After setting up your business in Malaysia, you might require a business license or permit. The types of licenses would differ depending on the type of industry you’re involved in. This includes if you intend run this type of business in Malaysia. An Education License in Malaysia is required if you intend to operate learning centres in the country.
What Business Licenses Do Education Centres in Malaysia Need?
Section 79 of the Education Act 1996 in Malaysia states that all education institutions need to be registered with the Registrar General of the Ministry of Education. Section 2 of the act defines such an institution as “a school or any other place where, in carrying on the work of an organisation or institution, persons are habitually taught, whether in one or more classes, and includes a kindergarten (childcare centres) and a distance education centre.”
1. Private Higher Educational Institutions (PHEIs)
- Private universities and branch campuses of foreign universities with university status;
- Private colleges/institutions with non-university status; and
- Technical and vocational training institutions
2. Private Educational Institutions (PEI)
In Malaysia, there are 17 categories of registered private educational institutions (PEI). These consist of private schools and centres, including tuition, enrichment, and language centres. According to MOE, there are instances where certain tuition centres in Malaysia only have a Tuition Centre License, but they operate similar to a school.
In the same article by The Star, the Ministry of Education Malaysia stated that they were “seriously looking at these centres existence and the issues involving these centres as it is against the provisions of compulsory education set out in the Education Act”.
Categories of Private Educational Institutions include:
- Private Primary School
- Private Secondary School
- Islamic Primary School
- Islamic Secondary School
- International School
- Expatriate School
- Special Education School
- Private Kindergarten
- Tuition Centre
- Language Centre
- Computer Centre
- Training/Commerce Centre
- Vocational/Technical Centre
- Mind Enrichment Centre
- Guidance Centre (Sabah & Sarawak only)
- Branch (Name the main PEI)
- Other PEI
Information Needed to Obtain an Education License in Malaysia
Private Educational Institutions (PEI)
1: Provide Applicant’s Particulars
- Name, ID, Passport, Address, Tel, E-mail
2: Provide Business Information
- Type of entity, Reg. No., Capital, Source of Finance, Stakeholder details etc
3: Provide Particulars of Institution
- Suggested name of institution
- Address with a map (Kindergartens and schools require letter of no objection from local councils)
- Learning times and full or part time
- Medium of instruction (language)
4: Provide details of Management
- Particulars of board of governors e.g. Chairman and Members. (Minimum 3 person for kindergarten/tuition centre; 5 person for other PEIs)
- Details of Principal/Headmaster (CV, supporting documents etc.)
- Teachers’ Particulars
- Non-Academic Staff Particulars
- Curriculum/Course/Programme/Training and Fee Structure
5: Provide details of Premise and Amenities
- Information of Premise (Location, Types, Ownership, Rental, Floor Area)
- Facilities of Premise (Classroom, Library, Co-curricular, Administration, Security & Health, Other Facilities etc.)
6. Rational for The Establishment Of PEI
Private Higher Educational Institutions (PHEIs) (Universities)
*The following is adapted from Malaysian Investment Development Authority’s guide on Education and Industrial Training Services
1. Approval in Principle to Establish PHEIs
In order to set up a PHEI in Malaysia, applicants are required to submit a proposal to the Registration and Standard Division under the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) detailing the PHEI’s concept plan which may be followed by a presentation. An approval in principle will be granted for the establishment of the PHEI, if MOHE is satisfied with the concept plan.
2. Approval to Establish PHEIs and Approval to Conduct Courses of Study
Upon approval of establishment, the company is required to submit a formal application to MOHE to establish the PHEI, and to conduct any course of study or training Education and Industrial Training Services 3 programme either singly or jointly with any university, University College, or other higher educational institutions (public/private/professional body in or outside Malaysia).
MOHE will then forward the application to conduct the course of study to the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA) for processing. The application must include details of the course curriculum, teachers, facilities and the management system of the courses to be conducted. A Panel of Assessors (PoA) from MQA will process the application to conduct the courses of study, and will give its recommendations to MQA for a decision.
Letters of approval to establish the PHEI and to conduct the courses of study will be issued by MOHE to the institution.
3. Registration of PHEIs
Upon approval, the company is required to register with MOHE as a PHEI under the Private Higher Educational Institutions Act, 1996 (Act 555) and Regulations. Applications to register as a PHEI should be submitted to the Department of Higher Education. A Certificate of Registration will then be awarded
4. Programme Accreditation by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA)
Stage 1 for Provisional Accreditation and Stage 2 for Full Accreditation.