FROM LEFT: Mariliza Malek of My Aspiration, Malaysia Ambassador Ahmad Jazri bin Mohammed Johar, Director of German Academic and Career Center at University Malaysia Pahang, Brian Trenaman, and Safuvan of Apex Events, during the press conference at Crowne Plaza Hotel yesterday. Shaival Dalal
BY RAYNALD C RIVERA
DOHA: Foreign students aspiring for quality and affordable international degrees now look to Asian countries and Malaysia is fast becoming a higher education hub in Asia.
“Malaysia ranks 11th worldwide as a preferred destination for international students. The high standard and excellent facilities Malaysian universities provide have been key to attracting many foreign students,” Malaysia Ambassador Ahmad Jazri bin Mohammed Johar told the media yesterday.
He was speaking at a press conference to announce the Malaysian Education Exhibition 2013 which opens tomorrow at the Crowne Plaza Business Park, in which seven universities are participating.
Malaysia recorded a population of over 71,000 foreign students recently, over 25,000 of which are from the Mena region, he revealed.
“Our target is to exceed 100,000 in the next couple of years,” he added.
“In the last three years Malaysia has been a frequent choice for Qataris as a tourist destination. In fact, last year we beat Dubai as a summer destination for Qataris,” he said.
With its thrust towards a knowledge-based economy, Malaysia is now focusing on other areas which include the higher education sector.
The two-day exhibition will showcase what Malaysia is offering for potential Qatari and expatriate students here.
Among the universities participating in the expo are Universiti Malaysia Pahang, The University of Nottingham Malaysia, HELP University, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Sunway University, Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation and Segi University.
Marliza Malek, Managing Director of My Aspiration, co-organiser of the exhibition, said Malaysia has seen many foreign students over the years mainly from South Asia such as India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as well as the Mena region.
Engineering, Business and Law are among the courses preferred by students from the Mena region, she said, adding more and more prominent universities are setting up their branch campuses in Malaysia because of the growth witnessed in the country’s higher education sector.
Malaysia boasts of 21 public universities, five branch campuses of UK and Australian universities and more than 33 private universities, and over 500 Higher Education Institutions that provide a diverse range of courses in various areas of specialisation. Low tuition fees and cost of living are among the reasons why Malaysia appeals to foreign students.
Tuition fee that would otherwise cost $17,000 per year in Australia or $35,000 per year in the US, will cost merely $9,000 per year in Malaysia. This is inclusive of the lodging, boarding costs annually for a student.
Hosted by Apex Qatar and co-hosted by Fair Exhibition Organisers, Dubai and My Aspiration from Malaysia; the expo will open at Crowne Plaza Business Park tomorrow from 4pm to 9pm and on Saturday from 11am to 9pm.