The Education And Training Sector in Malaysia

Malaysia is one of the four priority market for British products and services related to the sector worth over £280 million a year. Business opportunities are growing as Malaysia is fast becoming an ‘Education Hub’ of the ASEAN region.

Market overview

Malaysia’s rapid development, political and social stability, close historical and educational ties, a familiar legal and financial framework and the widespread use of English make this an attractive place for British companies to do business. Both British and Malaysian Prime Ministers have set a target to double trade between the two countries to £8 billion by 2016. Malaysia is strategically located from which to penetrate other ASEAN markets, and further into India and China. Highly regarded by Muslim countries and this creates business opportunities.

Recent World Bank report shows Malaysia ranked 12th most business-friendly country in the world and first in terms of ease of getting credit. According to the ‘Doing Business 2013’, Malaysia is fourth in the world for protecting investors. This puts Malaysia ahead of such highly regarded economies as Sweden, Taiwan, Germany, Japan and Switzerland.

Strong focus on education and skills training under Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Programme to achieve ‘Vision 2020’ (to achieve developed nation status by the year 2020). Under the 10th Malaysia Plan, £50 billion is allocated for the sector for five years from 2011 to 2015.

Currently, more than 14,000 Malaysian students are studying at UK universities and an additional 58,000 are registered for a UK qualification in Malaysia.

Key opportunities

  • Foreign education and training institutions are opening branch campuses seeing Malaysia fast becoming an ‘Education Hub’ of the ASEAN region and Muslim countries.

  • The Tenth Malaysia Plan and Economic Transformation Programme launched in January 2011, reaffirms the New Economic Model and outlines more measures to transform Malaysia into a high-income economy, increasing per capita income to £9,000 per annum and achieve a developed nation status by 2020. This, among others, require training, re-training and upskilling of the workforce, and producing graduates for industry needs. On the recent Graduate Tracking Study of the Higher Education Ministry, about 40,000 graduates are still unemployed.

  • Business opportunities are in: teacher training for English, Maths & Science; upgrading of qualification for pre-school teachers; UK-Malaysia dual certification/joint awards for international recognition of Malaysian skills training; corporate training and joint R&D activities.

  • In 2012, the British and Malaysian Ministers of Education met to review UK-Malaysia educational relations, and discussed priorities for further promoting educational co-operation and exchange. This led to the signing of the ‘Malaysia-UK Joint Statement on Higher Education and Skills’.

  • In the field of Trans-National Education, there are currently around 410,000 students and in 2020, the British Council expect 800,000.

Latest export opportunities in the Education and Training sector

Latest export opportunities in Malaysia

Getting into the market

Coming on trade missions, visit programme through OMIS and participating in sector related events in Malaysia are some of the ways of getting into the market. May take time to develop business. It is necessary to send a quick summary of the meeting held, action plan and timeline. Need to maintain regular contact via e-mail and telephone to get things moving. Local partner/agent is needed for Malaysian Government tender/procurement bidding.

More about doing business in Malaysia


Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.

  • Mr Siva Somasundram, British High Commission. Tel: +603 21702223 or email: [email protected].

  • Miss Shuba Karun, British High Commission. Tel: +603 21702252 or email: [email protected]

UKTI Events

UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.

Latest events in the Education and Training sector

Major Events

IPSEF Asia Forum

13 & 14 March 2013

British Education and Corporate Training Trade Mission

May 2013

BES Asia Forum

November 2013

Useful links

More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters

Sectors: Education & Training
Countries: Malaysia
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