Malaysian unis make it into world rankings

FIVE Malaysian institutions have been ranked for the first time in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-16.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia is the highest ranked at the 401-500 band followed by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Mara in the 601-800 band.

Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings editor Phil Baty said no Malaysian university has made the rankings before.

“This achievement is in part due to the expansion of the rankings to include 800 universities, but it also reflects the fact the country has made higher education one of its main priorities.

“Malaysia has improved its higher education system in recent years, leading to student enrolment rising 70% in the past decade, and this year released an ambitious 10-year higher education strategy, which includes several objectives around access, quality and efficiency.

“The top 800 list represents just four per cent of the world’s higher education institutions, so we congratulate all institutions who have made this year’s list,” he added. Baty said the rankings which were released on Thursday, are based on 13 performance indicators which examine all the core missions of the modern global university – research, teaching, knowledge transfer and international activity.

UTM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Wahid Omar said the university’s performance is due to the strong commitment of its faculty members, staff and students to continue to soar high.

“UTM’s strongest pillar is International Outlook. It has also done well in the Teaching and Citation pillars. We will strive to improve our Research and Industry Income by strengthening research capacity and capability, and enhancing synergy with the industry more strategically,” he said.

The university, he added, views ranking as useful for benchmarking against the best institutions for continuous improvement but it should not be viewed as the only measure of excellence or one that dictates how it should move forward.

“What is more important is to focus on the fundamentals of quality education, academic and research capacity and a strong mindset and culture for improved reputation at the global level.

“This includes a high performance delivery, especially in research publications and citations among the university’s academic community,” he said.

UTM Office of Corporate Affairs director Prof Dr Masputeriah Hamzah said the university will continue to establish strong networking and linkages with significant partners across the globe in areas of mutual interests as well as with industries.

California Institute of Technology tops this year’s rankings followed by Oxford University in second, Stanford University (third), Cambridge University (fourth), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (fifth), Harvard University (sixth), Princeton University (seventh), Imperial College London (eighth), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ninth) and the University of Chicago in 10th place. – By REBECCA RAJAENDRAM

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