The University

Established as the second university in the country in 1969, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) was first known as Universiti Pulau Pinang. In 1971, USM moved from its temporary premises at the Malayan Teachers’ Training College, Bukit Gelugor to the present 416.6 hectare site at Minden, approximately 9.7 km from Georgetown.

It is among the oldest institute of higher learning (IHL) in Northern Malaysia. It has three campuses, a main campus on the island of Penang, a health campus in Kelantan, and an engineering campus in Nibong Tebal.


The Area

Dubbed ‘The Pearl of the Orient’ by foreign traders in the distant past, Penang is an eclectic and interesting fusion of a variety of local cultures. Featuring old-fashioned allure, the island has a plethora of historical attractions sprinkled across its landscape and is best known for its authentic hawker fare which locals claim can’t be duplicated elsewhere. Georgetown, Penang’s capital, has been granted UNESCO World Heritage status largely due to its collection of 19th and early 20th-century architecture. The island offers plenty of sightseeing opportunities ranging from the ever-popular Gurney Drive to the historic Fort Cornwallis.

The Programme

Keele University has an exchange programme with the University of Sains Malaysia and all undergraduate students in Life Sciences have the option of conducting their research projects in a tropical setting at theUSM Penang campus

Life Science Undergraduate students.


To find out more read USM Programme Leaflet 2018

Dates of the short programme

Approx end May – End August 2018

A Keele member of staff will accompany the group for the first week.


The Cost

The cost of the programme is approximately £1500 (**subject to flight costs)

The price includes:

  • Flights
  • Accommodation (twin room, shared bathroom) *an upgrade is available for an additional local fee after arrival*
  • Orientation
  • Visa entry (up to 90 days)
  • Cost of the programme

Things to pay for:

  • Visa (non-UK nationals)
  • Meals
  • Personal expenditure, sightseeing & shopping
  • Travel to and from the UK Airport


All Keele students are covered under the university’s travel insurance. 

Application and the Process


If you are interested in applying for this programme please complete the Malaysia Application 2018

The Process

  • The application together with your passport is to be submitted to Natasha Corke in the Global Education team by 8th December 2017.
  • Students will be invited to attend an interview at the beginning of the second semester in the School of Life Sciences.
  • USM applications to Natasha Corke, in the Global Education team ( by Friday 23rd March 2018.
  • At the end March 2018, The Global Education team will make flight reservations on behalf of the students – students will have 48 hours to call the Travel company directly  (The Traveller) to pay and secure the flight.
  • The balance of the programme cost (minus the flights) will be due mid-April.  Payments should be made directly to the Incomes Office, Tawney Building.




All Students are required:

  • To complete a Risk Assessment
  • Attend a Culture Workshop ran by the Language Centre
  • Attend a Pre Departure meeting, Early May. (room to be confirmed)


If you want to find out more about the programme, please email, Professor Dave Hoole,

Click on the thumbnails below to view the pictures from the Malaysia programme.