UM, UKM and USM top three Malaysian universities in QS’ top 100 in Asia

By KAREN CHAPMAN | educate@thestar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: The nation’s five oldest universities are in the top 100 of the 2013 QS University Rankings: Asia for the second consecutive year.

Kuala Lumpur’s Universiti Malaya ranked at 33, followed by Bangi’s Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia at 57 and Penang’s Universiti Sains Malaysia at 61.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia is placed 68 while Universiti Putra Malaysia is ranked at 72.

QS head of research Ben Sowter said the results are positive for Malaysia, as all the five research universities had improved their rankings from the previous year.

He said 469 Asian universities were ranked this year, adding the universities are ranked whether they choose to take part or not in the survey.

Sowter said the ranking method had not changed from the previous years and was based on, among other relevant criteria, academic reputation, employer reputation, student/faculty ratio, papers per faculty, citations per paper, internationalisation as well as inbound and outbound student exchange.

UM vice-chancellor Prof Tan Sri Dr Ghauth Jasmon said he was elated with the continued rise of the university in the rankings.

“UM scored distinctions in all criteria, except for citations and papers per staff, which take time to build up,” he said, adding the improvement over the past four years was due to the university’s strong drive for high impact research.

UKM vice-chancellor Tan Sri Prof Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin said knowing the university is on the rankings helps in charting its research path.

“Over the years I have found that branding helps because everyone looks at rankings.

“We have had many invitations and visitors who have come knocking on our door for academic collaboration,” she said.

Newly-appointed Education Mini­stry secretary-general II Prof Datuk Dr Zaini Ujang believed the improvement of UTM in the rankings was due to an increase in scientific publications.

“We expect a better outcome in future, as a result of the UTM endowment scholarships for top students,” said Prof Zaini, formerly the UTM vice-chancellor.

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