Universities in Kuala Lumpur - QS Best Student Cities Ranking | Top Universities

Study in Kuala Lumpur

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Keshala Jayawickrama

Updated Oct 04, 2023



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Kuala Lumpur for students  

With seven universities featured in the QS World University Rankings 2024Malaysia’s capital ranks joint 24th in this year’s QS Best Student Cities ranking and is quickly establishing itself as one of Southeast Asia’s leading study destinations.  

The rapidly improving reputation of Malaysia’s higher education sector, headed by Universiti Malaya (now ranked joint 65th in the world) reflects the wider coming to prominence of the country itself on the world stage.  

Considering the multicultural, exciting student lifestyle on offer, it’s unsurprising that Kuala Lumpur has proved popular with students.  

When asked to name the best things about studying in Kuala Lumpur, one survey respondent said: “The tolerance of different views and religions in addition to its affordability” while another described the city as “a melting pot of cultures." 

 Are you studying in Kuala Lumpur? Rate your experience. 

Best universities in Kuala Lumpur - QS Best Student Cities Ranking: =24th 

More about Kuala Lumpur 

Home to seven ranked universities, Kuala Lumpur earns its highest indicator rank this year for affordability, where it's ranked third in the world. 

Number of universities ranked by QS 

Highest-ranked institution 

Universiti Malaya (UM) (ranked joint 65th) 



Average international fees (at ranked unis) 


Desirability rank 


Employer Activity rank 


Affordability rank 


Student View rank 


To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.  

Why study in Kuala Lumpur? 

Top quality education 

Kuala Lumpur is home to seven top universities, including Universiti Malaya (UM) which ranks joint 65th in the world this year. 

It’s affordable  

Kuala Lumpur is the ninth best student city in the world for affordability this year, due to low tuition fees and inexpensive living costs.   

An interesting history  

Kuala Lumpur is proud of its history. Many museums dedicated to the lives and art of Malaysia’s people have been established all around the city.  

It’s well connected 

Kuala Lumpur offers some of the best transportation in the world. Its extensive train lines and bus routes make it easy to get around the city.  

Cost of studying in Kuala Lumpur  

Kuala Lumpur continues to be one of the world's most affordable student cities due to an ideal combination of low living costs and relatively low tuition fees. 

Tuition fees in the city average at around US$4,900 per year for international students. 

Life and culture in Kuala Lumpur 

Kuala Lumpur is a city of gleaming skyscrapers, including the iconic Petronas Twin Towers (the world’s tallest buildings until 2004), the Telekom Tower and the Exchange 106 building.  

However, Kuala Lumpur is by no means a soulless imitation of a Western city. Alongside air-conditioned malls and familiar multinational corporations, you can still find mosques and temples, street vendors and markets, and the rich multicultural mix which has always characterised this part of the world. 

The local food in the city is definitely worth a try. Kuala Lumpur offers a range of foods from all around Asia. Local foods include kwey teow (rice noodles with egg, beansprouts, prawns and cockles) and rotu canai (flatbread with dhal). 

There’s plenty to do in the city. Take a relaxing boat ride on the Selangor River, explore the traditional Malay houses in the Kampung Baru neighbourhood or see a comedy show at the Crackhouse Comedy Club. There’s something for all tastes in Kuala Lumpur.  

Careers in Kuala Lumpur  

In recent years Kuala Lumpur has become a popular destination for expats and students staying after graduation. This is due to a high quality of life and plenty of job opportunities. The city ranks 16th for employer activity this year in the QS Best Student Cities index.  

Key industries hiring graduates are IT, financial services, construction, tourism and electronics.  

Competition for jobs can be high and Kuala Lumpur has restrictions for the number of foreign employees companies can hire. This means you really need to make sure your application stands out. 

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