A good university is one that’s good for you.

The biggest tip in deciding on which university to enroll into is to not just look at the reputation, but also what can the university bring to you, as a student. To say the very least, boyfriend jeans might be on trend right now, but if skinny jeans flatter your body type better, which one would you go for?

In recent years, there have been a good amount of private universities mushrooming around major cities in Malaysia. And it has become more difficult to funnel out which university is best at which field of study. So, to save you the trouble and confusion, here’s a full updated list of some of the best private universities in Malaysia.

(Note: This article has been updated for 2017. We have added and removed some institutions; as well as updated what they are recommended for. This list is in alphabetical order.)

1. Asia Pacific University (APU)


Recommended for: Computer Science, Information Technology, Engineering

Established in 1993, Asia Pacific University (APU) have since developed industry-ready graduates with its specialized tech-based syllabus and astounding industry partners which includes IBM, Cisco, Google Web Academy and Dell. In addition, APU has secured more than 100 Awards which includes Prime Minister's Award for Industry Excellence Award.

2. Curtin University Sarawak


Recommended for: Engineering, Business, Mass Communication

Rated 5 Stars on the QS University Rankings, Curtin University Sarawak offers an industry-connected varsity experience in the lush greenery of Miri. Among the 8 Engineering degrees offered at Curtin, Curtin remains one of the handful of universities providing an Environmental Engineering programme.

3. First City University College


Recommended for: Interior Design, Graphic Design, Product Design

Located in the heart of the Bandar Utama township, First City University College provides a wide range of programmes in different fields which include Business, Hospitality and Tourism and a well-reputable Design course highly recognized amongst the industries. First City have won 7 prestigious interior design awards including Best College Award in Nippon Paint Young Designer Award.

4. HELP University


Recommended for: Psychology, Education, Law

In addition to the ability to transfer to one of 28 partner universities, HELP University offers courses in a wide range within the psychology field, including Business Psychology and Psychological Science. So, there is a niche course for students interested in exploring the business side of psychology as well as those into the neurological side of psychology.

5. Heriot-Watt University Malaysia


Recommended for: Actuarial Science, Engineering

On top of its cutting edge and modern ‘green’ campus in the heart of Putrajaya, this top-ranked institution has been providing industry-driven curriculums since its establishment in Edinburgh since 1821.  To add to that, Engineering graduates who finish their 4th year in the main campus in Scotland will graduate with a Masters of Engineering (MEng) certification. How’s that for graduating one step ahead?

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6. International Medical University (IMU)


Recommended for: Medicine, Dentistry, Chiropractic

IMU is Malaysia’s 1st private medical and health science university and boasts global university partnerships with over 29 countries. Students will be 100% focused on training to become extraordinary health practitioners here as the curriculums are specialized. Students will obtain early exposure to research projects through interaction with IMU Institute for Research.

7. INTI International University


Recommended for: Information Technology

INTI International University offers students with one of the widest array of pathways for their tertiary education with campuses in Central, North and East Malaysia. The students are equipped with additional skills and attributes to ensure that they have a slight edge when they enter the workforce.

8. KDU University College


Recommended for: Hospitality & Culinary Arts, Mass Communication, Game Development

Established since 1983, KDU University College has ventured into three other campuses around Klang Valley and Penang, with the latest city campus in Glenmarie. Awarded Silver in the inaugural Putra Brand Awards 2010 for Education and Learning, KDU strikes a chord with their Mass Communications programme and in Creative Arts. Boasting a 45,000 alumni network, KDU students successfully excels in the workplace.

9. Le Cordon Bleu Malaysia


Recommended for: Culinary Arts

Students that have the passion in baking and/or cooking, can advance their knowledge and skills in one of the best culinary arts school in Malaysia, Le Cordon Bleu Malaysia. Students can choose from the traditional French cuisines to pastry making in a Michelin star environment. Graduates go on to work in prestigious, world class restaurants worldwide.

10. MAHSA University


Recommended for: Medicine, Dentistry, Physiotherapy, Nursing

MAHSA University offers medical and health care programmes in collaboration with renowned academic institutions in United Kingdom. Besides the cohesive curriculum, the university took an extra mile for student’s hands-on learning by establishing MAHSA’s own Community Clinics and Centres. This produces confident and well-equipped medical practitioners, ready for legit practice. 

11. Monash University Malaysia Campus


Recommended for: Medicine, Pharmacy, Engineering, Business

This institution needs no introduction. Monash University Malaysia has been quite the famous institution especially for its Business and Engineering degrees. And, it lives up to its highly-ranked courses. Ranked in the Top 100 by Times Higher Education World Ranking, Monash University Malaysia Campus offers a cost-effective option to study closer to home but with a highly-coveted degree from Australia.

12. Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed)


Recommended for: Medicine, Biomedical Science

Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed) is the perfect choice for aspiring doctors or medical officers who wish to get an international MBBS degree without having to worry about high living costs and expensive tuition fees. With the curriculum being identical to the one in its main campus, students receive the equal quality of education when they study in the Malaysian campus at a local price!

13. Sunway University


Recommended for: Accounting, Performing Arts

In 2015, Sunway University launched a brand new state-of-the-art building with cutting edge academic facilities to provide a higher level of tertiary education to students. Being a household name among private universities in Malaysia, Sunway University bridges the gap between university and working life with industry-equipped graduates and partnership with prestigious institutions such as Harvard University’s Asia Leadership Trek.

14. Taylor’s University


Recommended for: Architecture, Hospitality & Culinary Arts, Engineering

With a global network of over 3,000 industry and education partners, Taylorians are known to be pro-active and industry-ready leaders with its cohesive curriculum and innovative teaching and learning experiences. We all know that it is crucial for us to secure a job after graduation and this is what makes Taylor's University one of the best private universities in Malaysia. Over 97% of graduates are employed within 6 months of graduation due to its good industry network and career partnership with Accenture, BMW, Leo Burnett etc.

15. UCSI University


Recommended for: Architecture

UCSI University is one of the private institutions in Malaysia equipped with state-of-the-art facilities with campuses in Kuala Lumpur, Terengganu and Sarawak. Students looking to study architecture can consider this university as it helps students develop the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to do well in the architecture field.

16. University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC)


Recommended for: Engineering, Psychology, Pharmacy, Business

The University of Nottingham brings its over-a-century worth of experience to Malaysian students in 2000 and now, it is truly one of Malaysia's best private foreign university. UNMC graduates are educated and nurtured into proactive individuals with the “Nottingham Advantage” – standing out in employability, soft skills, recognition and industrial experience. Additionally, the Psychology curriculum here is fully research-led and fully accredited by the British Psychological Society.

17. University of Reading Malaysia


Recommended for: Business, Law, Real Estate

With consistent world rankings, The University of Reading has been producing high quality graduates since its establishment in 1893. 123 years later, this institution launched its Malaysian campus in Nusajaya, providing programmes ranging from Business, Law and Built Environment. With extensive modules and industry-driven structures, well-rounded students are nurtured with expertise. Of course, you would graduate with a University of Reading degree, even if you finish your programme locally!

18. University of Southampton Malaysia Campus (USMC)


Recommended for: Engineering

Located in the education hub of EduCity, Nusajaya, University of Southampton is setting foot into Malaysian grounds in providing top-class Engineering programmes to Malaysian students at a local price. Interested in pursuing a degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics? Study 2 years in Malaysia, and 2 years in Southampton, UK! All degrees in this top-ranked university requires students to embark on a transfer experience to the UK. Sounds like the best deal to me!