Factors That Influence the International Students’ Decisions to Study in Malaysia

Shuai ZHANG, Lang DAI


The study aims to explore the motivating factors and criteria for international students to choose Malaysia and its higher education institutions as study destination. The total participants in the study are 200 international students chosen based on random sampling method, who are currently enrolled in one of the top public universities – University of Malaya in 2014. The data is analyzed via descriptive analysis. The findings indicate the most 5 influential factors that influence international students’ decisions to choose Malaysia as study destination are: cost of tuition/ fees, the academic reputation of institution, competitive program fees in comparison to those of other countries, lifestyle and culture, and a safe place to live. The study also finds the top five criteria for international students choosing University of Malaya as a place to study: the recognition of degrees, cost of education, the quality of faculty courses, availability of courses and Image/Reputation of this institution in my country. The paper makes a contribution to unfold various factors why foreign students choose Malaysia as their study destination. This knowledge is significant to formulate more effective recruitment strategies for Malaysian higher institutions to attract more international students.


International students; Factors; Education; Malaysia

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/9802


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