IN a survey asking employers to identify institutions from which they source the most competent, innovative and effective graduates, Universiti Malaya (UM) has risen through the ranks to place 46th in the world.
It is the first time the oldest university in the country has achieved the Top 50 position in the employer reputation metric of the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings (WUR).
The world’s largest of its kind, the QS Employer Survey garnered almost 75,000 responses in the latest WUR edition, which saw UM placing 65th overall and securing its Top 100 position for the fourth consecutive year.
UM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor attributed the achievement to the university’s success in providing education as a means by which students can receive valuable preparation for the employment market.He said UM is implementing a more robust teaching and learning component through precision intervention.
“We identify students’ inclination, character, personality and mental strength through psychometric tests in order to adapt a more precise approach in teaching and learning to cultivate their potential to the highest extent,” he shared in a press release dated June 9.
In addition, the university has introduced the ELITE@UM (Experiential Learning with Industries and Technocrats) programme, he said.
“The desired outcome for this initiative is to create more future leaders in every field that our graduates venture into,” he added.
Under the programme, students will learn directly from industry leaders, such as former ministers Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar and Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy, Johor Corporation (JCorp) former chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Kamaruzzaman Abu Kassim, and Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd (BIMB) CEO Mohd Muazzam Mohamed who have been appointed adjunct professors.
Apart from Employer Reputation, UM also scored in the other five key metrics of the QS WUR 2022, ranking 72nd in academic reputation, 285th in citations per faculty, 155th in faculty-student ratio, 312th in international faculty ratio, and 333rd in international students ratio.
These contributed to an overall score of 69.8 per cent, slipping by a slim margin of 0.43 per cent from last year.
Prof Mohd Hamdi said the university had predicted the slip as its growth had slowed down, especially in terms of publications.
To mitigate further decline, he said, UM has identified factors needing immediate attention.
“First and foremost, our research productivity needs to be doubled, which means that we need more research grants as they contribute to research work, equipment maintenance, as well as employment of good postdoctoral fellows and researchers, which in turn contributes to high-impact research.
“Faculty-to-student ratio also needs to be managed appropriately, where we need to realign our number of full-time staff, in addition to attracting, recruiting and retaining international staff at all levels,” he said, adding that the implementation of the recently-announced UM Strategic Plan 2021-2025 will enable the university to maintain its quality and reputation.
In congratulating the record number of 22 local universities making the WUR list, Prof Mohd Hamdi thanked the Higher Education Ministry for its support and leadership.
“I am pleased that UM continues to place Malaysia on the global stage through our dedication, commitment, and hard work towards serving the nation and impacting the world.
“UM will continue to strive to push the boundaries of knowledge and nurture aspiring leaders,” he said.
The QS WUR 2022 features 1,300 universities from around the world.