UM makes it to top 40 of Asian universities list


PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s oldest university has made it into the top 40 universities in Asia. Universiti Malaya (UM) now ranks 38, up from 46 last year, and shares the rank with China’s Sun Yat-sen University.

It has been a steady climb up the Times Higher Education (THE) Asia University Ran­kings for the varsity.

THE chief knowledge officer Phil Baty said UM rose eight places largely due to improvements in its scores for teaching environment, citation impact and industry income, as well as a large boost in its international outlook score.He said, “many Malaysian universities are soaring up the list” in the seventh edition of the rankings.

“Meanwhile Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) has overtaken Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) as the second highest-scoring institution in the country, after climbing 16 places to 98th,” he said in a statement.

UTP is also the highest-ranked private university in Malaysia.

UTP vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mohamed Ibrahim said the university’s achievement in the rankings is testament to its outstanding and continuous achievement in the international arena.

“We will continue with our emphasis on strategies leading towards academic leadership, research stewardship, students’ experience and operational excellence in our quest to become globally prominent,” he said.

He added that the achievement was the result of the “hard work, support and commitment demonstrated by the entire university community, our partners and collaborators as well as Petronas”.

He also said the university maintained a 90% employment rate with its graduates being employed within six months from graduating.

Baty said that six of the nine local institutions featured last year had climbed the rankings in 2019. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia moved up four spots to 125.

Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia also moved up the rankings to 150 and 170 respectively.

There are two newcomers in the 2019 rankings – Universiti Teknologi Mara and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.

They are both in the 351-400 bracket.

For the first time, China ranks number one in Asia with Tsinghua University kicking Na­­tional University of Singapore (NUS) off the top spot.

NUS has held the top spot since 2016, said Baty, adding that it now ranked second in the region.

The third spot is held by Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

The 2019 rankings feature 417 institutions, expanded from 359 universities last year.

The Asia edition of the rankings uses the same 13 calibrated performance indicators as the prestigious THE World University Ran­kings. However, the weightage is specially recalibrated to reflect the priorities of Asian institutions.

The performance indicators are grouped into five areas – teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industry income.

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