Foundation (asasi), Matriculation or Diploma?

Many thanks to
Some of my friends and juniors asked me this question: Should I take the Foundation, Matriculation or Diploma after SPM? I've made some research myself. So here's what I got.

Foundation or "asasi" is what I prefer. Why? It's more focused towards the field we wish to take. For example, if we want to take Information Technology, we should apply for a Foundation in IT. Whereas in matrics, we take a science course and end up studying a lot of stuff not very much connected to what we want (unless we actually don't know what we want). Diploma on the other hand is much different. It's mostly for students with ordinary results (that's what most say). It takes up to 3 years and is very suitable for those who wish to study for a while and move on to the working world. Here's what a man (nafizz) in a forum has to say:

"You cannot compare matrics/asasi with diploma cos these 2 are in a different league altogether.. If you take diploma you have to study for 3 years and then apply for degree to further your education ( have to do well in your diploma courses) Whereas matrics /asasi is more like a foundation course where you are required to study for 1-2 years and after that you apply for a degree course in your choice of field. For matric, there is a one year and 2 year course ( one-year course for students with good results whereas 2-year course is for those with ordinary results but then this is not always the case. ). For asasi, there is a 2 semester course for asasi undang-undang KPM and 3 semester course asasi undang-undang UiTM ( Shah Alam Campus ) Both the UiTM and KPM courses are given pocket money of about RM 1250-RM1500 per semester. As for other asasi, it;s either one or 2 years course before applying for a degree.. ( correct me if I'm wrong )

So, if you got an offer for a diploma and matric/asasi , better reject the diploma and accept the matric or asasi. And if you get the asasi and matric, better take asasi if you are offered your choice of field, say pharmacy/medic because in a way you are already majoring in what you want to do. In matric, you are studying many subjects and if you get good results, say cgpa 4.00 then only you are offered medic, pharmacy etc. If you get ordinary results in matric, you might be offered teaching in UPSI etc.. Oh, one more thing, you are given allowance of about RM1250 per semester.

These are just my opinions..

Anyway, here are some info of my daughter's friends and also my students.
1. my daughter got an offer for a one-year course in Perlis ( Place is of no relevence. any matric ok) and also asasi law KPM ( Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia) She like arts subjects instead of science so she might read law.. she is still deciding, tho.. lol ). then she got an interview for TESL twinning programme to go overseas under KPM)but she didn't want to become a teacher.. LOL..So pening!!!
2. her friend got matric and medic in UIA so, he is going for asasi medic UIA
3. Another friend got matric and pharmacy UIA and she is going for asasi pharmacy.
4. one got diploma statistik and matric.. she is going to matric..
5. many got diploma courses but my advice to them is to go to either asasi/matric..

So basically if you get your choice of course in asasi, go for asasi... if not, then opt for matric because if you do well, you can still take up medicine/pharmacy/engineering. Also I don't think it's that difficult to get at least cgpa 3.5 and above if you really study hard. If you can score at least 5 As in SPM. I'm sure all of you can do well in your matric... don't bother so much about race, whether there are lots of malays in this college and that college... cos all this has not reference to what you want to become and achieve in future... Go with an open mind and heart and I'm sure you will achieve what you want in the end."

That's the end of his enlightenment. One more thing I'd like to add about Diploma. Do you know that if you score very well in a 3-year Diploma, you'll get a very high chance of just taking a 2-year course to get a degree (of the same field I believe). If you're not so keen on conitnuing your studies, you can just work after finishing diploma (take note that creativity, enthusiasm and talent really helps a lot if you really do want to work fast).

In a nutshell, I'd suggest this. If you have very good grades, take Foundation. If you don't, you can either go to Foundation (if offered) or Matrics (and you can also choose this if you're still not so sure about what you want to be). Worried about scholarships? Just go ahead to foundation or matrics and do your best there. You can still get one for your degree. Make sure you focus. And besides that, you still get allowance during Foundation (must be a public university) and Matrics.

Wish you luck!  =D


  1. thank..u help me a lot...i so pening about them(matrix/diploma/asasi)

  2. thx for the information.. really help me a lot

  3. hello i'm an ex spm candidate of 2011 and currently being offered between matriculation and foundation in law of uitm. i'm a science stream student and basically people around me encourage me to go for law as my talent clearly shows i fit for it. however, i'm being half hearted about it as i find it difficult for me to let go of science subjects and now i can't decide. also, in the same time i am afraid that i can't do well in matriks that i can't get into the university and the course that i want. i'm aiming for um in medic/dentistry/pharmacist.i've heard from my sister who is an ex-matriks students that even her friend that scored 4.0 couldn't get into UM in those field mentioned above.. she's in um currently doing geologist. any advice for me?

