in groups with other students for some projects. UK universities encourage the development of critical and analytical thinking in every subject, which can be a little daunting for some international students at first. However, this develops a deeper understanding of the subject at hand and the communication skills needed.

Teaching methodologies in the UK can be very interactive, too. Tutors will encourage you to share ideas and may organise activities, such as debates, discussions and quizzes. It is based on the premise, that by having fun and getting involved, you will learn more successfully. It can be a little challenging to begin with, but you will get along quickly with the support of your peers and tutors.

Academic year

In the UK, the standard academic year starts in September or October and runs until June or July. Some courses are more flexible, however, and offer a range of start dates. The typical deadline for applications for undergraduate university entry commencing in September is in the preceding January of that year. There’s also a smaller January intake that has limited undergraduate, master, PhD and foundation courses available. Private pathway providers also may offer additional start dates throughout the year.

Cost of Studying in the UK

More than 70% of Malaysian undergraduates harbour hopes of studying overseas and obtaining permanent residence abroad. A survey of more than 1,100 local undergraduates found that 72% would prefer to study overseas and apply for PR status upon completion of their studies abroad. The survey revealed that the top choices for Malaysian students aiming to go abroad for further studies are the United Kingdom (50%), United States (16%), Australia (14%), Singapore (10%) and India (2%).

The survey conducted by Anderson Market Analytics over six months polled students from six local private varsities, four of which are locally-owned and two owned by foreign universities.

The study also revealed that the cost of tertiary education was the biggest factor for students when selecting their choice of higher learning institutions. “While most want to get the best education, which is costly, they eventually decide based on affordability. As such, financing of tertiary education plays a big influence in their final decision,

Tuition fee

Your expenditure on tuition fee depends on the type of qualification and university or school you opt for. There are many high-ranking universities and colleges in the UK with their own fee structures. Furthermore, the fee also depends on where in the UK you choose to study (there are different rules for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales), and your study level.

For undergraduate students, the tuition fees ranges between £10,000 and £18,000 (indicative) a year, depending on the course and the institution. For all postgraduate courses, tuition fees vary by the course provider.

Students visa costs

In order to study in the UK, the first step is to secure a valid study permit and that comes with its own costs (approx. £322). You can refer to the official website for fees for various visa applications.

Accomodation

Most universities in the UK offer on-campus residence (called the Halls of residence or hostels) to international students. Living as a resident on-campus is a very affordable option, however, you need to apply for it separately, and well ahead in time to secure a slot for yourself. If you are unable to find such accommodation, you might have to look for a room on rent, homestay or find a local host. The cost will vary from city to city.

If you opt to rent an apartment, you will have to additionally pay for utility bills like electricity, internet, water usage and also tenant’s insurance (in some areas of housing). House rent for a one-bedroom apartment generally ranges between £550 and £650 [Indicative]. In most cases, universities help the students in finding accommodation, both on-campus as well as off-campus.

Cost of living

You need to keep aside money for your grocery shopping, social activities and emergency situations. When living in a foreign country, it is better to keep a track of your expenditures so that you do not overspend. Considering various expenses and living costs, a single student budget in the UK lands between £5,500 and £8,000 per year (indicative).

Health coverage

It is mandatory for all international students to get a medical insurance before the commencement of their programme. Several UK universities have initiated comprehensive health insurance plans for international students, but that is applicable as long your program is ongoing and ceases upon completion.

Certain schools may not offer any insurance policies, and hence you will have to arrange for a private medical insurance (your IDP counsellor will guide you with the same). The average cost for medical insurance is approximately £150 a year (indicative).

Transportation

Public transport is available in all cities and major towns of the country. For short distances, you can make use of regional trains, buses, and tubes. It is a good idea to get monthly passes for travelling to college and back as these can be fairly cheap. Find out if your university or college provides any shuttle service between your place of stay and campus. In case you plan to use a personal vehicle, you will have to include car and fuel bills, car insurance, repairs and taxes in your expense sheet.

Exchange rate variations may also affect your budgeting. It is advisable to look for a part-time job while you are in the UK or seek scholarship in the universities you apply to. This will greatly reduce your cost of studying overseas.

 

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