By ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN
Universiti Malaya (UM) broke into the top 20 of the Times Higher Education’s (THE) Emerging Economies University Rankings 2019, moving up nine spots to 18th place alongside China’s Tongji University.
UM is credited as among the most improved institutions in this year’s top 20 list, with improved scores in all five categories assessed: Teaching, research, international outlook, citations and industry income.
This is the university’s second involvement in the index and its first time in the top 20 league — its highest position so far.
Malaysia has 11 institutions represented in the rankings, up from nine last year. This is Malaysia’s best performance yet with eight universities ranked among the top 200 around the world.
THE’s global rankings editor Ellie Bothwell described Malaysia as a success story.
“However, cuts to higher education funding pose a threat to the nation’s success in future years,” Bothwell said in a statement.
“Malaysia must ensure that its universities receive enough investment to thrive in an increasingly competitive global higher education market.”
UM vice-chancellor Datuk Dr Abdul Rahim Hashim has reiterated that the university’s continued participation in the ranking systems is to further improve its value proposition and to benchmark UM against other higher learning institutions.
The university plans to improve linkages and collaboration with strategic industries and international partnerships to better prepare UM graduates to leverage on new technologies as the economy gears towards Industry 4.0.
The overall 2019 THE Emerging Economies ranking involved a total of 450 universities, representing 43 countries classified by the Financial Times Stock Exchange as advanced emerging, secondary emerging or frontier economies.
Universiti Teknologi Petronas also moved up 17 positions to be in the top 60, with improvements in all areas except industry income. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia climbed 15 positions
to the 86th spot on advances across the five pillars.
Other universities on the list include Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Tenaga Nasional.
Globally, China dominated the 2019 rankings with the participation of 72 institutions, up from 63 last year.