More varsities enter global rankings

PETALING JAYA: More local universities have made it into the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, with Universiti Malaya (UM) maintaining its pole position as the top university in Malaysia.

The 2021 edition of the rankings sees Universiti Kuala Lumpur and Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka joining the list, bringing the total to 15 institutions, up from 13 last year.

In the 17th edition of the global university rankings, the country’s oldest university sits in the 301-350 band, followed by Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) in the 501-600 band.

The other four research universities – Universiti Kebangsaaan Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia – are in the 601-800 band.

Universiti Teknologi Petronas and Universiti Utara Malaysia also sit in the 601-800 band.

The other Malaysian institutions in the 17th edition of the rankings are Universiti Tenaga Nasional (801-1000), Universiti Kuala Lumpur (1,001+), Universiti Malaysia Perlis (1,001+), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (1,001+), Multimedia University (1,001+), Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (1,001+) and Universiti Teknologi Mara (1,001+).

UTAR president Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat said they would continue to work harder to improve and strengthen their collaborations with other universities and the industry. He added that the university had appeared consecutively in the THE World University Rankings since 2017.

THE chief knowledge officer Phil Baty said they had observed the rise of Asia in the world rankings over the past several years.

“This new ranking provides further clear evidence of a shift in the balance of power in the global knowledge economy from the established higher education systems in the West to those in parts of the East.

“This trend is likely to accelerate further as the Covid-19 pandemic heralds a perfect storm of huge challenges for primarily Western universities, particularly those in the United States and United Kingdom, who face the very real risk of losing significant international student talent and the billions of dollars in fees that they bring, ” he added.

Overall, 16 Asian universities have made it into the Top 200, the highest total for Asia since the rankings began in 2003.

Of those 16 institutions, 13 of them either improved or maintained their position from last year, demonstrating the rising competition from Asia at the expense of Western higher education systems.

The regular big names continue to stay firm in the top placings.

University of Oxford sits as number one of the global rankings for the fifth year running while Stanford University is second followed by Harvard University, California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in third, fourth and fifth respectively.

A total of 1,527 universities from 93 countries and regions are included in the list this time, standing as the largest and most diverse university rankings ever to date.

This year, more institutions qualified for the rankings with a 9% increase from the 2020 rankings when 1,397 institutions qualified.

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