PUTRAJAYA: Having improved their ranking, the country’s five research universities have made it to the top 1% in the world out of 26,000, with its oldest university, Universiti Malaya (UM) on the verge of being among the world’s top 100.
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said UM, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) generated more than RM6.18bil in research revenue between 2007 and 2016.
“This is a 55.3% return on research investment from the Government’s initial investment of RM3.98bil,” he said, adding that most of the varsities were also celebrating their 10th anniversary as a research university.
UM rose by 19 places to the 114th position in the QS World University Rankings 2018.
Idris said UM had consistently improved its rankings since 2013, and it could be in the top 100 universities worldwide in a year.
“In the span of four years, UPM has moved up 182 places to 229,” he said, adding that this was an average of 45 ranks every year.
UKM rose to 230, their highest jump, while UTM moved up to 253 and USM ranked 264, he added.
UKM’s jump, he said, showed the potential for the young university to “soar upwards”.
Higher Education Ministry director-general Datin Paduka Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir said the strength of these universities lay in their lecturers and researchers, who greatly improved their academic reputation through high-impact research, publications and citations.
UM deputy vice-chancellor (academic and international) Prof Dr Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud said their hard work had paid off.
However, he added, it would not be easy to enter the top 100 as competition would become stiffer the higher they rose in the international rankings.
UPM vice-chancellor Prof Datin Paduka Aini Ideris said they had achieved the highest score among local universities for the international student indicator besides improving in their academic reputation, employer reputation and faculty-to-students ratio.
She said the varsity planned to increase its international visibility in order to make it to the top 200 by 2020.
USM vice-chancellor Datuk Dr Asma Ismail said their success was due to “co-learning” and working together with the other research universities.
According to UKM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Noor Azlan Ghazali, their jump in the rankings would drive UKM to further improve its reputation.