Likewise in Europe and US, Foundation programs in Malaysia are designed for students who do not meet the admission requirements for direct entry at a Malaysian university.
Malaysian Universities’ requirements vary from one university to the other, as well as from one major to the other. For Sciences majors, the requirements are usually higher than that for Arts major. Also, for highly-ranked public universities, the requirements are usually higher than that of medium-ranked private universities, where private universities are considered to-be more flexible towards admission requirements.
The concept of undertaking a Foundation program has been introduced lately to Malaysian universities to enable students who do not meet the requirements for direct entry by a small discrepancy the chance to study at a well-ranked university for their degree and to also equip them with the needed skills and learnings for their studies. Immersing in the Malaysian culture and understanding how the Malaysian Education system works before undertaking a Bachelor are also some of the main advantages of studying for a foundation in Malaysia.
Like European countries, the foundation program consists of both academic modules and English language courses, or may contain academic courses only depending on the grades and status of each student and the reason he/she will be undertaking a foundation for. Intensive English language courses are also available for students who meet the direct entry requirements, but have failed to meet those of English, so they would not need to take a foundation course, for which the duration of the language course may vary according to the level and status of each student.
The foundation programs' course length in Malaysia is usually one year and is covered over two semesters, as well as trimester also for some universities. Students would need to pass their foundation course first with acceptable grades,in order to-be admitted to the first year of their Bachelor Degree.
The requirements for undertaking a foundation vary according to the student’s previous educational system, desired major and preferred university’s requirements.
For example in some private universities, IGCSE students would need to have at least 5 O levels with subjects relevant to the desired major of study with acceptable grades. On the other hand, Students who studied previously at an American Diploma system would need to have a certain minimum CGPA score depending on each university’s requirements. As for the Egyptian National System, the minimum percentage to undergo a Foundation program would be 60 percent.
Students applying for a foundation program in Malaysia would need to have the following required documents:
- High chool certificate and transcripts (English)
- Copy of passport
- Proof of proficiency in English Language, ex.: Academic IELTS with a minimum score of 5.5 overall and at each subject, or either a high score at the English exam run by the university
Students wishing to apply for a foundation program at a Malaysian University have to apply early, as the course start date is on the start of September each year.Some universities would run a January intake too.