Relatives of Aidan Brunger paid tribute to a "wonderful" young man, saying the murder has "left a massive hole" in their lives.
They said they would remember him as Dr Brunger even though he was unable to complete his studies.
The 22-year-old, from Kent, was killed alongside fellow Newcastle University student Neil Dalton, from Ambergate, in a bar on August 6.
His family said: "The enormous outpouring of love towards Aidan since he died is a lasting testament to the strength of feeling that so many people had towards him. Aidan's family are extremely proud of him and devastated to lose such a funny, kind hearted, considerate and wonderful young man."
Four local men have admitted the killings, according to Malaysian Police. A fifth man, 55, has been arrested.
A hearing is to be held at Derby and South Derbyshire Coroner's Court on Monday.