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    Wednesday, June 19, 2024

    Chinese Students Looks to Malaysia Universities for Higher Education

    Malaysia has one of the quickest and stress-free visa processes. The process starts by filling in the visa application form online and attaching the offer letter from the university along with necessary documents like a valid passport and the medical examination report. The visa process only takes 3-4 weeks.

    Mr Danial Chu, who hails from Kunming in China’s southwestern Yunnan province, moved more than 3,000km from his hometown to Malaysia five years ago to study.

    Aside from a degree, the graduate from University Malaya, the nation’s top university, also earned a new skill: Fluency in the Malay language.

    “Although our nationalities are different, we can still be friends and have dynamic conversations,” the 24-year-old told CNA.

    Learning the Malay language is mandatory for all foreign students in their first year. Some like Mr Chu – who took Malay and Spanish cultural studies – were quick to master it.

    He recently secured a job and said he is positive about his career prospects in Malaysia. He also believes more students from China will choose to study there.

    “The tuition fees, the cost of living are not so high compared to those major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, or Guangzhou. Malaysia is quite cheap for them,” he said.

    Mr Chu is among a growing number of students from China who have applied to join Malaysian universities over the last five years. They made up about 38 per cent of more than 110,000 foreign students in the Southeast Asian nation last year.

    Meanwhile, the number of Malaysians furthering their studies in China stands at about 4,000.

    About 1,000 more Malaysians are studying at Xiamen University Malaysia in Selangor – the first overseas campus set up by a Chinese public university.

    This year, both countries have pledged to further deepen ties as they mark 50 years of diplomatic relations.

    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday (Jun 18) for a three-day official visit, marking his first visit to the country as premier.


    Some Malaysian students are also taking up Chinese dancing as part of their curriculum.

    Undergraduate Joshua Gundi from the Sultan Idris Education University’s faculty of music and performing arts said he sees learning Chinese dance as a “positive thing”.

    When asked what he likes most about it, he responded: “The attitude, how you carry yourself, it’s what I like about Chinese dance. The essence of it is what I like the most.”

    Faculty lecturer Fauzi Amiruddin noted that both Chinese and Malay dance have similar elements.

    “Chinese dance is more like (a) spiral, more like (a) figure of eight, more like breathing continuously, like water. Same like in Malaysia with Malay dance – the calmness, the groundedness,” he added.

    Analysts said these cultural exchanges will help ensure that the diplomatic ties between Malaysia and China, which are deeply rooted in people-to-people relations, will continue to flourish.

    “Going forward, you see these students when they get to know one another, I think the next thing they would do perhaps set up some enterprises. They will have some joint projects, joint collaborations together,” said Dr Oh Ei Sun, senior fellow from the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.

    “I think it will continue to drive this already very close bilateral relations,” he added.

    Another student, Ms Wang Yi, was practising a Malay folk dance called Zapin when CAN spoke to her.

    Ms Wang, who is from the north-central region of Ningxia, was among 44,000 students from China who applied for entry to Malaysia’s public universities last year. She secured a place at the faculty of creative arts in University Malaya.

    The undergraduate is trained in traditional Chinese dance, and said she enjoys how “jovial” Malay dance is.

    “Whenever the locals perform the dance, you can see that they are smiling from their hearts,” the 21-year-old added.

    “I like Malaysia very much. I wish to bring a part of its culture back with me.”

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