PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has been commended for its “highly diverse” and international faculty and student body as well as a “flourishing” reputation among international academics and employers in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2024 released today.
QS senior vice-president Ben Sowter said Malaysian higher education was a “beacon of diversity and internationalisation” that attracted talent from around the world.
“With its strong performance in international student ratio and a highly diverse faculty and student body, Malaysia’s universities offer a vibrant and inclusive learning environment,” he said.
Twenty-eight Malaysian institutions of higher learning are featured in the 2024 rankings, with 11 moving up, 12 dropping, one unchanged, and four ranked for the first time.
Universiti Malaya (UM) maintained its place ahead of other Malaysian institutions in the standings, moving up five spots to No 65 in the latest rankings.
Malaysia’s premier university, ranked 70th this year, is still the only local university in the top 100 – a feat it has now achieved for the sixth consecutive year.
Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) jumped from 143 to 137, while Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) fell from 123 to 158.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) also dropped from 129 to 159, while Universiti Teknologi Malaysia moved up from 203 to 188.
Taylor’s maintained its ranking of 284, while USCI University dropped six notches from 284 to 300.
Among the factors used to determine the scores are academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty, faculty student ratio, international research network and employment outcomes.
Although there was a slight overall decline in the rankings for Malaysian higher education institutions, Malaysia had the highest average score in Asia in five out of the nine metrics among countries with 10 or more universities ranked.
Sowter said Malaysia’s challenge lay in bridging the gap between academia and industry, as the country faced hurdles in producing “work-ready” graduates.
“A focus on experiential learning and global partnerships could help it develop this area,” he said.
In the world rankings, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) retained the No 1 spot, followed by Cambridge University (unchanged), Oxford University (up from 4th) and Harvard University (up from 5th). Stanford University slipped two positions to No 5.
National University of Singapore (NUS) moved up from 11th to 8th.