You’ve decided on what and where you want to study.
You’re sure that your budget is sufficient to cover the fees and costs.
University application is fairly standard, but not all universities have the same application process.
In this article you will find out the difference in the application process between private and public institutions.
Application process for public universities in Malaysia
All students who wish to enter a public university must apply for it through the Unit Pengambilan Universiti (UPU).
It processes the applications for public universities, polytechnics, community colleges, and Institut Latihan Kemahiran Awam in Malaysia.
The bulk of the applications will come from SPM leavers, while those who have completed STPM, Matrikulasi, Asasi, or diploma courses from public universities also will utilise it.
Applications usually are open between February and April each year.
Before you register for an account on the UPU platform to apply for a course, do head to Bank Simpanan Nasional to purchase a PIN.
Once you have that you can head to the UPU website to register.
You are required to fill up all the information accurately, from personal and household information to academic results and programme choices.
If you are applying with your SPM results, you can choose up to 5 courses with your preferred choice at the top of the list.
You can update your UPU course selection once you have received your SPM results.
For those who have completed STPM, Matrikulasi, Asasi, or diploma courses from public universities, the platform will open up registration usually during June or July.
Offers are usually released around May for SPM leavers.
To increase your chances of getting an offer, do apply for courses that match what you have studied for SPM.
Do note that even when you do apply for courses that match what you have studied for SPM, there is no guarantee that you will receive an offer that matches your selection, or at all.
This is the main reason that prompted students to choose private universities over public ones.
Application process for overseas universities
The application process for overseas universities is pretty standard.
Here are 2 examples of the application processes to study in the UK and Australia.
Study in the UK
For those who want to study in the UK, the UCAS is a hub for all students who want to study in the UK.
Once you have registered for an account on its website, you will need to upload all the necessary personal and academic information.
You also will need to prepare a personal statement and other related documents to be uploaded to the system.
The more complete information you provide, the better your prospects will be.
Through UCAS you will be able to track your application and deadlines.
Once you have filled up all the required information and paid the fee, you will receive an email confirmation of your application.
Results are usually out by 19 May but you have until 9 June to reply.
Do note that not all courses have the same entry requirements, even if they are in the same field of study.
Study in Australia
For those looking to study in Australia, the process to apply for a course is slightly different than that for UK.
You will need to fill up the application form with your personal details and course preference.
Attached with the form is your previous academic qualifications, such as your SPM and/or pre-university course transcripts.
Do note that you will need to prove your English proficiency, generally through IELTS certification.
The university will then issue a letter of offer once they have processed and accepted your application.
Once you have accepted the offer, the university will issue you the Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).
The CoE is essential to your student visa application.
How to apply for private institutions in Malaysia
There are some students who think that they still need to go to the private institution of their choice and fill up a paper application form to register for a course.
Before you get to the application form, here are a few things you must do:
Talk to an expert
There are free services out there that provide unbiased advice on higher education.
Just like the counsellors working for the individual institutions, platforms such as Uni Enrol help students understand the pathway they should take for higher education.
Check intake dates
During your chat with the counsellors, do remember to also verify the key dates.
You should be clear about the intake dates, application process, and deadlines so that you won’t be delayed.
Another topic you should discuss with the counsellor is finance.
This is the perfect opportunity to understand the payment schedule for your studies, and the disbursement of scholarship or PTPTN funds, if needed.
Often this is one of the sticking points for families that opt for PTPTN loan.
Having a clear picture of the flow of funds and when the payments are due will lower the stress for you in the long run.
Submit application form and documents
When you are ready to apply, you’ll need to fill up the application form and attach all the necessary documents with it.
The required documents are the results slip and a copy of your IC.
If you are applying for a scholarship, you’ll also need to attach the application form (if applicable) and supporting documents.
The registration fee must be paid and the receipt attached with your application.
With Uni Enrol, you will be able to do all the above online!
Some courses require additional documents and actions to be taken so you must read the requirements carefully.
For example, those who have applied for a nursing course scholarship will have to go through a health screening and an interview.
Some courses also require you to have English language certification such as IELTS and TOEFL.
Wait for offer letter
Private institutions generally will send the offer letter to a student within 2 weeks.
They will send it to your email so be sure to watch out for it during the 2-week period.
Once you receive it, do check to make sure your personal and course details are correct.
Additionally, if you have submitted an application for a merit scholarship you will also find information about it in the offer letter.
With the offer letter you’ll receive information on your payment as well.
To accept the offer, you will be required to make payment prior to the start of the semester.
What to do after accepting the offer
Once you have received your offer letter and paid your tuition fees, it’s time to prepare for your first semester!
For those who are not familiar with the location, we recommend that you get familiar with the area.
That could mean either learning the driving route to the institution or the public transportation route to it.
If you do plan to drive, you also need to find out about parking on campus and around the area.
If time allows, why not work a part-time job or volunteer for a cause?
This gives you the opportunity to earn some extra cash and give back to the community.
For those who are studying away from home, this is the time to look for suitable accommodation.
There are plenty of student accommodation in the surrounding area of the institution but do remember that the proximity and facilities come at a price.
This is also the time where you submit the relevant documents for your PTPTN loan application.
Before you know it, it will be time to attend your orientation day!
Now that you’ve read about how to choose and how to apply, you should have a clear picture of how your pathway will be like in higher education and what you need to do to achieve it.
Catch our counsellors if you need additional advice!