Scholarship Programmes In Malaysia: What Students Need To Know

Tertiary education is often expensive and as such many corporations in Malaysia both private and government are offering various scholarships to reward outstanding students. Numerous Universities in Malaysia have plenty of scholarships to offer to students and a brief guide on the education scholarships available in Malaysia are as below. The criteria for each scholarships are different and are based on academic excellence while others have prerequisites on top excellent grades.

What is covered by a scholarship?

All scholarships provided enough to cover tuition fees and accommodation. Most of the scholarship programmes will mention on the total amount that will be awarded to the recipients and some scholarships may even have allowances for academic books.

Scholarship application process

The application process for scholarships in Malaysia is fairly straight forward. Students need to submit an application with copies of their academic results as well as any outstanding achievements that may swing the votes in their favour. For extra-curricular scholarships, they may even need to provide additional documents such as letters from governing bodies.

Given the sheer amount of students applying for scholarships, only shortlisted candidates would be called for interview. The process may differ slightly between programmes and all students would require for at least one interview level as well as some form of evaluation.


When applying for a scholarship, always have a look at the programme’s terms and conditions. Some scholarships include a long-term employment bond while others do not even have such a clause. Employment bonds may not necessarily be a bad thing as it could mean confirmed employment upon graduation which is not something to be taken lightly.

In addition, because of the sheer number of applicants, it makes perfect logic to apply for as many scholarship programmes as possible. Applying for a scholarship programme does not mean the student will automatically entitle for it but also need to attend as many shortlisted interviews as possible.

Finally, recipient of scholarships need to hold themselves to a certain level as the scholarship providers may revoke their awards to students who are not achieving satisfactory academic results.

Types of scholarships in Malaysia

Here are a list of scholarships available in Malaysia based on specific criteria.

Academic Achievement Scholarships

Some of the most lucrative scholarship programmes are also naturally the most competitive. They are usually awarded to the crème de la crème of outstanding students and are usually very lucrative. Because of this, these scholarships have a huge financial incentive to ensure the recipientscontinue to maintain their high standards of academic results.

Extra-curricular Scholarships

This scholarship is specially designed to reward those who are outstanding in areas outside of the classroom. Students who are awarded this scholarship have demonstrated their achievements in areas like sports, music or even the arts. Like the normal academic scholarship, this type of scholarship is offered by government agencies, arts/sports associations and even some universities.

Needs-Based Scholarship

This scholarship serves as a financial aid for the underprivileged (low income, handicapped/ differently abled, rural areas, etc) to have a chance to succeed through education. This scholarship is usually given by the government, NGOs, universities or the charity arm of a company or group.

Institution-Based Scholarship

This type of scholarship differs from the rest as it is open solely to a group of people. Eligibility may require the applicant to be an alumnus from a school, an association or in some cases be part of a family clan. Like the other scholarship types, the institution-based scholarship may be a partial or full scholarship.

Things to Note

Most scholarships may come with some form of bond with the provider when the graduate and requiring them to work at the company / body for a certain number of years. But there are also some which come without any form of bond.

Most importantly, the student must maintain their academic results or the providers will remove the student from the programme if the student do not achieve a specific cumulative grade point average (CGPA) even for a semester. Therefore, it is imperative that scholarship students maintain their focus throughout their degree programme.