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Comparing with Western countries, affordable cost of studying and living is one of the reasons why international students choose Malaysian universities to study at. With the global contact closely, many students are advised to go to foreign countries to gain better education in order to be more competitive in their career advancement. However, for those whose parents or families are unable to afford the entire cost or can only afford the cost partially in western countries, Malaysia which has reasonably cheap tuition fees is an alternative destination pathway for their children to pursue tertiary education. For example, 48% stated that the cost of studying and living in Malaysia is lower than western countries so that the students could afford the fees. The idea is supported in Study in Malaysia Handbook which claims "The inexpensive cost of living in this country for as low as RM 9,000 (approximately US$2,368) per annum would appeal to international students as they will be able to save a great deal in terms of their living expenses." Additionally, tuition fee for undergraduate program in Malaysia is only around USD 2,500 - 5,000 per annum; whereas, it costs USD 35, 000 - 40,000 per annum in western countries. Indeed, international students still can benefit the privilege of studying and living, though the expenses to be lower than the western countries without jeopardize their health issue as Malaysia which has a consummate Health and Hospitalizations Insurance System only need to pay about USD 160 per annum. Therefore, low expense is one of the main reasons for international students to pursue their education in Malaysia.
High quality education is another main reason that international students are willing to pursue their education at Malaysia universities. The quality of education in Malaysia is better than many other developing countries, especially for Asia and Africa countries. Tertiary education in Malaysia is financially sponsored and supported by the government; indeed, SIN CHEW DAILY supported the idea that Malaysian government is going to allocate 22.8% revenue to develop education in 2011. For the government puts much budget into education, students can get better knowledge. For example, engineering education of Malaysia Universities is high quality because there are many advanced instruments in many universities and Technology Park which are imported by the government. Furthermore, Malaysia Universities engage many professors who get high degrees. According to the research, 48% people thought that the education of Malaysia is high quality. They could obtain more advanced knowledge than they study at universities in their own countries. Many professors are strict and patient in Malaysian universities; indeed, students receive the humanized education which gives more motive power to students. In a word, providing higher education is the purpose of government which attract many international students to pursue their advance education in Malaysia.
Moreover, there are various high quality academic majors and comprehensive range of researches in Malaysian universities. Nowadays, the system of tertiary education in Malaysia is gradually perfected; meanwhile, the government is determined to make Malaysia as international centre of education excellence which really offers high quality education. So the infrastructure in Malaysian universities is growing up and the majors gradually evolve academic education. As 15% of international students replied that the research universities and the high quality majors have attracted them to choose Malaysian universities to study at. According to the book Education Guide Malaysia, "The Malaysian government encourages postgraduate studies in the area of Research & Development (R&D) which leads to commercialisation. As such, there are now numerous programmes and research projects offered by public and private higher educational institutions. This gives international students the opportunity to engage in some really exciting postgraduate research." Besides, public universities focus on the high-technologies subjects such as industrial computer tomography, microelectronics, advanced materials technology, biotechnology, life sciences and energy. "The biotechnology engineering here is better than my country and I can do research with other international students", one of the international students comes from Yemen said. Thus, the academic majors and the benefited field of doing research have encouraged students to furthering their tertiary education in Malaysia.
Malaysia which has a good political situation provides international students with peaceful environment, so many students come from Mid-east countries consider that Malaysia is a harmonious country for them to live and study. For example, peaceful is the most significant reason for some students who come from less peaceful and even some other war torn countries, they choose Malaysia which is recognized as a peaceful country to study because anything is impossible if there is no peace. According to the research, 38% mentioned this factor as an important reason. As a matter of fact, Malaysia is a peaceful country, because Malaysia pursued an independent, neutral, non-aligned foreign policy in the aspect of the political and diplomatic; meanwhile, advocating the establishment of peace, freedom and neutrality zone of South-East Asia as well as the relations with the ASEAN countries; in addition, the government of Malaysia treats ASEAN as the cornerstone of its foreign policy. The idea is supported in Study in Malaysia Handbook which claims "Malaysia is a politically and socially secure country that is governed by a stable government and the authorities strive to incorporate safety measures and eradicate crimes in the country. In addition, it is also geographically safe from natural disasters as it is located in a natural catastrophe-free zone. Therefore being free from racial and religious discrimination as well as from natural calamities makes Malaysia a safe vibrant and dynamic nation for international students to live in." Besides, the aspect of good political situation is also embodied in the relatively liberal visa policy. It is true that the government of Malaysia introduced a relatively liberal visa policy that students come to Malaysia more easily than some western countries. Therefore, the political situation in Malaysia is an important aspect to attract international student to choose Malaysian universities to study at.
