Universiti Malaya (UM) leads the rank for Malaysian universities at 141-150 position, rising two bands from last year. NSTP/SYAKIRAH AZHAR

The 2020 QS Graduate Employability Rankings (QSGER) by global higher education think tank QS Quacquarelli Symonds recently listed the top 500 universities according to their ability to provide students with a successful career.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is No. 1 in the list, with Stanford University at No. 2 and the University of California at Los Angeles at No. 3.

A total of nine Malaysian universities participated in this ranking, three more than last year. QS research director Ben Sowter said all nine universities either rose or remained in the same position.

Universiti Malaya (UM) leads the rank for Malaysian universities at 141-150 position, rising two bands from last year. In second and third place are Taylor’s University and UCSI University, respectively.

“This ranking offers a complementary perspective to our World University Rankings. By entirely focusing on employability, this table highlights that there are institutions which perform very well in this important dimension and others that while performing brilliantly in our overall exercise, have room for improvement in this area,” he added.

The methodology used to create this ranking include feedback from 45,000 employers, results from over 40,000 degree programmes and material on 320,000 work placement partnerships.

The rankings also provided scores based on five indicators: employer reputation, alumni outcomes, partnerships with employers, employer-student connections and graduate employment rate.

Employer reputation takes the biggest percentage, at 30 per cent of each university’s possible score, with the information derived from QS global poll of active recruiters involving 45,000 hiring managers and other employer representatives across the globe.

For Malaysia, UM is top on this measure ranked at 103, followed by Taylor’s University placed at 134, enumerating the universities in this country that employers believe produce the most talented, competent and employable graduates.

For alumni outcomes, both UM and UCSI are the only Malaysian universities ranked at 211. The other seven universities did not score for this indicator, thus placing them at 300+.

Taking 25 per cent of the overall score, this indicator is designed to go further than the graduate employment rate, not simply whether a university graduate has a career. It identifies those universities most likely to produce graduates that go on to become luminaries in their field.

More than 2,100 institutions provided at least one individual alumnus to these lists, and care was taken to ensure that the dataset was global and multisectoral. They analysed data from over 130 lists of highly successful individuals, comprising over 55,000 records pertaining to 29,000 individuals.

Also weighted at 25 per cent is how closely university and business work together. Partnerships with employers are derived from data including the frequency with which research papers which have been collaborated upon by both university and business authors appear in Elsevier’s Scopus database of academic publications. Those that are most successful in ensuring that these partnerships yield citable, transformative research.

Unfortunately, none of the nine Malaysian universities scored for this indicator, which accounts for university collaborations with 2,000 top companies.

The final 20 per cent of each institution’s possible score comes equally from two indicators. The first is ‘employer-student connections’, which is a measure of the recruiter presence on each university campus, including the number present at job fairs in a given year.

Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) scored the highest in this, ranking at 71, followed by Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) at 100.

The other 10 per cent is graduate employment rate which measures of how many alumni are working a year after graduation. UTAR scored the highest at 10, followed by UMP (15) and Taylor’s University (16).

There were 758 institutions from 81 locations included in the final evaluation with 682 institutions ranked. For more details of the rankings go to https://www.topuniversities.com/employability-rankings/methodology.