TAYLOR’S University has taken a giant leap up the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2021, further strengthening its overall reputation in the global higher education landscape.
The private university now ranks 379 in the latest edition of the international university rankings, with an impressive climb of 135 places from last year.
The remarkable improvement has placed the institution among the top flight universities in the world and has positioned it as the top private university in Malaysia.
The huge leap in rankings, the highest for any university in Malaysia, was attributed to substantial growth in three areas:employer reputation, academic reputation, and faculty-student ratio.
Taylor’s University vice-chancellor and president Prof Michael Driscoll, in congratulating the staff, students and partners of the university on their continued commitment to excellence, said: “The latest QS World University Rankings confirms Taylor’s University as the best private university in Malaysia and also recognises the world-class education we provide for our students.
“The high ranking achieved by Taylor’s follows the recent QS 5 Stars rating (the highest level) for the quality of our online learning which is serving our students well during the government-enforced campus closure.
“Our world-class online learning is enabling our students to complete their studies without interruption and graduate on time, ” he said.
Being one of the few Asian universities to receive the five-star award for online learning, Taylor’s is certainly on the right track in its teaching and learning approach where e-learning has taken centrestage.
Learning from the SARS outbreak in 2003 which disrupted lessons in education institutions for weeks, Taylor’s has developed an e-learning masterplan, with an investment of close to RM50mil, not just to complement face-to-face learning but also to be prepared for campus lockdown scenario such as the current situation.
Transforming teaching and learning
The current unprecedented pandemic has accelerated the university’s latest “teach less, learn more” approach in its new Taylor’s Curriculum Framework, developed to encourage student independent learning.
The approach is reflected through Taylor’s award-winning Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) – an ecosystem of microsites for each subject complete with e-assessment, e-tutoring, e-submission and e-forum features, in addition to incentivising student progress with digital badges.
Ensuring that learning is accessible, the university also leverages on technologies such as ReWIND, a lecture capture system that comprises over 40,000 recorded lectures for students’ easy access online; and Lightboard Video Technology for DIY lecture recordings which enables the capturing of text or sketches in real time.
Farahanis Yasmin Shaari, a Bachelor of Arts (Accounting and Finance) student, shared that e-learning has helped her education stay on track at home.
“One of the best things about e-learning is being able to do it at home. There are case studies, presentations as well as discussions during online tutorials and the lecturers have been very engaging, ” she said.
Adhering to its technology framework, forward-looking mindset and student-first policy, Taylor’s University is geared towards creating and curating much needed platforms to serve student needs regardless of circumstances.
One such example is the university’s recent digital orientation for its April 2020 intake. The online event was conducted using Taylor’s Integrated Moodle e-Learning System (TIMes) which saw an attendance of close to 2,000 students participating in programme briefings, forums, quizzes and a virtual exhibition by various clubs and societies.
Future proofing graduates
Driven by its Taylor’s Curriculum Framework 2.0, the university’s curriculum structure emphasises a broad-based approach to education which is built on the core pillars of academic excellence, life skills and emotional well-being.
In addition, the availability of mixing and matching subjects, flexibility and adaptability is further emphasised through compulsory interfaculty projects and entrepreneurship modules with mimicking workplace environments whereby experts from different backgrounds would come together to provide holistic solutions.
The university’s incubator and collaborative spaces, the Setup and Me.reka Makerspace respectively, provide support and mentorship by industry partners for such student projects.
Graduate employability is also something the university is proud of.Being the only university in Asia offering graduates two degree parchments – an academic and a Graduate Capabilities Attainment (GCA) statement – Taylor’s graduates are also assessed on their life skills, social and emotional intelligence, cultural adaptability, and real world experiences.
The university is also implementing work-based learning, whereby students complete their degree while working in an established organisation.
A community-driven approach
Another component that Taylor’s University is continuously looking into is in the area of community engagement and sustainability programmes, in its effort to encourage students' involvement to create impact in both the local and international communities.
For instance, Project NEST is a collaboration between the School of Architecture, Building and Design and the School of Education, focusing on creating conducive learning spaces for underprivileged students in their own homes.
Additionally, Taylor’s Me.reka Makerspace and The Design School collaborated with tailors from the B40 communities to produce personal protection equipment (PPE) suits to aid the nation’s healthcare frontliners during the recent Covid-19 outbreak.
The collaborative learning hub was also involved in a decentralised production effort, in order to aid with the supply of face shields.
Meanwhile, Taylor’s University retained its Top 20 in the world position for the fiercely contested Hospitality and Leisure Management subject in the QS World University Rankingsby Subject 2020 earlier this year, which makes the university the only institution in Malaysia to be in the Top 20 ranking.
The university is also currently ranked 109 in the QS Asia University Rankings 2020.