Are IGCSE Highschool Graduates Able to Enter Universities in Malaysia?
The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is the international equivalent of the GCSE examinations in the UK or the GCE O-Levels in Singapore . The IGCSE a popular alternative to the SPM and is offered by many international schools and home schools in Malaysia. Furthermore, the qualification is globally recognised and allows for students to study locally or abroad. Malaysian students are able to enrol into a private university with IGCSE certification depending on the entry requirements.
After IGCSE, there are many different pathways for you to choose from and sometimes it can be confusing. Students who have completed the IGCSE can consider taking the Foundation Programmes at top private universities in Malaysia. The Foundation Programmes are 1 year and is cheaper compared to the external Pre-University Programmes. Foundation programmes are generally easier than external Pre-University courses. If you do not plan on going overseas immediately for your degree programme, then it is better to go for the Foundation programme at a top private university in Malaysia. You can transfer to Australia or UK for the final part of your degree after completing Foundation and Year 1 of the degree programme.
You may also be interested to read the following articles:
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- Entry Requirements for Foundation Programmes in Malaysia
- Where Can I Study Foundation in Malaysia?
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Where do I go After Completing IGCSE in Malaysia?
In order to choose the right Foundation course to study after your IGCSE/O-Levels, you will need to identify your interests, values, passions, academic achievements and abilities. Combine that with the future job demand and salary for the courses that you are looking at. Choosing a course is basically coming up with a plan for your future. A plan will give you something to work towards. It’ll also help you make the most of the opportunities that come your way.
When you have identified the course, you can then look for the private university that offers the course that you are interested in.
Choosing a university is important as it will help to shape your mind, character and help you to develop the necessary skills for a successful career. Therefore, not all private universities are the same. You should not choose a university because it is the cheapest, easiest and nearest. It should be based on which university that best fits your needs.
Every private university and course in Malaysia is different and each student wants different things to fit their education and career goals.
Is IGCSE Recognised in Malaysia?
The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is the international equivalent of the GCSE examinations in the UK. IGCSE is offered by many international schools as well as home schools in Malaysia. The qualification is recognised for entry into universities abroad and also at private universities in Malaysia
Is IGCSE Recognised for Entry into Government Public Universities (IPTA) in Malaysia?
Students who have taken the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) are not able to take the STPM or Matriculation programmes required for entry into Malaysia’s government universities.
What Types of Foundation Programmes are there?
Unlike the external pre-university programmes in Malaysia which focus on more general Science and Art-based subjects, the Foundation programmes for private universities provide specialisation in specific areas of study such as business, computer & IT, or engineering, and hence, cater to the specific needs of different students.
However, there are also general Foundation programmes such as Foundation in Arts and Foundation in Science offered by the private universities. Foundation in Science programmes can lead to engineering, pharmacy, medicine, applied sciences, health sciences and other arts related degree programmes. The Foundation in Arts programme can lead to accounting, business, computing, architecture, design, and other arts related courses. After completing the Foundation in Science students have the choice to choose sciences or arts related degree programmes.
Below is a list of the most popular Foundation Programmes in Malaysia:
- Foundation in Science
- Foundation in Arts
- Foundation in Business & Management
- Foundation in Computing & Technology
- Foundation in Information Technology
- Foundation in Engineering
- Foundation in Communication & Media Studies
- Foundation in Natural & Built Environment or Architecture
- Foundation in Design
- Foundation in Life Sciences
Which Private Universities Can I Study at after IGCSE?
Students after IGCSE should choose the foundation programme in Malaysia that best fits their career goals and needs. Students will take about 10-12 subjects in 3 semesters (1 year) for the Foundation programme at private universities in Malaysia.
Malaysian private universities have been preparing students for study in top universities worldwide since the 1970s therefore they have the necessary experience to ensure quality for the Foundation programmes are adhered to.
Below is a list of the Foundation courses offered at top private universities and colleges for you to consider
- Taylor’s College
- Asia Pacific University (APU)
- Heriot-Watt University Malaysia
- University of Nottingham Malaysia
- UOWM KDU University College, Utropolis Glenmarie
- UOWM KDU Penang University College
- HELP University
- First City University College (First City UC)
- Saito University College
- MAHSA University
IS THE FOUNDATION PROGRAMME RECOGNISED?
Mostly in Malaysia and some overseas. As long as the Foundation course is accredited by the Malaysia Qualifications Agency (MQA), it will be accepted by another private university for entry into the relevant degree programme.
WHAT IS THE MALAYSIAN QUALIFICATIONS AGENCY (MQA)?
The Malaysia Qualifications Agency (MQA) is an official body that is governed by the Ministry of Higher Education and is the only body that controls universities’ accreditation status, regulate curriculum and set operational standards for both public and private universities and other higher learning institutions in Malaysia. MQA also accredit individual courses and programmes at each university. MQA’s operation is important because it works to ensure that higher learning in the country is up to global standards and is fit for the future of the nation.
