UNIVERSITI Malaya (UM) continues to lead Malaysian universities in the latest guide to Asian university performance released by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) today.
In the 2020 edition of the QS World University Rankings: Asia that has the continent’s 550 best institutions listed, UM is now placed 13th up from 19th previously.
UM is joined in the regional top 50 by four other universities: Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) up one spot to 33 from 34, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) 37th from 43rd, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) 39th from 41st, and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) - 46th, up one place from before.
UM also received the distinction of having the highest score of any Asian institution for International Research Network which measures the diversity of a university’s global network. In total, 17 of Malaysia’s 29 ranked universities have improved their International Research Network score with four of the top ten scores achieved by Malaysian universities.
All in all, 21 of Malaysia’s 29 top universities have risen in QS World University Rankings: Asia, demonstrating that Malaysian universities are becoming increasingly competitive, relative to regional peers.
QS highlights that Malaysia’s rise is primarily attributable to its improving performance in the two key reputational surveys used by QS to compile the rankings.
In the Academic Reputation (AR) indicator, 22 of Malaysia’s 29 ranked universities have improved their performance. The AR indicator utilises the insights of over 94,000 academics regarding university quality. It gives an indication of which universities hold the strongest reputation within the international academic community.
Meanwhile, in the Employer Reputation (ER) indicator, 18 of Malaysia’s 29 ranked universities have improved their rank. The ER indicator, which utilises the insights of over 44,000 employers regarding the quality of a university’s graduates, reflects the employability and employment prospects for a particular university's applicants and graduates.
In its statement, QS said its dataset indicates that the increasing academic recognition being achieved by Malaysia’s universities is primarily due to the work that its universities have done to improve their global research collaborations.
Efforts made by Malaysian higher education stakeholders to attract international students are also bearing fruit giving impact to standing in the ranking. Eighteen of Malaysia’s ranked universities have improved their score for Inbound Exchange, which measures the size of an institution’s inbound exchange program.
Director of Research at QS, Ben Sowter, said the research metrics – which measure research impact and research productivity – indicate that Malaysia’s research ecosystem is not yet as developed or efficient as those of its regional competitors: China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan.
However, the overall scores achieved by the country’s universities provide compelling evidence that it is moving in the right direction, he pointed out.
"Though Malaysia’s universities cannot yet count themselves among the region’s research powerhouses, it is clear that their international outreach efforts are serving to raise the profile of their work.
"Furthermore, such collaborations are likely to lead to increasing amounts of high-profile research in the future. While a number of Asia’s top nations are experiencing stagnation or decline – including Japan and Korea – our bespoke proprietary dataset indicates that Malaysia’s higher education system is on the rise," he concluded
For the third consecutive year, the National University of Singapore is named Asia’s best university. It is followed by Nanyang Technological University, which has risen from 3rd to 2nd; and the University of Hong Kong which has fallen from 2nd to 3rd.
The 11 indicators used to compile the QS Asia University Rankings are Academic reputation (30 per cent), Employer reputation (20per cent), Faculty/student ratio (10 per cent), International research network (10 per cent), citations per paper (10 per cent) and papers per faculty (5 per cent), staff with a PhD (5 per cent), proportion of international faculty (2.5 per cent) and proportion of international students (2.5 per cent), as well as proportion of inbound exchange students (2.5 per cent) and proportion of outbound exchange students (2.5 per cent)
For more details of the rankings click here.