M.T. Dora

Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (MALAYSIA)
In this study, the objective is to determine the factors that influence the choice of institution international graduate students according to country of origin, influence the choice of the modes of study of international graduate students according to country of origin and to create a profile of international students who choose to study in selected Malaysian institutes. This research also looked at the pulling factors influencing international student choosing to study in Malaysian in terms of environments, emotional support, finances, academic qualities, locations and culture. The population with 344 respondents chosen for this exercise come from Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia, Universiti Malaya, Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. The research instrument utilized in this research is a 5 point Likert scale and the results obtained from using descriptive statistics and correlation methods.

From the research it can be concluded that Malaysia is on its way to becoming the regional education hub as envisioned by the Malaysian government. It appears that Malaysia’s official religion and its political stability are crucial factors influencing the international students’ choice of Malaysian graduate education. The findings shows that the international graduate students are attracted to Malaysian graduate education because it is perceived as offering good value for money. The highest pulling factor is our academic quality and reasonable cost with the low exchange rates of Malaysian Ringgit in comparison to other education destinations like the US, UK and even Singapore. However, the level of satisfaction for facilities are still low. On the other hand, we are perceived to provide good emotional support. In the end, they feel that although the Malaysian graduate education has significant advantages and disadvantages, they still feel good about recommending it to others in their home countries. In conclusion, the study shows that Malaysia is on its way to becoming a strong presence as the education hub in the Asian region serving primarily Indonesia and the Middle East countries as an alternative to the traditional education destinations like the UK and the US. It is recommended that the study be expanded to cover the different categories of higher education in Malaysia.