The average expenditure of a foreign student in Malaysia is about RM46,000 per annum, and will increase to RM88,000 per annum if family members come along too, said Education Ministry secretary-general, Mohd Ghazali Abas (above).
From the data, Malaysia has made an average of RM7.2 billion per year from revenue sources like tuition fees, living expenses and other services during a student’s course of study here.
"Given the rising cost of education and other related costs at 10 per cent per annum, this sector is expected to generate RM15.6 billion when we hit our target of 200,000 international students by the year 2020," he said in his keynote address at the seminar on 'Internationalisation of Higher Education 2019' today.
As of March this year, the enrolment of foreign students in Malaysia has reached 127,583, of which 70 percent are in private higher education institutions, and the rest in public higher education institutions.
In view of this, both public and private higher education institutions are encouraged to work together to attract more foreign students, he said.
"By strategically synergising the internationalisation of activities, we can improve our institutional capacity in providing high quality and adequate support services to our main customer, the international student," Mohd Ghazali said.
He said the increasing number of foreign students in Malaysia, especially in the higher education sector, would contribute to the country's economic growth by having a multiplier effect with the entry of foreign students and academic staff.