Higher education at the diploma level for secondary school certificate holders/SPM from 17 years onwards is different from the Bachelor’s degree. Those opting for Bachelor’s degree courses need post secondary qualifications such as STPM equivalent to the GCE “A” level and other pre-university qualifications. The structure of education in Malaysia can be divided into pre-tertiary and higher education levels. While the Ministry of Education Malaysia oversees pre-tertiary education from pre-school to primary, secondary and teacher education), higher studies fall under the purview of the Ministry of Higher Education.
Higher education comprises certificate and diploma education at polytechnics or colleges from the age of 18. At teacher training institutes, education commences from age 18 onwards. Bachelor’s degree programmes range from age 19 or 20 for three to five years. Postgraduate studies involve studying for master’s or PhD studies following acquisition of a Bachelor’s degree for one to five years.