Many international students are influenced by their families and friends to pursue their education in Malaysia. It is true that family and friendship is an integral part of human life, so overseas students want to study abroad with their families or friends to make their work or study better. However, students cannot bring their families or friends to every country they want, nevertheless, a factor has been mentioned before that Malaysia is a country which is easy to come, so students choose Malaysia as their destination of studying. For example, 48% stated that families or friends have an effect on their choice of which country to study in, because families and friends can offer them many help in the aspect of living and studying. This idea is supported by Harker, "Everyone wants to be interesting, but, it is more important to be interested. Be interested in what surrounds you - your family, your friends, your career and your community. Be interested in how world works, and how it doesn't." Consequently, families and friends play an important role when international students choose suitable country to pursue their education.
Malaysia as a multi-cultural country has offered opportunities for international students to get more experience than inland. With the world contact increasingly, studying abroad affords the chances to function in a diffident system, build the international friendship, improve the foreign language skills, seek the benefits of career, and promote self-quality. According to Mary M. Dwyer, Ph.D. and Courtney K. Peters, "The first large-scale survey to explore the long-term impact of study abroad on a student's personal, professional, and academic life shows that study abroad positively and unequivocally influences the career path, world-view, and self-confidence of students." It is true that studying abroad requires patience and creativity to manoeuvre in a new country which students can accumulate experience. Therefore, it is not only a challenge but also an opportunity for international students to study in Malaysia, which is a multi-cultural country, has mixed Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, and Hinduism. For instance, 10% replied that choosing Malaysian universities to pursuing their tertiary education so that they can gather experience to form international perspective and respect the intercultural system as well as develop tangible individual advancement. As English is an active second languageÂ in many areas of Malaysia society, international students should enhance their English skills. Therefore, accumulating experience is regard as one of the reason that international students choose Malaysian universities to improve their quality.
Studying in Malaysia is also a footstep for international students to go to western countries for advanced studies or career. According to Haji Alimuddin bin Hj. Mohd. Dom (2004), "Today, the Private Higher educational Institutions (PHEIs) under the jurisdiction of Department of Private Education (DPE) are leading the way in helping Malaysia to become the exporter of educational services in the global scene", so studying in Malaysia is a shortcut institution for international students to transfer procedure into overseas countries such as United Kingdom, Australia, United States, and Canada. An example of this is the Diploma in Advertising being awarded by the Institute Advertising and Communication Training (IACT), which has been given advanced standing into the final year of the Bachelor of Marketing Communications by the University of Canberra, Australia. There is 8% agreed that it is highly cost-effective for them to be educated through double or credit transfer programs and to obtain diplomas awarded by institutions of two countries. Hence, academic success achieved by these students in collaborative foreign partner-universities is a reaffirmation of the standards of teaching and curriculum implementation by the colleges in Malaysia.
Lastly, other reasons why the international students choose Malaysia to study at are the interest in religion and pleasant weather as well as friendly people. Interest and hobby always induce people to do things with energy. Some international students who come from the countries which are no state religions want to experience and inquire learning the religions in Malaysia which has most of the predominant religions of the world. Besides, "There is no other place to grow mentally and spiritually than be in the boarding environment."(Raline Rahmat, 2004), for the pleasant weather and friendly people here, Malaysia is a wonderful place for living and studying.
Based on what have been expounded above, Malaysia government encourages students to come here to study with the stable political situation and flexible education system; meanwhile, studying in Malaysia is benefit of personal growth such as its high level education which is included high quality and special majors as well as multi-cultural surrounding which can widen students' horizon and enrich students' knowledge. Apart from this, pleasant natural conditions and comfortable living standards have attracted students from all around the world who pursue their higher education and pave the way for future life and career. Overall, varieties of reasons come from these repeat aspects make Malaysia an attractive country for international students pursuing their higher education in.