Growing Trend: Malaysia Becomes Top Choice for Chinese Students

Growing Trend: Malaysia Becomes Top Choice for Chinese Students
Credit: Internet

Over the past five years, there has been a significant increase in the number of Chinese students enrolling in Malaysian universities. This has made them the largest group of international students in the country, comprising 38% of the total 110,000 international students in 2023. On the other hand, the number of Malaysian students choosing to study in China is only about 4,000.

This year, Malaysia and China are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations with a commitment to further strengthening their ties. Chinese Premier Li Qiang made an official three-day visit to Kuala Lumpur starting June 18, marking his first visit to the country as premier.

As part of the celebration, several Malaysian students performed Chinese dances, demonstrating the close cultural exchange between the two countries. Analysts believe that such cultural exchanges will continue to bolster Malaysia-China diplomatic relations, which are based on people-to-people connections.

The rising number of Chinese students choosing to study in Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries is attributed to lower costs and a less competitive environment compared to other overseas study options, further strengthening these ties.

Although Western countries like the US, UK, Singapore, and Hong Kong remain popular choices for Chinese students seeking to study abroad, recent trends indicate that more are opting for universities in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The main reasons are lower costs and easier admission processes.

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the social media platform Xiaohongshu has recorded an increase in searches related to studying in Malaysia, surpassing searches for non-English-speaking Western countries like France and Germany.

Catherine Zhu, an overseas education consultant, also explained that universities in Southeast Asia generally have easier entry requirements, with some postgraduate programs even accepting students from vocational schools without a bachelor's degree.

This trend reflects a shift in study preferences for Chinese students, with Southeast Asia becoming an attractive alternative for those seeking quality education at more affordable costs and with simpler application processes.

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