In Hotcourses’s first destination country report, the search data also shows that interest in vocational courses was above the global average.
Between January 2015 and January 2016, there were 575,000 students looking at Malaysia across the Hotcourses websites.
“As a destination country, Malaysia is perhaps the most intriguing of any on the planet”
Of these prospective students, just under half were seeking undergraduate study, with 35% searching for postgraduate options.
The remaining 15.6% of searches were attributed to vocational level study, compared with 7.1% who search for this level of study globally.
“As a destination country, Malaysia is perhaps the most intriguing of any on the planet,” said Aaron Porter, Hotcourses director of insights and author of the report.
“They have seen quite extraordinary growth since 2002, and by 2025 could well be a contender to break into the established cohort of countries which dominate international student destinations; namely the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.”
Indonesian students had the most interest in Malaysia, accounting for 31.74% of the users looking at the country.
Meanwhile, 12% of searches came from Saudi Arabia, and India.
Unexpectedly, the US was the fourth most interested country, accounting for 9% of searches. Thailand completed the top five source country searches with 7%.
“Their attraction to countries in the Eastern hemisphere, as well as to countries with significant young Muslim populations, means that Malaysia can continue to be confident that demand will continue to grow over the coming years,” said Porter.
The report was compiled with information from the Hotcourses Insights Tool, which analyses 23 million searches a year by prospective international students.
In 2014, there were around 135,000 international students studying in Malaysia.
However, the government released a blueprint for higher education, with the goal of hosting 250,000 international students by 2025.