KUALA LUMPUR: University of Malaya (UM) has again made the country proud - breaking into the top 20 bracket in the 2019 edition of the QS World University Rankings: Asia, released by global higher education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds today (Oct 24).
From the 24th position it held last year, UM has moved up to 19th - its highest spot since the inception of the ranking, now in its tenth edition.
The latest assessment of Asia’s 500 best universities sees National University of Singapore (NUS) taking back the leadership of the Asia ranking from its neighbour, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) which has to settle for third place, and the University of Hong Kong (HKU) moving three places to second.
Malaysia, with 26 universities ranked, is the fifth most represented country in this rankings after Mainland China (111), Japan (89), India (75), and South Korea (57).
According to QS, apart from UM, Malaysia has four more universities in the top 50 and the country’s top 19 universities have all moved up.
UM comes in third under the measure for international research network - a new indicator in the ranking assessment which gives credit for the volume of collaboration with universities outside the home country. The two leading Singaporean universities top the list while five Malaysian universities are among the top-25 in this indicator.
Malaysian universities do well in the inbound exchange students indicator with six universities among the top 100 and seven among to the top 100 outbound students.
However, Malaysian universities continue to struggle with the research productivity and research impact indicators. The best performing university in Paper per Faculty is Universiti Teknologi Petronas which places 74th regionally.
Universiti Malaya leads nationally for Citation per Paper, ranking 76th in Asia.
QS noted that more investment in research and innovation is necessary to support the regional and global ambitions of Malaysian universities.
Equally problematic is the Staff with PhD indicator. Here it is Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) the best performer nationally - yet it only ranks 95th in this criterion.
Ben Sowter, QS Research Director said: “The rise of Asian universities has been predicted for several years, as governments have increased their investment in higher education and research. Malaysian universities have gone through a decade of growth in these rankings. A growth that seems to accelerate. There are big challenges to be addressed yet the steady ascendancy of the leading universities seems solid and promising”.
QS uses 11 indicators to compile the ranking, which measure academic recognition, employer recognition, commitment to teaching, research impact and productivity, and internationalisation.
They are Academic Reputation; Employer Reputation; Faculty/Student Ratio; Staff with PhD (5) Citations per Paper; Papers per Faculty; and International Research Network.
Also included are International Faculty Ratio; International Student Ratio; Inbound Exchange Students; and Outbound Exchange Students.
The full results for the 2019 edition of the QS World University Rankings: Asia will go live at 00:01 GMT on October 24.