PETALING JAYA: Universiti Malaya (UM) is the only Malaysian institution that has made it to the top 200 of the QS World University Rankings 2011/12.
It moved up 40 places to 167 this year compared to 207 in 2010.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) have all slid down the rankings (see table).
UKM is ranked 279 this year compared to 263 in 2010; USM at 335 (309), UPM 358 (319) and UTM at between 401 and 450 (365).
For the first time, the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) were included in the rankings at 451-500 and 601+ respectively.
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordincongratulated UM on its improvement, saying it was a reflection of the hard work put in by the university staff.
“I am also happy that two more of our institutions, IIUM and UiTM, have made it to the QS World University Rankings,” he said.
However, he said rankings were not the ministry's main objective as it was important to ensure universities contribute to the development process of the country.
QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) Ltd Intelligence Unit head Ben Sowter said QS conducts and compiles the annual World University Rankings, which is an annual league table of the top universities in the world.
The rankings are based on data gathered and measured in academic peer review, employer reputation review, international faculty ratio, international student ratio, student faculty ratio, and citations per faculty.
On UM's improvement, Sowter said it was the only Malaysian institution to have improved in its academic, employer scores and international aspects this year.
He said UKM lost ground in the employer reputation review and citations per faculty but improved in academic reputation.
“IIUM entered directly into the top 500, which is an excellent result for a new entry, while UiTM is lower down but deserves inclusion,” he said.
He said 2,919 institutions were considered for the rankings this year.
UM vice-chancellor Prof Tan Sri Dr Ghauth Jasmon said the policy to have academics and postgraduate students improved their quality of research and to have their output published in the Thomson Institute for Scientific Information indexed journals was paying off.
“This is a key policy that will continue under my administration so the promise of getting UM into the Top 100 in the QS World University Rankings will be achieved by 2015,” he said.
Cambridge University topped the QS World University Rankings this year followed by Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University, Oxford University and Imperial College London.
The highest ranked Asian universities are University of Hong Kong at 22, University of Tokyo (25) and the National University of Singapore (28).