PETALING JAYA: All five of Malaysia’s research universities continue to climb the rankings ladder with Universiti Malaya (UM) leading the pack.
UM, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) are in the top 50 among the 11,900 universities in Asia, according to the 2018 edition of the QS University Rankings: Asia.
UM is ranked 24th among Asian universities, rising three spots from 27 last year, while UPM is ranked 36th, UKM ranked 43rd, USM is 46th and UTM is at 49th. All of them have improved their rankings compared with last year (see table).
The regional university rankings, released yesterday by global higher education analyst QS Quacquarelli Symonds, see 27 Malaysian higher education institutions being listed in the top 400 within the region.
QS research director Ben Sowter said this year, Malaysian institutions recorded their best-ever performance, becoming more competitive with their regional counterparts.
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh congratulated all the Malaysian universities that made it into this year’s edition of the rankings.
“The ministry is always supportive of your endeavours to make Malaysian higher education great and believes in the synergy that exists among higher education institutions, which helps foster a dynamic and innovative ecosystem,” he said in a statement.
UM deputy vice-chancellor (academic and international) Prof Dr Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud said the rise in rankings was due to the cumulative efforts of its staff and students.
“Although rankings are not the only thing that is important to UM, the management believes that these provide a gauge of its progress over the years.
“To improve its ranking, UM is now embarking on a mid-term review of its plans and adjusting and responding to the financial challenges that have arisen over the last two years.
“The financial constraints are posing new challenges to UM but it is rising to the occasion and will try its best to continue improving,” he said.
UPM vice-chancellor Prof Datin Paduka Dr Aini Ideris said it was committed to strengthening its academic and research processes and continuing on its journey to become a world-class university.
Two private universities are also among the top 200 in the region –Taylor’s University (150) and Multimedia University (179). Both climbed up from the 179th and 193rd positions.
Taylor’s University vice-chancellor and president Professor Michael Driscoll said the jump in its ranking showed that the university was on the right path and underlined the quality of education it provided.
The table is led for the first time by Singapore’s Nanyang Technolo-gical University. It takes the number one position from the National University of Singapore, which now ranks second.
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is at third position, up one rung from last year.