Impacts of Institutional Characteristics on International Students’ Choice of Private Higher Education Institutions in Malaysia

  •  Melissa W. Migin    
  •  Mohammad Falahat    
  •  Mohd Shukri Ab Yajid    
  •  Ali Khatibi    


In recent years, Malaysia has witnessed an influx of foreign students in the local higher education institutions with the aggressive support from the Malaysian government to build Malaysia as the educational hub within the region. This is in line with Malaysia’s aspiration to be a global education hub by year 2020.

Besides the country level policy, the aim of this study is to understand the major drivers that influence foreign students to choose Malaysia and the private HEI as their study destination. Five dimensions were employed in measuring student’s choice of private HEI with a focus on institutional characteristics (cost of education, academic reputation, location, programme and facilities). A sample of 265 respondents was drawn within five private HEIs and the Structural Equation Model (SEM) was utilized in testing the five proposed hypotheses. Based on the findings, all hypotheses were significant except for location. This study gave an idea that institutional characteristics are significantly important in measuring foreign students’ choice of Malaysian private HEI.

In conclusion, these findings would enable academics and practitioners to focus on the crucial factors that influence foreign students to choose their respective private HEIs.

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