According to the statement by global higher education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds, only four Malaysian departments rank among the top 50 in the world for their subject. -NSTP/File pic

KUALA LUMPUR: The decrease in employer satisfaction with graduates from Malaysian universities has resulted in the drop of rankings for the country’s universities in the latest edition of QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019 released today.

According to the statement by global higher education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds, only four Malaysian departments rank among the top 50 in the world for their subject — losing over half of its top-50 departments with six fewer than in 2018’s rankings.

Out of the four, only Taylor’s University gains a rise in the Hospital & Leisure Management ranking, and now places 14th, rising seven positions from the last edition.

Taylor’s University vice-chancellor and president Professor Michael Driscoll said this achievement was especially significant with the change in the employer reputation component for this subject.

“This year, there is an increase in the weightage of how the institution is viewed by employers. Our strong performance is indicative of how our students are viewed by industry players and proves to us that our approach is well-received by the industry.” he said.

Universiti Malaya (UM) is responsible for all Malaysia’s other top-50 performances and also the most ranked university, placing in 34 subjects. It ranks 31st for Library & Information Management (down 7 places), 38th for Development Studies (down 8 places), and 47th for Electrical & Electronic Engineering (down 17 places).

Employers recording less satisfaction with the country’s graduates outweighs improvements in Malaysian research performance.

However, QS research director Ben Sowter said this year’s rankings still reveals a positive achievement for Malaysia despite the drop.

“There are 78 countries represented in this edition of the rankings, and Malaysia places 22nd globally for the number of university departments featured. A positive result for a young nation which is competing on the world’s stage with countries boasting higher education systems established centuries ago”.

In total, 157 departments at Malaysian universities are ranked with 76 departments record a drop in rank this year, while only 11 record improvements.

Besides UM, the other four most-ranked Malaysia’s universities are Universiti Sains Malaysia (placing in 25 subjects), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (25), Universiti Putra Malaysia (22) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (14).

Employer Reputation, which looks at how highly employers worldwide regard a particular institution’s graduates, is one of the four key indicators of the ranking methodology. The other three indicators are Academic Reputation, Citations per Paper, and H-Index which evaluates the productivity and impact of the average scholar at a given faculty.

The rankings are based on data from over 1,200 universities across 78 countries evaluated. The insight of over 83,000 academics contributed to over 1.25 million nominations to QS’s Academic Survey.

For QS’s Employer Survey; over 42,000 employers contributed 199,123 nominations for the evaluative exercise.

To view the full rankings, click here.