  4. @Nadia

    Hi! To answer your first question, I had a friend who wanted to take Law but he got Engineering and his dad told him to take Engineering. Instead, he did badly in the science subjects and then changed to actually taking Law and doing fine. My point is, which one do you think you're really interested in? Maybe you can take a look at To Choose or Not To Choose.
    Next, I have to admit that from my friends' experiences that matriks is not the easiest place to start from but it's also worth a shot. It is relatively easier to get into the universities if you're already in their own foundation courses. It's not impossible to start from matriks, it's just tougher.
    Just to wrap things up, I suggest that you open up your options to other universities as well, which are professionals at healthcare (if you finally decide to go for this) such as UKM & IIUM. Yes, UM is one of the best, but always keep your options open while working towards your target. I hope this very long comment helps (at least a bit) and if you have anymore questions, feel free to send me a message. Good luck! :D

  5. thanks it does help me in thinking.. by the way do you know whether a sains hayat student can pursue degree in law for any universities? i tried asking around and doing research but ended up with nothing.

  6. This is just AWESOME! THANKSSSSSS

  7. @Nadia

    Sorry for the late reply! That's great. In my basic knowledge, I'd say no, most universities require a pre-law course. But, there might be a possibility that private universities are more lenient about the matter. In other cases, you might have to start from the beginning, which means you have to take foundation in law (or equivalent) first. Check university admission requirements for undergraduate majors.

    My pleasure!

  8. Hi, I just got my spm results on Thursday (spm 2012) and I got 10 As and 1B+. I checked the Mara website and sadly I'm not eligible to pursue dentistry - the field I'm keen to take - or pharmacy overseas with its scholarship. But I still can go to ipta, I've checked at I just want to ask, which local universities are the best places to study dentistry? I want to go to UM but it's quite hard to be accepted as I got B+ for Bio (my fav subject :( ). My dad advised me to go to UIA. I know that it's well established but then I read a blog that didn't mention UIA at all in her list of top places to study medic/dentistry. So I'm quite confused. What about Uitm? I really hope you could shed some light on this thank you :)

  9. i think this info is very useful for me.but i'm curious about which is easy to score(subject) either matriculation or foundation?

  10. Hi guys! I apologize for replying so late. I was traveling for a week and did not bring my laptop. I hope you guys receive.

    Generally, UM & UKM are great places for dentistry. I have friends studying in UIA (aka IIUM) & one of them told me that the place is great. They have new buildings and equipments and they're also special since they're an International uni. It is also known to have one of the toughest syllabus, so it should be a great place to be serious about your studies. UITM is generally ok but I guess I have a preference on UIA. On another note, USM is a great place for pharmacy. These were info I gained from friends studying health fields there. I hope this answers your question. :)

    In general, it is tougher to get into universities with certain courses through matriculation. For instance, to get into UM/UKM for medicine, on average people need a cgpa of over 3.8. Foundation depends on the university. For UIA, to get into engineering, you'll need a minimum cgpa of 2.5. But that also depends on the competition, the higher others' cgpa are, the higher you'll need to make sure your cgpa is because universities have a specific quota for how many students they'll accept for each course. So, either way, you'll have to study seriously. I believe the big difference is foundation is more focused on the course you're looking forward to (as mentioned in the article). Hope this answers your question! :D

  11. Hi!I'm having slight problems..I'm interested in doing further studies in business,but I just cannot find any foundation that has to do with business!!Is business stucked to diploma??

    1. Hi! Sorry for the very late reply. I haven't been focused on maintaining this blog for a while. So, I'm not too sure about business majors since I've never researched about it. Have you checked out the universities in this list?

  12. thank you for your information. I would like to ask, is there any chances for me to further study in medic since i got 3.72 for uitm's cgpa. And if so, how about the upu? From what i heard, upu only choose the best 3 subjects and mathematics is a must. If i do achieve 4.0 for my upu but not for uitm, will i get the chance to pursue studies with the course that i wanted?

    1. It's a pleasure. I've heard that it depends on where you want to pursue that degree in. The higher ranking universities like UM, UKM, UIA tend to have more competition from what I've heard. Nonetheless, the chance is always there. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "If i do achieve 4.0 for my upu but not for uitm".

      On another note, I do have friends who did not get accepted to public universities for medic. They decided to go to private schools (including overseas) and after their first year, successfully received a scholarship with their first year results. So, I can say, there are a lot of factors and options you can consider. Hope you get to pursue your interest!

    2. I did apply for private institutions such as IMU and Monash. The things that i'm concerned about is will i be able to get a housemanship placement easily once i completed my 5 years course?

  13. Hi there,as far as i concerned those who are taking stpm or matriculation program, they may get the chance to further their studies oversea.what about foundation program?do the students who are graduated from foundation program would have the same chance?and if they do have the chance, can you explain to me what are the procedures?

    1. yes they do. I did apply for the unis in the UK. The shocking news is that I did get a place to study there.

  14. Hey , how about stpm ,any minimum requirements .. and by the way is it true stpm is easy to enter public U but very hard to get the course what we actually want especially critical courses like medicine , pharmacy , dentistry , law and engineering . I really want to study pharmacy in the future so can i study pharmacy with stpm ? Should i stay with stpm btw i got 6A+ 2A 1B+ for my spm .2A for english and sejarah while B+ is for bm :( . Please help me

  15. Thanks for the useful information. Right on. It's more informative and easy to understand. Thanks a lot such a nice guideline.

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