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Malaysia Education and Training



The state of Malaysia spends a lot of money on education. The compulsory schooling is six years from the age of 6 to 11. State-supported schools offer free education to children and adolescents up to the age of 18.

Virtually all children complete the first six-year stage. There are public schools where the teaching is in Malay and others where the teaching languages ​​are Chinese (Mandarin) and Tamil. The vast majority of parents put their children in schools where they are taught in their mother tongue.

  • Allcitypopulation: Offers a list of biggest cities in the state of Malaysia, including the capital city which hosts major colleges and universities.
  • COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Malaysia, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.

In the higher stages, which last up to seven years, the language of instruction is Malay, with English as a second language and Chinese and Tamil as a home language. There are also private schools that teach in Chinese. More than seven out of ten children go to the higher stages.

Refugee children do not have the right to attend public schools, but are referred to schools run by individual organizations and other groups.

Malaysia has about 20 universities and about 160 colleges and vocational schools. University and college education is ethnically quoted for bumiputras (mainly Malay; see Population and language) advantage. Most universities reserve at least 70 percent of their places for bumiputra, making it more difficult for non-Malays to gain a place in higher education. In addition, according to Malaysian employers, the quota means that bumiputra students often have lower qualifications than their Chinese and Indian peers.

The government has increased access to higher education since the 2000s, among other things by attracting foreign universities to establish themselves in Malaysia, to reduce the costs of sending Malaysian students abroad.

Malaysia Top Colleges and Universities


Proportion of children starting primary school

98.6 percent (2017)

Number of pupils per teacher in primary school

12 (2017)

Reading and writing skills

89.5 percent (2001)

Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP

20.7 percent (2016)

Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget

20.7 percent (2016)



Eleven countries retain TPP

November 11

The eleven countries that, in addition to the United States, have signed the Free Trade Agreement TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), announce that they have agreed to retain key parts of the agreement, even without US participation. The TPP was signed in 2016, among other things with the aim of counterbalancing China's dominance in Asia. Malaysia is one of the countries that signed the TPP.


The trial of the murder of Kim Jong-Nam begins

October 2

At a court in Kuala Lumpur, the trial of the Indonesian woman and the woman from Vietnam who is charged with the murder of Kim Jong-Nam, half-brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un, begins the trial. The women say at the start of the trial that they are innocent of the crime. Many observers believe that the North Korean security service is behind the murder, as the approach suggests. According to the prosecutor, the two women must have been tricked into murdering Kim by pushing a cloth with poison against his mouth and nose.


Malaysians are not allowed to leave North Korea

March 7

North Korea bans all Malaysian nationals from leaving the country, and Malaysia responds by holding all at North Korea's embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia says that in practice, Malaysians are being held hostage in North Korea.

Malaysia expels North Korea's ambassador

March 5th

As a result of the diplomatic crisis that arose between North Korea and Malaysia following the assassination of Kim Jong-Nam, Malaysia's ambassador to Korea gives 48 hours to leave the country.

Two are charged with the murder of Kim Jong-Nam

March 1st

A 25-year-old Indonesian woman and a 28-year-old woman from Vietnam are being prosecuted in a court in Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur for the murder of Kim Jong-Nam. The women may have been fooled and said they thought it was all a joke in a TV show.


Two Malaysian companies are closed

February 28

Police in Kuala Lumpur announce that two Malaysian companies with links to a North Korean company, based in Malaysia and according to police controlled by North Korean intelligence service, will be closed. The previously good relations between North Korea and Malaysia are markedly weakened by the trips surrounding the assassination of the North Korean leader's half-brother.

Murder leads to dispute with North Korea

February 20th

Relations with North Korea are strained when North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's half-brother Kim Jong-Nam is murdered at Kuala Lumpur Airport. North Korea is believed to have ordered the poison murder. North Korea refuses to allow Malaysia to carry out a forensic examination of the body, claiming that Malaysia is participating in a plot that South Korean authorities are behind. But the Malaysian government does not intend to take this into account.

Malaysian support for Muslim refugees

February 14th

Malaysia is one of the Muslim countries in the region responding strongly to Myanmar's (formerly Burma's) military offensive against the Muslim minority Rohingya in the state of Rakhine (see Myanmar, current policy). Malaysia sends a ship of supplies to the refugees. The ship first arrives in Rangoon, Myanmar, where it is met by demonstrative Buddhist monks and other nationalists. The ship then sails on to Chittagong, Bangladesh, where emergency aid is diverted to the refugee camps.



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