HOW LONG IS THE DURATION FOR THE FOUNDATION PROGRAMME?
3 semesters (1 year of full-time study). Some universities offer a 2-semester Foundation which is still 1 year in duration.
HOW MANY SUBJECTS ARE THERE IN A FOUNDATION PROGRAMME?
The number of subjects vary from 8 to 12 subjects depending on which university. Students will take about 10-12 subjects in 3 semesters (1 year) for the Foundation programme at private universities in Malaysia.
What will I Study in a Foundation Programme in Malaysia?
A Foundation course in Malaysia focuses on the topics related to the field and by concentrating on specific subjects related to the degree programmes it will lead to at the university. There will be core subjects like Mathematics, English and Computing.
You will then have options to choose electives that would be related to your degree programme of interest.
For example, if the university offers business, communication and computing degree programmes, they may offer a Foundation in Arts & Technology and offer subjects such as business, accounting, marketing, communications, computing, etc.
MPU SUBJECTS / GENERAL STUDIES (COMPULSORY UNITS)
- Through the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), the Ministry of Education (MOE), Higher Education Sector has imposed the following requirements on programmes offered by all private tertiary education providers:
- MPU (i.e. General Studies) will replace MPW from September 2013 onwards (Ministry of Education directive of 18th June 2013).
- The Ministry of Education requires that all NEW Degree (International and Malaysian) students enrolled in September 2013 and onwards must take the MPU units as a prerequisite for the award of their degree.
- Malaysian Degree students must take the units and pass them as a prerequisite for the award of the degree.
- Students are required to take other MPU units which will be rolled out during the course of their study.
How are the Foundation Programmes Assessed?
Assessment for Foundation programmes in Malaysia will vary from university to university. It will contain a mix of coursework, assignments, quizzes and exams. The coursework could cover different assessment tasks such as projects, assignments, laboratory work, presentations, tests, and others as assigned throughout each semester. The final examination is conducted at the end of each semester. The assessments are subject to quality assurance procedures to maintain high standards and ensuring fair assessment.
HOW MUCH DOES A FOUNDATION PROGRAMME COST?
Students after IGCSE/O-Levels would need to figure out their budget as it would determine which Pre-University course would be suitable for you. Students with moderate budgets can consider the Foundation programme as it is cheaper than the external Pre-University programmes.
What are the Requirements to Enter the Degree Course?
To enter into the degree programmes, you will need at least a CGPA of 2.00 or 2.50 depending on the university and the course.
Can I transfer to Another Private University after Foundation?
Yes, you can transfer to another private university on a case-to-case basis. Students may transfer to another private university upon completion of the Foundation in Arts programme by providing the university of interest your high school certificate, transcripts, course outline & syllabus and Foundation certificate in order for them to evaluate for entry into their degree programme.
Can I transfer to Another University overseas like the UK or Australia?
Generally, the Foundation Programmes are for students to continue on to degree programmes at the particular private university. Some Foundation programmes are accepted for entry into overseas universities in the UK or Australia. It depends on the partnership agreement with the private university in Malaysia.
However, you could transfer overseas after completing Year 1 of your degree. Meaning that, you complete the Foundation and then enter into Year 1 of the degree programme at the private university in Malaysia and then transfer overseas for the final part of your degree programme. Many top private universities will have a list of partner universities overseas that you can transfer to.
Choosing a top private university in Malaysia to study after SPM or O-Levels for your Pre-University or Foundation course takes time, it is a process in finding out which one best fits you. You need to talk to the right counselors who are knowledgeable and experienced. Students should choose top universities in Malaysia that has an English-speaking environment so that it will help you to improve your language skills. Good English is important to obtain higher salaries and faster promotions in Malaysia. English-speaking environments promote critical thinking, problem-solving and leadership skills which enhance your career prospects.
Can I Study Abroad after Completing the Foundation Programme?
You can study abroad after completing the Foundation Programme on a case-to-case basis depending on the private university. Some private universities have made special agreements with partner universities from Australia or UK to recognise their Foundation Programmes for entry into the degree programmes.
For example, the Foundation programmes at HELP University and Taylor’s College are recognised by some top universities in Australia, UK and New Zealand for entry into their degree programmes. Foreign branch campuses like Heriot-Watt University Malaysia allow for seamless transfer to their UK campus after completing the Foundation in Malaysia.
What are the IGCSE Entry Requirements into Foundation Programmes in Malaysia?
General Entry Requirements are 5 SPM Credits with Passes in BM & Sejarah or IGCSE/O-Levels minimum 5Cs. Note that the entry requirements will vary from university to university. Furthermore, the entry requirements will vary from the type of degree course you plan on studying.
