International Education in Kuala Lumpur
In recent years, Malaysia’s government has been actively seeking to attract skilled expatriates into the country. Part of this drive means providing plenty of international schools for expat children.
If you’re one of the many people considering a move to Malaysia, you’ll be happy to know there is a wide choice of schools in many of its cities. The widest choice, however, is to be found in the capital of Kuala Lumpur.
Like any major capital city in Asia, international schools in Kuala Lumpur offer high standards and a wide variety of curricula. Schools are regulated by the Private Education Department (PED) under the Ministry of Education. They are notoriously strict, and quick to fine any school that does not meet their standards. So rest assured, the quality of education is excellent.
Due to KL’s British colonial past and general links to the United Kingdom, English is the most common language of instruction. Along with the International Baccalaureate, the British curriculum is the most common. However you can also find schools offering Australian, Indian, French, German, and American curricula. A large proportion of Kuala Lumpur’s population practice Islam, so schools that follow a Muslim ethos are also found everywhere.
International schools are in high demand for local students as well as expats. In 2012 the government removed a 40% limit on local students attending international schools. This policy change transformed the size and demographic of international schools - now at least 50% of the student body in most schools will be Malaysian.
Most of Kuala Lumpur’s international schools are located in the centre of the city. In particular, you’ll find some of the best known in Mont Kiara (centre-west) and Bangsar (centre-south). There are also clusters of schools in the greater Klang Valley area (which KL is a part of), and further afield in Johor and Penang. Boarding options are available in many international schools, which will minimise travel for your child.
Like many other large Asian cities, traffic in Kuala Lumpur can be a nightmare. While it may not be as bad as sprawling cities like Bangkok or Jakarta, it is unfortunately something you will need to factor into your school search. Ideally you should look for a school close to where you will be living in the city, or vice versa. If this is not a possibility, then prepare for long commutes to and from your child’s school every day.
Below, we have compiled our top 10 international schools in Kuala Lumpur. However, there are another 80 schools to choose from in the city. You can find the best international school for your child by personalising your results. Just fill in your search criteria, and we will calculate a personal score for every international school in Kuala Lumpur based on your requirements.