Top Foundation in Science and Foundation in Arts Courses at the Best Private Universities in Malaysia
Two popular Foundation programmes for students after SPM or IGCSE/O-Levels are the Foundation in Science and Foundation in Arts Programmes. These programmes are popular as they are general and upon completion can enter most degree programmes in the related field. The Foundation in Science programme would cover more degree programmes that include the science and arts fields. On the other hand, the Foundation in Arts only cover arts-related degree programmes and students cannot continue to science-related degree programmes. The Foundation in Science and Foundation in Arts programmes prepare students for direct entry to the first year of an undergraduate degree programme at Malaysia’s private universities.
“Pre-University” means the course that you take before entering into a university in Malaysia. Therefore, a Foundation Programme is also classified as a Pre-University Programmes. Most students will enter into the Pre-University programme after completing SPM. There are many different Pre-University programmes available in Malaysia such as the STPM, A-Levels, SAM, CPU, AUSMAT, and more. If you don’t plan to go overseas immediately after your Pre-University Programme, then you should go for the Foundation programme in Malaysia.
Many top private universities in Malaysia, have developed their own internal university foundation programmes. These Foundation courses are accredited by the Malaysia Qualification 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.
A Foundation Programme in Malaysia can be 2 semesters with 6 months each semester or 3 semesters with 4 months each semester.
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The Best Private Universities in Malaysia for MQA Accredited Foundation in Science & Foundation in Arts Programmes
A Foundation Programme is a pre-university programme, which means that you take this course right after SPM or IGCSE/O-Levels in order to gain entry into a Degree programme at university. One of the advantages of a Foundation programme is that it prepares you for a smooth transition into the degree at the same private university.
Students after SPM or IGCSE/O-Levels should choose the foundation programme in Malaysia that best fits their career goals and needs. 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.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Foundation in Science and Foundation in Arts Programmes
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.
Accreditation of Courses in Malaysian Private Universities
Accreditation is a formal recognition that a certificate, diploma or degree programme has attained the quality standards and criteria set by MQA and is in compliance with the MQF.
Institutions whose programmes have been accredited can use MQA recognition in their advertisements or any other statement. These programmes can be considered for recognition by the government for the purpose of employment in the public sector. Accreditation is a status or achievement as a result of quality assessment by MQA. It is a commitment by MQA to all stakeholders in higher education i.e students, parents, employers that the programme accredited by MQA is quality-assured. It is also a basis for other parties to recognise the programme for a variety of reasons. For example, the Public Service Department (PSD) will use this accreditation status to recognise the qualification for employment in the public service.
HOW LONG IS THE DURATION FOR THE FOUNDATION IN SCIENCE PROGRAMME?
3 semesters (1 year of full-time study). Some universities offer a 2-semester Foundation which is still 1 year in duration.
IS THE FOUNDATION IN SCIENCE & Foundation in Arts PROGRAMME RECOGNISED?
Mostly in Malaysia and some overseas. As long as the Foundation course is accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), it will be accepted by another private university for entry into the relevant degree programme.
HOW MANY SUBJECTS ARE THERE IN A FOUNDATION IN SCIENCE or Arts 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.
HOW MUCH DOES A FOUNDATION IN SCIENCE or Arts PROGRAMME COST?
Students after SPM or 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 will you Study in a Foundation in Science Programme in Malaysia
A Foundation in Science course in Malaysia focuses on science-related topics by concentrating on specific subjects related to
- Mathematics – statistics, probability, calculus, algebra, trigonometry, etc.
- Information Technology
A Foundation Programme is a pre-university programme, which means that you take this course right after SPM or O-Levels in order to gain entry into a Degree programme at university. The duration of a Foundation in Science is usually about 12 months.
One of the advantages of a Foundation in Science programme is that it prepares you for a smooth transition into a Science, Engineering or Information Technology degree at the same private university.
A Foundation in Science is administered by the university itself, unlike other pre-university courses that are administered by a central body (e.g. A-Level is administered by Cambridge, AUSMAT is administered by the Western Australian education board).
