Homeschool & Education Pathways
Homeschoolers in Malaysia who are aiming for college and tertiary education need to understand that the doors to public institutions (Government-run) are as good as closed at this present moment. This does not mean that a homeschooler will be prevented from admission, only that he or she should plan in advance to meet all admissions requirements, especially those pertaining to mastery of the national language, Bahasa Malaysia.
- Go here to read how one mother has successfully prepared her own children for public universities.
The education pathway most homeschoolers in the country prefer leads to private colleges. Several top private colleges have admitted homeschoolers (as well as those from learning centres) based on the results of entry examinations such as IGCSE O Level or SAT 1. Do note that most if not all homeschool curriculum originating from abroad (US-based) DO NOT ‘prepare’ you for O Level (which is UK-based), for which you need another set of textbooks. However every diligent homeschooler should be sufficiently equipped at the end of Grade 10 or 11 to dig into a year or so to prepare for O Level exams.
- Go to this post to better understand what a homeschooler needs to do to get into college.
- After Year 11 or 12, what are your options? MellyMilly has a post “Can homeschoolers go to college & University?” gleaned from a talk at Methodist College KL (MCKL)
COLLEGE ENTRY EXAMS
The two most common entry exams that Malaysian homeschoolers sign up for are the US SAT (formerly Scholastic Aptitude Test) and IGCSE O Level (offered by Cambridge or London Board).
However it is now becoming clearer that homeschoolers face several obstacles if they want to enter Malaysian colleges.
Having a fantastic SAT score means nothing to local private college registrars as they need homeschoolers to produce a legitimate and approved Grade 11/High School certificate. O Level however is deemed an acceptable equivalent to SPM (Sijil Pemeriksaan Malaysia) in accordance to standards set by MQF (Malaysian Qualifications Framework) and administered by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency.
The way forward for homeschoolers is O and A Levels as they are the most recognised and the least problematic. If you can, take the SAT too as it opens the doors to more education options abroad.
- Go here to learn more about SAT programs offered by College Board in US, and how to register as a private candidate. The SAT programs are favoured by those doing American Transfer programs.
- This link takes you to UK’s Cambridge International General Secondary School Education (IGCSE) O Level. IGSCE is a widely accepted college admission qualification in Malaysia and over 100 countries around the world.
- This post spells out the recommended education pathway for Malaysian homeschoolers who intend to apply to local private colleges.
A majority of US colleges welcome homeschooled applicants. For instance, Harvard University, Purdue University, and the University of Texas are all homeschooler friendly and impart some good advice for anyone interested in attending their schools.
- Homeschool Guidance Counselor shares information and resources with homeschooling parents and highschool students about college applications and admissions. Very informative!
- Go to this link to learn about applying to US universities and what to expect in the application process.
- The Common Application is used by over 150 schools in the US and may be accessed to submit multiple applications to accredited institutions.
Secondary/Higher Education in Malaysia
- Post Secondary Education Options written by Bob Kee for Wikipedia outlines all qualifications obtainable in Malaysia into three sectors, roughly correlating with the type of institution offering the courses (which may or may not have a bearing on a Malaysian homeschooler).
- Malaysia Students: a team blog that covers major examinations, secondary, pre-university and tertiary education, scholarships, and student resources (again, which may or may not be relevant to homeschoolers).
- Ministry of Higher Education: The Department of Higher Education is one of the four departments/sectors under the Ministry of Higher Education which regulates the nation’s higher educational institutions’ affairs (both public and private). It was formed with the establishment of the Ministry of Higher Education on 27 March 2004. The Ministry’s aims and vision may be accessed here. For study opportunities, visit here. For a list of Malaysian universities and institutions of higher learning, visit here.