Thursday, September 09, 2010

UM drops from top 200 list of world ranking


PETALING JAYA: Universiti Malaya (UM) has dropped from the top 200 of the prestigious 2010 QS World University Rankings – slipping to 207 this year compared to 180 in 2009.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) all improved on their 2009 positions.

UKM is ranked 263 this year compared to 291 in 2009; USM at 309 (314) and UPM is 319 (345).

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) dropped to 365 this year compared to 320 in 2009.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin told The Star it was normal to see fluctuation in the rankings.

“We do not want to be obsessive about world rankings,” he said.

The ministry, he added, had its own strategic plan which was benchmarked against world’s best practices, and would take note of the rankings.

“We also cannot be ‘ranked’ against other universities whose ‘conditions’ and ‘environments’ are different from ours. It is like comparing apples with oranges,” he said.

QS Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd managing director Nunzio Quacquarelli said the QS which conducts and compiles the annual World University Rankings measures university research quality, graduate employability, teaching commitment and international commitment.

“QS rankings use a combination of global surveys and audited data, including citation counts from Scopus, the world’s largest database of academic publishing,” he said in a statement to The Star.

UKM vice-chancellor Prof Tan Sri Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin said the university would continue with its change agenda.

“We will not be distracted by rankings although those who want to celebrate can do so,” she said.

UTM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Zaini Ujang said the university has improved in all aspects of the ranking parameters such as doubling the publication in ISI indexed journals as well as international staff and students.

“However, others have improved in terms of percentage,” he said.

QS World University Rankings Academic Advisory Board convenor Martin Ince said there was an overall mixed set of results for Malaysian universities.

“Although our academic reputation survey shows that many of Malaysia’s top universities are increasingly well-regarded around the world, the country’s leading institution UM has dropped in this measure, as well as in the employer review,” he added.

He said continued investment in the coming years would be the key to Malaysian universities consolidating their positions.

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