The Best Private University or College Internal Foundation Programmes in Malaysia
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After SPM or IGCSE O-Levels, students will need to take a Pre-University Programme before continuing on to their degree studies. There are many types of Pre-University courses out there and it can be confusing to choose the right one. In this article, I will discuss about one of the most popular Pre-University Programmes which is the Foundation Programme offered by the private universities.
Many top private universities in Malaysia, have developed their own internal university foundation programmes. These Foundation courses are accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and recognised by the respective foreign partner universities. Unlike the external qualifications which focus on more general Science and Art-based subjects, the internal qualifications provide specialisation in precise areas of study such as the fields of business, computer & IT, and engineering, and hence, cater to the specific needs of different students.
Choosing the right Pre-University course that fits you would mean that you have to ask yourself which methods of assessment best suit you? Exams, coursework, practicals, group projects and presentations could all be in the mix in differing quantities. Every Pre-University course in Malaysia will include a percentage of the breakdown of assessment for the subjects. You need to understand yourself and capabilities in order to decide which Pre-University course would best suit you. Students who are not sure of what to study after SPM or IGCSE O-Levels can contact EduSpiral Consultant Services to help guide you to choose the right course and university.
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List of the Best Private Universities & Colleges Offering First-Rate Foundation Programmes in Malaysia
Students after SPM or IGCSE O-Levels can consider taking the Foundation Programmes at top private colleges & universities in Malaysia. The Foundation Programmes are 1 year and is cheaper compared to the external Pre-University Programmes.
Furthermore, Foundation programmes are generally easier than external Pre-University courses. If you do not plan on going overseas for your degree programme, then it is better to go for the Foundation programme at a top private university in Malaysia.
Which are the Top Private Universities in Malaysia Offering Foundation Programmes?
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
- Foundation in Arts and Education
- Foundation in Business and Management
- Foundation in Engineering
- Foundation in Science
- UOWM KDU University College, Utropolis Glenmarie
- UOWM KDU Penang University College
- Multimedia University (MMU) Cyberjaya
- Multimedia University (MMU) Melaka
- HELP University
- First City University College
- Saito University College
- MAHSA University
- Berjaya University College
- Foundation in Commerce
- Foundation in Hospitality
Why Study Foundation at Top Private Universities in Malaysia?
Top private universities in Malaysia would ensure a quality in their Foundation programmes so that students would be well prepared for their degree courses. Do not choose the Foundation course because it is the cheapest. It may not prepare you well to handle the degree programme.
The environment in top private universities is one that’s vibrant, multi-cultural and English-speaking. These are necessary components for a successful career in the competitive work place.
- Cheaper than the External Pre-University Programmes. Total cost for the Foundation Programme would be cheaper than the Pre-University courses like A-Levels, AUSMAT, CIMP, etc which can cost double or more.
- Easier than the External Pre-University Programmes. Courses like STPM, A-Levels, AUSMAT, CIMP, etc are tougher and marked overseas who may not be familiar with your communication style. Since the Foundation course is easier, you can score higher and get scholarship for your degree studies.
- Faster than most Pre-University courses. In STPM and A-Levels, it would take almost 2 years from the time you start studying to entering into a university to start your degree in Year 1. By this time, if you had taken the Foundation course after SPM or IGCSE O-Levels, you would have completed the Foundation course as well as Year 1 of the degree course.
- Some are recognised for entry into overseas universities. Upon completion of the 2-year Diploma in Business, you can enter into a university overseas and complete a related business degree in 2 years thus saving money and time.
- Accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA). The Foundation courses are accredited by MQA to ensure their quality and relevance to industry needs.
- You study subjects that you like, which is related to your field of study. For example, the Foundation in Business subjects would be what you want to study and have interest in unlike STPM, A-Levels, CIMP, MUFY, AUSMAT, etc which may contain subjects that you are not interested in or good at.
- Your coursework and exams are marked by Malaysians who understand what you write or express. The external Pre-University courses are marked overseas who may not understand what you have written in your answers.
- When you score well in the Foundation Programme, you can apply for scholarships for the degree programme at the same university.
- If you do not plan to go overseas, there is no reason to take an external Pre-University programme which is tougher and more expensive.
- You can transfer to another university after completing the Foundation programme as it is recognised and accredited by MQA.
What will you Study in a Foundation Programme?
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.
Students after SPM or IGCSE O-Levels 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.
