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Published: Tuesday September 11, 2012 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday June 1, 2013 MYT 10:47:39 PM

UM in the top 200 now

PETALING JAYA: Universiti Malaya (UM) is the only Malaysian institution that has made it to the top 200 of the QS World University Rankings 2012/3 for the second consecutive year. It moved up 11 places to 156 this year compared to 167 in 2011 and 207 in 2010.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Univer-siti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), the International Islamic University Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Mara have all improved in the rankings while Universiti Putra Malaysia dropped slightly. (see table)

Congratulating UM, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said he believed that this was a direct outcome of a Cabinet's decision for the university to be chosen as the key player in international rankings.

“A special monetary incentive was accorded to UM with the specific objective that it should be among the 100 best universities in the world by 2015. The fruit of that initiative is showing now,” he said in an interview.

Mohamed Khaled said that although a more detailed scrutiny of the criteria used was needed, the ranking results generally showed that the focus and resources invested by the research universities were paying off.

Intelligence Unit head Ben Sowter for QS Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd, which conducts and compiles the annual World University Rankings, said 2,586 institutions were considered this year.

“The six indicators - academic peer review, employer reputation review, international faculty ratio, international student ratio, student faculty ratio, and citations per faculty and overall weightings - are the same,” he added.

Sowter said UM was the best-performing Malaysian university in both the academic and employer reputation surveys, making it the global top 200 in both.

“It also improved its faculty/student ratio relative to its international peers, contributing to its improved position,” he said.

The biggest climb, said Sowter, among Malaysian institutions was by UTM, which re-entered the top 400 after slipping down last year.

UM vice-chancellor Prof Tan Sri Dr Ghauth Jasmon said it continued to push for higher quality research and publications in the past year through its High Impact Research projects with the special funding.

“It is clear that UM's greatest gain has been in its total citations, which was our main weakness before this,” he added.

UTM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Zaini Ujang said it had undergone a massive transformation since 2009 by focusing on graduate studies.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology topped the QS World University Rankings this year followed by Cambridge University and Harvard University.

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