Studying at university is a big step at any level, so being able to make informed choices will go a long way to making your time abroad an enriching one. Best to learn more about different entry routes that you can explore so here’s a general guide to get you started.

After completing your Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia or O-Level examinations, you have the choice of taking up a pre-university qualification to meet minimum requirements of UK universities. The most common being International Baccalaureate (IB), A-Levels or an equivalent high school leaver qualification from your home country.

The A-Levels or its equivalent are usually one of the many routes or pathways to university life, and you can speak specifically to your selected UK university on their entry requirements. All these conditions also differ depending on the course you decide to take up. Remember too that universities will need evidence of your English language proficiency to ensure you meet the requirements. Some institutions may require prospective students to complete a pre-sessional English language course as an alternative requirement.

Twinning programmes

Let’s take a look at what twinning programmes entail. Firstly, a general twinning programme allows students to embark on a portion of their university course in Malaysia or a home country, and then transfer to an institution to another country to complete their degree. A typical combination includes a 2+1 or 3+1 structure, where the first digit denotes the number of years the student spends in Malaysia before going abroad for their final year. Twinning programmes are the more affordable version of an undergraduate degree, as most families may be keen on their children experiencing life abroad without having financial worries but yet be able to save in the first couple of years. Signing up for a twinning programme can be described as having the best of both worlds.

Under a twinning programme, an agreement is signed between the local institution or pathway provider and its overseas partner university whereby the foreign institutions evaluates and accepts the degree subjects from the local partner. This means that both parties have agreed on a common syllabus and grading system to ensure a high quality education, while making sure all systems are streamlined and accepted. This also means that the subjects at the local end must match the entry requirements of the foreign university. All courses are accredited by their equivalent quality control agency.

Here’s a list of some UK universities that have formed partnerships with local partners in providing degree courses.

Degree Transfer Programme

As you research for the best study experience in the UK, you may come across another programme, known as the Degree Transfer Programme. A general definition of this arrangement is to have the student complete one to two years of study in Malaysia or your home country before transferring to your chosen UK university. In this programme, you are not limited to the choice of university, offering a significant difference to twinning programmes. Again how successful your application is depends on the type of degree you’re after, and whether or not you meet the UK university’s requirements.

Typically, you need to submit relevant documents to your chosen foreign university for exemptions. The university will go through your transcripts, course outline, relevant school certificates, English language requirements and syllabus to see what subjects you need to take for your chosen course. There is much more flexibility in this course as you are allowed to pick from a wider selection, and the benefits are the same. It’s affordable and offers you the choice of studying at home before heading off to experience life at UK universities. But do bear in mind that some universities may require you take on extra subjects to make up for credit hours or requirements in order to gain acceptance to that institution.

On the topic of credit transfer, you may be able to shift the course credits you have already gained subject to your selected course. This credit transfer is another option to think about if you have embarked on a diploma course or an equivalent. If what you want to switch to is a very different course, the transfer may not be possible. That means you may need to start the course from the first year, which then affects other aspects too, such as considering another year of tuition fees, accommodation and living expenditure.

MABECS is here to help you

Choosing a degree can be overwhelming, with the dozens of education opportunities, you may feel lost in trying to make sense of the best option for you. Combinations can get quite complex, particularly when you’re picking from a host of universities to study at. It could be your solo living experience abroad so you and your family will want to make informed decisions. Each university has its own customised programmes and offerings, and sifting through the requirements may be daunting. So, at this stage, consider speaking to MABECS. The agency’s experienced education advisors will offer you quality advice and guidance in ensuring your UK experience is a memorable one. All sessions can be booked through the agency and there are no charges for consultations.