BANGI: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) is the top choice among those applying for a place at public universities this year, said vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Noor Azlan Ghazali.
Prof Noor Azlan pointed out that the 47-year-old university was the first choice among applicants with 8,954 received.
This was the most received by a university, according to the public university admissions database for the 2017/2018 session.
He added there were also 21,549 second and third choice applications for courses at UKM.
“It is very competitive now to get into UKM,” he said during a press conference on the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2018.
According to the UPU website, applicants can fill in up to 12 different course choices through the online application portal.
Prof Noor Azlan said UKM’s jump to the 230 spot – in the latest edition of the QS rankings – was among the highest climb among local universities.
The university ranked 302 in 2016 after falling from 259 in 2015.
He did not elaborate on the reason for the drop from 259 in 2015 but pointed out that UKM ranked 269 in 2014.
“Our academic reputation and employer reputation (criteria in the QS rankings) thrust us forward in this edition of the rankings,” said Prof Noor Azlan.
Ranking is a factor when it comes to attracting foreign students and UKM, he said, is aiming even higher.
Prof Noor Azlan added that their initiatives, including programmes for students and staff, are carried out with reputable strategic partners.
“We are the first university to collaborate with the World Bank,” he said.
The UKM-World Bank Research Intern Pilot Programme, he said, will offer vocational training in international development and opportunities to contribute to an initiative or research project at the World Bank Group Global Knowledge and Research Hub in Malaysia.
Prof Noor Azlan also said UKM was picked to train 13,000 KL 2017 SEA Games volunteers by the Youth and Sports Ministry.
On another matter, Prof Noor Azlan said the new students who will be joining the 2017/2018 academic year will be the first batch to study Data Analytics as a compulsory course to prepare students from all faculties for the fourth industrial revolution.