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Public Institutions of Higher Education (PIHE)

The higher education system is designed to ensure that the Public Institutions of Higher Education (PIHE) will have the capacity to develop a reputation which encompasses dynamism, competitiveness, ability to anticipate future challenges including acting effectively and keeping pace with globalization. Continuous efforts to enhance the PIHE’s ability to carry out their functions and responsibilities in a more transparent and effective manner will be conducted in order to create an excellent higher education system.

In line with this, universities in Malaysia are categorized into three groups:  Research Universities, Focussed Universities (technical, education, management and defence) and Comprehensive Universities. To date, there are 20 universities comprising 5 research universities, 4 comprehensive universities, and 11 focussed universities.
Research Universities focus on research, Focussed Universities concentrate on specific fields related to its establishment, while Comprehensive Universities offer a variety of courses and fields of study.

Public Institutions of Higher Education (PIHE) in Malaysia

University Characteristics
Research Universities
  1. Universiti Malaya (UM)
  2. Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
  3. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
  4. Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)
  5. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)
  • Fields of Study: Focus is on research
  • Competitive entries
  • Quality lecturers
  • Ratio of undergraduates to postgraduates is   50:50
Comprehensive Universities
  1. Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)
  2. Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIA)
  3. Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS)
  4. Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)
  • Various fields of study
  • Competitive entries
  • Quality lecturers
  • Ratio of undergraduates to postgraduates  is 70:30
Focussed Universities
  1. Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)
  2. Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI)
  3. Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM)
  4. Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM)
  5. Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP)
  6. Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT)
  7. Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP)
  8. Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM)
  9. Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA)
  10. Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK)
  11. Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM)
  • Fields of Study :  Focus is on research
  • Competitive entries
  • Quality lecturers
  • Ratio of undergraduates to postgraduates  is 50:50