Therefore, the syllabus and subjects for the Foundation in Science will vary from university to university. On the other hand, the external Pre-University Programmes’ subjects, evaluation and assessment methods are standardised throughout Malaysia and globally. In addition, the private university has the ability to design the programme specifically catered towards Malaysian students.
Usually, you will be required to take certain compulsory core sciences subjects, and then take further subjects that are related to your intended degree such as engineering, food science, pharmacy, etc.
What will you Study in a Foundation in Arts Programme in Malaysia
A Foundation in Arts course in Malaysia focuses on arts-related topics by concentrating on specific subjects related to arts. 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 such as business, accounting, marketing, communications, 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.
Assessment for the Foundation in Science & Foundation in Arts Programme at Private Universities in Malaysia
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.
What Degree Programmes does the Foundation in Science lead to?
Upon completion of the Foundation in Science, you can enter into any arts-related degree programmes as well as science programmes like Biotechnology, Biomedical Science, Food Science, Nutrition, Dietetics, Optometry, Physiotherapy, Pharmacy, Medicine and Dentistry. Students may also enter into engineering programmes if the Foundation in Science programme contain Physics and Maths subjects.
What Degree Programmes does the Foundation in Arts lead to?
The Foundation in Arts is ideal for students to pursue a Business, Humanities, Education, Computing, Arts or Social Science Degree.
When students complete the Foundation in Arts, they can enter into non-science degree programmes like Psychology, Law, Business, Accounting, Actuarial Science, Architecture, Quantity Survey, Communication, Design, Early Childhood Education, TESL, Education, Hospitality, Culinary and Tourism. Students who have at least a credit in Maths and where the Foundation in Arts also contain a subject in Maths can choose Computing degree programmes.
Can I transfer to Another Private University?
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.
Which are the Top Private Universities in Malaysia Offering the Best Foundation in Science Programme?
- Heriot-Watt University Malaysia
- University of Nottingham Malaysia
- Taylor’s University
- MAHSA University
- UOWM KDU Penang University College
- HELP University
- First City University College
- Multimedia University (MMU)
Which are the Top Private Universities in Malaysia Offering the Best Foundation in Arts Programme?
- Taylor’s University
- University of Nottingham Malaysia
- UOWM KDU, Utropolis Glenmarie
- HELP University
- UOWM KDU Penang
Top 10 Reasons to Study Foundation in Science or Foundation in Arts at a Private University in Malaysia
There are plenty of reasons why you should choose a Foundation course at a top private university in Malaysia over external Pre-University Programmes such as the Australian Matriculation, Canadian Pre-U, South Australian Matriculation (SAM), STPM, etc.
- Foundation courses are generally cheaper than the External Pre-University Programmes
- Foundation programmes are generally easier than the External Pre-University Programmes. Unlike courses such as A-Level or Australian Matriculation, Foundation programmes are administered by the private universities themselves.
- The Foundation programmes at top private universities in Malaysia are Accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and approved by the Ministry of Education. Some are recognised for entry into overseas universities.
- The Foundation Programmes have more intakes in a year allowing you more flexibility.
- In the Foundation course, you get to study subjects that you like, which is science-related or arts-related
- The Foundation coursework and exams are marked by Malaysians who understand what you write or express. Students who are weak in English would find it difficult to achieve higher grades in the external Pre-University programmes as they are marked by the overseas institutions.
- You will be exposed to different types of science subjects which would help you to decide which major to choose in the degree.
- The Foundation course is faster to complete and then to enter the degree programme compared to taking the UEC, STPM or A-Levels
- If you do not plan to go overseas, there is no reason to take an external Pre-U programme which is tougher and more expensive. The Foundation in Science is geared towards the degree programmes at the particular private university allowing you to transition easier into the degree programme.
- When you score well in the Foundation in Science or Foundation in Arts, you can apply for scholarships for the degree programme at the same university.