KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 — Universiti Malaya (UM), Malaysia’s oldest institution of higher learning, leapt 40 spots this year to breach the top 200 mark in the London-based QS World University Rankings.
But at rank 167, UM lagged more than 100 paces behind Singapore’s National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), which ranked at 28 and 58 respectively.
Apart from UM, the only Malaysian university that made it as the world’s top 300 universities was Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) at rank 279, dropping 16 spots from last year’s rank of 263. The QS World University Rankings currently considers over 2,000 and evaluates over 700 universities in the world. The rankings assess factors including academic reputation, employer reputation, graduate employability, research and staff-student ratios.
QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) Ltd Intelligence Unit head Ben Sowter was quoted in English daily The Star today as saying that UM was the only Malaysian university to have improved in its academics, employer scores and international aspects. According to the daily, Sowter said UKM had faltered in the employer reputation review and citations per faculty but improved in terms of academic reputation.
Going by academic reputation alone, the QS list ranked UM at 176 while Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) made it to 209, ahead of UKM at 220.
The Star also quoted Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khalid Nordin as saying that UM’s improvement was a reflection of the university staff’s hard work. In the world rankings list, USM made it to the 335th spot compared to 309 last year while Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) ranked at 358, dropping from 319 last year. UK’s Cambridge University held on to the top spot in the international league table, followed by United States’ Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University and UK’s Oxford University.
The highest ranked Asian universities in the same table are the University of Hong Kong at 22, University of Tokyo at 25 and NUS at 28. In the Asian University Ranking 2011 by QS, UM made it to the 39th spot, ahead of UKM at 53, USM at 54, UPM at 57 and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) at 76.
Topping the list was the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, followed by the University of Hong Kong and NUS. Singapore’s NTU made it to rank 17.