Cooperation in the Field of Education
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Cooperation in the Field of Education

Education is an integral part of India-Malaysia’s multi-faceted relationship. A large number of Malaysians pursue their studies in India. During 1960s and 1970s, an estimated 30,000 Malaysian students studied in Indian educational institutions. An estimated 3000 Malaysian students are currently studying in India, while about 1500 Indian students are studying in Malaysia. Over 30% of doctors in Malaysia today have been studied in India. The Manipal University alone has over 3000 alumni in Malaysia. There are indications of increasing number of Malaysian students going to India for higher and technical/professional education. Malaysians account for 10% of the total number of foreign students studying in India, and there is much scope for growth in this area.

A Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in the field of Higher Education was signed on 20 January 2010 during Prime Minister Dato' Seri Najib’s visit to India.

During the visit of Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh to Malaysia in October 2010, the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia accorded permission to the Manipal Group to set up a full-fledged university campus in Malaysia. In this regard, the Manipal Group announced an investment of US $180 million in Malaysia.

The establishment of branch campuses of Indian institutions of higher learning is gathering momentum with a view to make Malaysia as a hub for education among ASEAN countries. Under a twinning programme, Melaka-Manipal Medical College was set up in 2001 with the Manipal Academy of Higher Education as the Indian partner. Replicating the experience, Vinayaka Missions University from Salem in Tamil Nadu, established twinning arrangements with Penang International Dental College (PIDC) in 2005. The Vinayaka Missions University has recently announced further investments in establishing educational institutions in Johor Bahru.

Many other Malaysian educational institutions have also entered into twinning arrangements with Indian educational institutions e.g. University Science Malaysia (USM), Penang, has a twinning arrangement with the KLE University, Belgaum, for the MBBS degree course; and the Management Science University (MSU), Shah Alam, has a twinning arrangement with the M.S. Ramaiah Medical College, Bangalore, whereby they have set up a special International Medical School (IMS) in Bangalore specifically for their MBBS twinning course. Many other Malaysian institutions are also sending their students for short-term clinical practice training to India.

Scholarship Programme offered by the High Commission of India, Kuala Lumpur

The High Commission of India, Kuala Lumpur, administers the Indian Scholarship & Trust Fund (ISTF), from which a one-time financial assistance is provided to deserving meritorious Malaysian Indian students to cover a part of their educational expenses in Malaysia. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, during his visit to Malaysia in 2015 announced additional funding of Rs.5 crores for the ISTF so as to cater to the needs of more Malaysian Indian students. Due to the availability of the larger funding, more number of students were provided with a higher amount of financial assistance under the ISTF from the year 2016-17 onwards. The following table summarises the number of students selected, and the total amount of financial assistance disbursed, during the last five years:







No. of students selected






Total amount disbursed (RM)






Scholarship Programmes offered by the Government of India

Through the Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children (SPDC), the Government of India has recently instituted a new scholarship programme for children of Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to study in Higher and Technical Institutions in India. A total of 100 admission-cum-scholarships are offered annually to students from 40 countries, including Malaysia. The objective of SPDC is to make available India’s highly developed higher education system to the children of the Indian Diaspora (PIOs and NRIs) living in the 40 select countries. The amount of scholarship is 75% of the Institutional Economic Cost (IEC) up to a maximum ceiling limit of US$3,600/ per year.

A limited number of seats are also offered to Malaysian students in medical, dentistry, and engineering disciplines under the ‘Nomination under Self-financing Foreign Students (SFS)’ scheme. Since its inception, a number of Malaysian Indian students have been selected under this scheme to pursue medical, dentistry, and engineering degrees in various Government colleges in India.

In addition, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) based in New Delhi offers scholarships for Malaysian students to study Indian dance, music, painting and sculpture, and also to pursue higher education (both Bachelors & Masters) in various fields, except medical related courses. ICCR offers 4 different kinds of scholarships for Malaysia: 1) ICCR scholarship for dance and music; 2) General Cultural Scholarship Scheme (GCSS) for UG and PG courses; 3) IOR-ARC scholarship for postgraduate studies; and 4) AYUSH Scholarship Scheme for undergraduate courses in traditional systems of Indian medicine.

Under Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC), training in India is provided for Malaysian candidates in various fields such as banking, Information Communication and Technology (ICT), audit and accounts, hydrology, management, journalism, etc. The ITEC programme was started in 1964 and 47 institutions in India are empanelled under the ITEC programme, offering more than 270 training courses to 161 partner countries including Malaysia.

Under the TCS of the Colombo Plan, India sponsors training courses to Malaysia, especially for those working in the government related sectors. The TCS of Colombo Plan was started in 1950 and has over 40 empanelled institutions in India, offering over 200 training courses to the member countries of the Colombo Plan, including Malaysia.

Details of these scholarship schemes are available on this website under the 'Education Wing / Scholarships Schemes' on the Home page.

Know India Programme (KIP)

The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), Government of India, is providing the Know India Programme (KIP) through which youngsters of Indian origin can get to know their cultural roots in India, and would be taken on a guided tour of the partner states conducting the KIP. Each KIP consists of 40 participants from around the world, and every year about 3 KIPs are conducted by the MOIA.'


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