UM remains Malaysia's top university

  • Nation
  • Monday, 15 May 2023

PETALING JAYA: Universiti Malaya has retained its position as the top university in the country.

It clinched first place among nine Malaysian universities that were ranked in the 2023 edition of the Global 2000 list by the Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR).

Placing 80th in Asia, it was ranked 388th globally, a three-place climb from its position last year, making it among the top 1.9% universities worldwide.

In March, UM emerged as Malaysia's strongest institution overall in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings by Subject 2023, with 36 subjects ranked, including 15 in the world's top 100.

The CWUR global rankings this year saw two-thirds of Malaysian universities rising in the standings, with six out of the nine universities improving their ranks.

Besides UM, those with improved positions are Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (833rd place), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (840), Universiti Teknologi Mara (1,584), Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (1,755), and Universiti Malaysia Pahang (1,981).

The other three Malaysian universities that made it into the rankings are Universiti Putra Malaysia (785), Universiti Sains Malaysia (794) and International Islamic University Malaysia (1,546).

The main factor for the rise of Malaysian universities is improvement in research performance.

CWUR president Dr Nadim Mahassen said while it is encouraging to see Malaysia making gains in the rankings, funding to further promote the development and reputation of Malaysia's higher education system is vital if the country aspires to be more competitive on the global stage.

"Efforts must be made to ensure that Malaysia attracts top academics and students, that increasing enrolment numbers at universities come alongside increases in teaching capacity, and that tertiary education expenditure as a percentage of the national GDP steadily grows in the years to come," he said.

CWUR's Global 2000 list is the only university performance table that measures universities' quality of education, employability, quality of faculty, and research without relying on surveys and university data submissions.

For this year's edition, CWUR analysed 62 million outcome-based data points to rank universities from around the world.

A total of 20,531 universities were ranked, and those that placed at the top made the Global 2000 list - which includes institutions from 95 countries.

For the 12th year in a row, Harvard is the top university in the world. It is followed by two other private institutions in the United States - Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University.

The University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, which ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, are the world's top public higher education institutions.

The top five universities in Asia this year are University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, Seoul National University, Tsinghua University and Peking University.

All these 10 universities maintained the spots they clinched in the previous year.

Based in the United Arab Emirates, the CWUR is a consulting organisation providing policy advice, strategic insights and consulting services to governments and universities to improve educational and research outcomes.

The full rankings, released today (May 15), can be found at

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