Factors Affecting the Tendency of International Students to Pursue Study in Universiti Malaysia Sabah

1Irma Wani Othman, Herlina Jupiter and Norazah Mohd Suki


This study discusses about the tendency of international students to pursue their study in Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and the factors involved in their selection. The enrolment of international student in higher institution nowadays has become a significant element to be recognized as the world-class study center. Therefore, various efforts and strategies need to be designed to increase the number of international student. Understanding the factors affecting the decision of an international student can give an idea to the university in order to implement the appropriate strategy and simultaneously attracting them to enrol the programme resulting a positive effects towards the university itself. There are two main objectives of this study which is firstly, to identify the factors that influence international students to study abroad and secondly, to evaluate Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) selection factor as a destination for international students. The methodology of this study is using a qualitative research method and a case study type. A total of 20 respondents from various nationalities were randomly selected and interviewed in depth to get the required appropriate data. Based on the conceptual framework of Suh Li Phang (2013), the factors influencing university selection by international students were divided into three significant categories ie (i) communication (ii) location and (iii) social. The author analyzed the causes for international students to choose UMS and found three newness as a contribution to the body of knowledge. Hence, this information should be adapted to develop a better plan of international student enrolment strategy in UMS and to ensure the sustainability of Malaysia higher education sector.


Factors, International Students, Tendency, Study, Abroad, Higher Education, Enrollment, Internationalization

Paper Details
IssueIssue 2