You will need to check with the university of interest to find out exactly what their entry requirements are. Or you may contact EduSpiral Consultant Services for advise on your entry to top private universities in Malaysia.
- Foundation in Arts entering into the following degree programmes:
- Business Administration, Management, Logistics & Marketing – 5 Credits
- Accounting, Finance, Banking, Investment & Actuarial Science – 5 Credits including Maths and a Pass in English
- Arts, Design, Advertising, Hospitality, Hotel Management & Communication – 5 Credits
- Psychology – 5 Credits including Maths, one Science subject and a Pass in English
- Architecture and Information Technology (IT) – 5 Credits including Maths
- Computer Science – 5 Credits including Additional Maths
- English Language, TESL & Mass Communication – 5 Credits including English
- Foundation in Science entering into:
- Engineering – 5 Credits including Maths and 1 Science (Physics/ Chemistry/ Biology)
- Architecture and IT – 5 Credits including Maths
- Computer Science – 5 Credits including Add Maths
- Foundation in Science entering into the following degree programmes
- Biotechnology, Culinology, Food Science, Nutrition, Physiotherapy, Biotechnology, Biomedical Science, Medical Imaging & Optometry – 5 credits including Mathematics and 2 science subjects
- Pharmacy – 5Bs including Biology and Chemistry and Physic and Math (or Additional Math)
- Medicine & Dentistry – 5Bs including Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics/Additional Mathematics and 1 other subject
- Architecture and IT – 5 Credits including Maths
- Foundation in Computing & Technology into the following degree programmes
- Computing, Information Technology, Software Engineering, Game Development, Intelligent Systems, Cyber Security & Networking, – 5 credits including Mathematics
- Foundation in Business into the following degree programmes
- Business Administration, Management, Human Resource Management, International Business, Logistics & Marketing – 5 Credits
- Accounting, Finance, Banking, Investment & Actuarial Science – 5 Credits including Maths and a Pass in English
- Foundation in Engineering entering into:
- Mechanical, Civil, Electrical & Electronic, Telecommunication & Mechatronic – 5 Credits including Maths and 1 Science (Physics/ Chemistry/ Biology)
- Foundation in Architecture or Natural & Built Environment entering into:
- Architecture – 5 Credits including Maths
- Interior Architecture or Interior Design – 5 Credits
- Foundation in Design to enter into:
- Graphic Design, Interior Design, Product Design, Multimedia, Animation – 5 Credits
- Some universities may require a portfolio of your artwork or a credit in Art
- Foundation in Communication to enter into:
- Mass Communication, Media Studies, Public Relations, Journalism, Branding & Advertising – 5 Credits
English Language Requirement For Foundation Programmes in Malaysia
In addition to the academic requirements, students are also required to meet the English Language requirements. An applicant who does not meet the Universities’ English Language Requirements may need to take an extra English course at the university or an external English examination such as the IELTS.
Study Foundation at Top Private Universities & Colleges in Malaysia
- Duration: 1 year
- Entry Requirements: Min. 5 credits, inclusive of Maths and 2 pure Science subjects for Foundation in Science or Engineering. For IT, you must have a credit in Maths. Other courses just require 5 credits. For Medicine and Pharmacy, Min. 5B in Maths, Additional Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Physics but will vary from university to university.
- Recognition: Mostly in Malaysia and some overseas. As long as the Foundation course is accredited by MQA, it will be accepted by another private university for entry into the relevant degree programme.
- Cost: Generally cheaper than overseas Pre-University courses and A-Levels
How to Choose the Right Private University in Malaysia to Study Foundation after IGCSE?
Here’s a list of common criteria in choosing a top private university in Malaysia for the Foundation course:
- What type of university do I like? (Large, medium, small, city, suburbs, or outer city) Some people like small universities where you get a community feel while others like large university campuses where they get to meet lots of people.
- The size of the university also matters to some people as some prefer a small and friendly university environment where you know everyone’s names. Some may prefer a medium sized university where there are more students to interact with and more facilities to use like a bigger library, student centre, computer labs etc.
- In large universities you might feel lost but there will be more facilities like a football field, gym, swimming pool, basketball courts, etc. You just need to understand your personality and then choose the type of university that fits you.
- If you are a sports person, you might want to find one with a football field, basketball courts, gym or swimming pool.
- Safety at the university campus and community.
- Know yourself, if you like city life, don’t choose a university far away from the city even though the facilities are great. However, if you have a discipline problem in having too much fun, studying away from the city may be a good choice
- What are the facilities and resources offered at the university? – engineering labs, computer labs, computers, science labs, sports facilities, student centre, job placement centre, etc. Note – You should expect to get what you pay for.
- If you like sports, you may not want to choose a university without a basketball court or gym.
- Is it near public transportation? This is important if you do not have transportation.