Factors Influencing International Students To Study In Southeast Asian Universities: A Case Study On Malaysia

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wahyu sari yeni


The international trade in higher education services changed drastically as the changing macroeconomic environment has transformed traditional host countries of international students into a global export industry. The current study aimed to pinpoint the most influential factors that affect international students’ decision to study in Malaysian universities. The focus of the study was directed towards the factors stated in previous studies from the year 2007-2018 from students’ perspective. The study applied a meta-analysis to investigate these influential factors on 14 previous research papers. The findings indicated that (a) cost of education is the key factor that affects international students’ choice decision of university in Malaysia; (b) learning environment plays a highly influential factor enticing students to study in Malaysia; (c) quality education and facility shape international students’ mind of choice decision; and (d) decision influencer, programs offered, and academic reputation have a significant influence on students’ choice decision of university. In general, the study revealed that international students enrolled in Malaysian universities to pursue high quality education in well-recognized universities to develop the required capacities and to acquire high qualifications to be competitive individuals in the labor market



International students, Malaysian higher education institution, pull-factors