You will get the chance to study a variety of subject areas in the Foundation Programme. This will not only give you an idea of what subject you may like to progress on to, but also to develop the valuable learning skills necessary for pursue a degree. A Foundation Programme in Malaysia can be 2 semesters with 6 months each semester or 3 semesters with 4 months each semester.
If you are still not sure of what to study for your degree, the Foundation programme is a good choice and is shorter in duration than the STPM or A-Levels and less difficult.
- 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
Foundation vs STPM
However, if your parents can afford or if they can sacrifice, it is better to go for the Foundation programme at private universities in Malaysia. In the article below, we will discuss in detail the advantages and disadvantages of taking the STPM and why you should take the Foundation programme.
How is the Foundation Course 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.
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.
Best Foundation Programmes in Malaysia at Leading Private Universities & Colleges
Students after SPM or O-Levels 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.
If you are not sure of which degree you plan to take then go for the Foundation in Science where it allows you to enter into any science-related or arts-related degree courses. The Foundation in Arts will allow students to choose from only arts-based degree programmes.
Students who are sure of their degree course may go for the specific Foundation courses where the subjects are tailored towards their degree studies such as Foundation in Computing & Information Technology, Foundation in Business Administration, Foundation in Engineering, Foundation in Design, Foundation in Architecture or Foundation in Communication or Media Studies.
General Entry Requirements into Foundation Programmes in Malaysia
General Entry Requirements are 5 SPM Credits with Passes in BM & Sejarah. Note that the entry requirements will vary from university to university. 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
How to Choose the Right Foundation Course to Study after SPM or O-Levels?
It can be confusing to choose the right course after SPM or O-Levels. You should carefully think about what are the options available to you. To choose the best course that fits you, you need to consider the following:
- Look at your results – what are your best & worst subjects, and which subjects are your favourite?
- What are your interests & hobbies?
- What is your passion?
- Job demand for the career of choice. There is no point in choosing a course out of passion and then graduate to find out that you cannot get a job in that field.
- Salary of the career of choice
- Discuss the budget for your studies with your parents. There is no point in choosing a course like Pharmacy or Medicine, if you cannot afford it.
How to Choose the Best Foundation Course to Study at the Top Private University in Malaysia
It is important to choose the right course to study – you don’t want to waste your time and money on a
course you don’t want to do (or end up dropping out of). To help you decide which course is right for you, make a list of courses that are of interest to you.
Is it a subject you have already studied? For example, maybe you loved the English subject and you read novels for pleasure in your own time. You can consider Teaching English as a Second Language, journalism or Mass Communication. In addition, you don’t have to do a journalism degree to become a journalist – many degrees are considered!
Maybe you’ve always been interested in computers and the internet at home, and enjoyed maths at school, so are considering a degree in computer science, a course subject you probably won’t have studied before. Experienced education counselors are able to analyse your interests, personality and exam results to help you make a list of possible courses for consideration.
Looking at your results in SPM could help you to decide which course you would be good at. If you are good in Maths & Physics then you can consider Engineering courses. Having good results in Chemistry, Biology & Maths, you can think of a career in Food Science, Pharmacy or Medicine. Talking to an experienced education advisor would help you to navigate through this confusing time of choosing the best course that fits you.
Many students after SPM make the mistake of just listening to advise without verifying whether the information given is true or not. In addition, just because you have heard or seen a lot of advertisements by a particular university, doesn’t mean that it is the best in that course.
Many of the course counselors at the universities are paid by the universities to get you to register there, so their main motivation is to get you to register, not to help you make the right choice.
You should also ask yourself if you would still be interested in that subject for a further three or four years – enough to motivate yourself to work and research independently? Remember, you are going to work in this career for the next 50 years after graduation, therefore, you should have a high interest in the course.
The course that you choose should also have a job demand for you after you graduate. Choosing a course that you are passionate about without job demand and you may end up being jobless. Look for statistics and research to support whether there is a job demand for your future career in Malaysia or Singapore. Here at EduSpiral Consultant Services, we do our research on the job demand for the careers in Malaysia, Salary Reports, and universities so that we can advise our students based on facts and evidence.
Now why would you want to talk to EduSpiral Consultant Services when you can contact the private universities directly? Well, EduSpiral Consultant Services staff have more than 15 years experience in counseling students. Having worked in the private education industry, we have in-depth knowledge of each private university and college in what they are good at. We have worked with our partner universities and colleges for many years while the counselors at the private universities or agents’ offices change every few years therefore they would not have the in-depth knowledge of the courses and the university that they are working at.