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Education is a priority of the Federal Government of Malaysia and it is committed to provide quality education to all. The 9th Malaysian Plan (9MP) from 2006 to 2010 has placed great importance on education, training and lifelong learning. In line with greater focus on human development under 9MP, a total of RM40.3 billion (about 21% of the total budget allocation) has been allocated for the expenditure of education and training development.
Generally, the national education system is divided into pre-tertiary and tertiary education. There are two governing authorities for the education sector. Pre-tertiary education (i.e. from pre-school to secondary education and teacher education) is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education (MOE) while tertiary or higher education is the responsibility of the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE).
Under the national education system, a child begins his/her education with pre-school education at the age of four and will be admitted into the first year of the 6-year compulsory primary education when the child reaches the age of six on the first day of January of the current school year. The government provides 11 years of free primary and secondary education.
Upon successful completion of 11 years of free education, further education is no longer automatic but is subject to the individual’s academic performance and financial capability. These upper school graduates (i.e.SPM leavers) can opt to continue their education in post-secondary schools to obtain a pre-university qualification (such as the Sixth Form or Matriculation programme, GCE’A’ levels) or further their education at tertiary or higher institutions.

France-Malaysia Education system at a glance

Higher Education includes certificate, diploma, and undergraduate as well as postgraduate studies. Undergraduate studies consist of Bachelor’s degree levels and professional studies while postgraduate studies consist of Master’s degrees and PhD levels. Generally, higher education at the diploma level is for secondary school certificate (SPM) holders from the age of 17 onwards and the Bachelor’s degree is for students from the age of 19 onwards with post-secondary qualifications such as STPM (which is equivalent to the GCE ‘A’Level) or pre-university qualifications.

Malaysian Higher Education System

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