Funding an MBA programme in MalaysiaChen Wan Lim
Your decision to pursue an MBA should be looked at as an investment. It is an investment for either personal development or career development or even for both. The rewards of investing in an MBA course may come in different forms in the future. These include, but not confined to: salary increase, annual bonuses, higher position and responsibilities, managerial roles, regional or global exposure etc. However, most often, financing an MBA course becomes a key concern as it is essentially committing a sum of money for a minimum of 12 months to possibly 30 months. Apart from tapping into personal funds or obtaining assistance from family members, these are some financing options available in Malaysia which will allow potential candidates to pursue an MBA course without the bane of worrying about financing:
Scholarships. There is an abundance of scholarships available for postgraduate studies in Malaysia. These scholarships range from university fee rebates/discounts, university scholarship schemes, corporate-based scholarships to scholarships by foundations etc. For more information on scholarships currently available, contact Study-masters.com for the best advice and guide on how to land yourself with a scholarship to pursue an MBA course.
Financing from employers. Employers do grant selected employees the benefit of pursuing an MBA course paid for by the company. Depending on the company and agreement made between employer-employee, employees would sometimes be allowed to pursue a full-time MBA course and some a part-time MBA course. Do check with your human development and resource department to weigh in on options available to you.
Government-linked financing. There are numerous government-linked entities which offer affordable study loans such as: (i) National Higher Education Fund or PTPTN; (ii) Koperasi Jayadiri Malaysia Berhad (KOJADI); (iii) MyBrain15 and; (iv) Skim Prihatin Pendidikan 1Malaysia (SPP1M).
- The National Higher Education Fund or more commonly known in Malaysia at PTPTN is the most popular choice of education financing in Malaysia. PTPTN however, only finances Master level education at public universities and candidates must be 45 years of age and below to be eligible.
- KOJADI, a co-operative under the Malaysian Chinese Association offers affordable loans for candidates interested in pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate studies. Established in the early 1980s, more than 10,000 students have benefitted from this loan.
- MyBrain15 was established under the 10th Malaysia Plan to finance students for postgraduate studies. This programme is a feeder programme to MyPhd where it aims to produce more than 60,000 PhD graduates in Malaysia by 2023. For eligibility, refer to their website here and to find out the approved list of institutions, refer here.
- Skim Prihatin Pendidikan 1Malaysia (SPP1M)is a ‘top up’ based scheme for the funds or scholarships that are readily in the market that will benefit Malaysian students. This scheme is designed as an additional financial aid for students that are qualified to pursue their studies for Bachelors’ Degree or Master’s Degree in high quality universities locally.
Personal pension fund. Apart from utilising funds from your personal savings, potential Malaysian candidates do have the option of utilising funds from their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) Akaun 2 to finance their MBA studies. Application and withdrawals are now made very easy through the EPF corporate website here [insert link – www.kwsp.gov.my]. Do also be sure to check if your intended institution of higher learning for an MBA is within EPF’s approve list here . Apart from withdrawing funds from Akaun 2 for the fees, candidates can also utilise the funds from Akaun 2 to reduce or to settle any outstanding study loans taken for the purpose of financing an education – refer to the approved list of financiers here.
Bank borrowings. There is still that one option of obtaining a study loan from financial institutions. As most banks in Malaysia do not have a dedicated education loan (with the exception of OCBC Bank), education loans in Malaysia are still in the form of personal loans or hybrid-loans obtained from refinancing an existing asset.