PETALING JAYA: A record number of six Malaysian universities have made it into the top 500 of the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.
Universiti Malaya maintained its pole position as the country’s top-performing institution, moving up from the 351-400 band last year to the 251-300 band in the 2024 edition of the rankings.
Following close behind is Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, which moved up from the 401-500 band to the 301-350 band.
The other four universities in the top 500 are Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM).
UUM maintained its position in the 401-500 band, while the other institutions moved up from the 601-800 band.
THE chief global affairs officer Phil Baty said Malaysian universities made significant gains in the THE World University Rankings 2024 with almost every institution in the top 10 making big improvements.
“The country, impressively, now has six universities in the top 500. Malaysian universities’ rapid trajectory up the rankings over the last five years has really captured international attention.
“Recently, Malaysian universities have been keen to build their international student and staff numbers to enhance their global footprint and build their global reputation, which is likely to result in even further improved performances in the rankings over the coming years. Malaysia is cementing its status as a major global education hub,” he added.
Of the 23 Malaysian universities that were ranked, up from 22 last year, 12 saw improvements in their rankings, seven maintained their positions while one newcomer entered straight into the top 1,500 band.
The other Malaysian institutions that improved their rankings are Universiti Putra Malaysia (501-600); Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Sunway University and Universiti Tenaga Nasional (601-800); as well as Universiti Malaysia Sarawak and Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (1,001-1,200).
Maintaining their respective rankings, besides UUM, are Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (1,001-1,200); Multimedia University, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka and Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (1,201-1,500); as well as Universiti Teknologi Mara and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (1501+).
Also making the 20th year of the rankings are Universiti Malaysia Perlis and newcomer Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (1,201-1,500); as well as Universiti Kuala Lumpur and Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (1,501+).
The rankings assessed research-intensive universities across 18 performance indicators – up from 13 last year – grouped into five pillars: teaching, research quality, research environment, international outlook and industry.
Four of the five new metrics included three that looked at research quality and one that examined patents in the industry pillar.
Malaysian universities scored above average for student-staff ratio and also scored well in the studying abroad metric.
In the international pillar, Malaysian universities performed better than the world average, with a steady growth since 2021. In the research and teaching pillars, their performance has risen over time, while in the industry pillar, it is declining.
A record number of 1,904 universities from 108 countries and regions were ranked in the 2024 edition.
Globally, Oxford University in the United Kingdom retained the top spot for the eighth consecutive year, with Stanford University taking second place, making it the top ranked university in the United States, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US, in third place.
China has the best ranked universities, overall, in Asia, which is the most represented continent with 737 universities participating. It is also the continent that is improving more than others in teaching and research quality.
For details, visit www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2024/world-ranking.