Universiti Malaya (UM) dropped down to number 65 in QS Quacquarelli Symonds annual university rankings. Despite this drop in the ranking, the university retained its title as a top 100 university.  

The QS World University Rankings 2022 were released in early June and more than 1,200 universities were surveyed across 97 locations. Of the universities surveyed, 22 were from Malaysia. Universiti Kuala Lumpur was the newest addition to the rankings from Malaysia and it joined the 801-1000 category.

It is worth noting that of the 22 Malaysian universities, 12 saw a drop in their ranking, including Universiti Malaya who dropped from its highest ever rank of 59 to 65 in the latest rankings.  However, the education analyst, QS reported that this was UM’s next best performance in the history of the rankings.

However, five universities saw an improvement in their rankings.  These universities are

  • UCSI University (rose from 391 to 347) 
  • Taylor’s University (rose from 379 to 332)
  • Universiti Teknologi Petronas, UTP (rose from 439 to 414)
  • Universiti Utara Malaysia (rose from 531 to 540)
  • Sunway University (who left the 701 to 750 bracket to enter the 651 to 700 bracket)

The remaining universities retained their original rankings and the Universiti Kuala Lumpur, the newest entrant to the rankings entered the 801 to 100 bracket.

Despite the drop in rankings for several Malaysian universities, Ben Sowter QS’ director of research believes that the future of Malaysian higher education is still bright.

 ‘Though Malaysian higher education is unable to improve on last year’s record-breaking performance, QS continues to commend Malaysian universities on the extraordinary progress that they have made over the last five years,’ he said while commenting on the rankings.

He also added that, 

As recently as 2018, Universiti Malaya was not a top-100 university: it has now firmly established itself among the 100 best universities in the world, with QS having highlighted that the UM has kept its place among the top 100 universities globally for a fourth consecutive year. In 2018, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia had never ranked among the world’s top 150; they have now both spent consecutive years in this bracket. With positive reputational trends and a highly supportive government, we expect that future years will see Malaysian higher education reach new heights once more.”

Analysis of the QS rankings

The QS rankings are based on 6 indicators. These indicators are

  • Academic Reputation
  • Employer Reputation
  • Citations Per Faculty
  •  Faculty to Student Ratio
  • International Faculty Ratio
  • International Student Ratio

The education analyst noted that UM’s academic and employer reputations were outstanding and scored higher than the previous year’s rankings. As a matter of fact, the university broke into the top 50 institutions in terms of employer reputation scoring, 91.7 out of a 100 and securing the 46th position. However, QS explained that UM’s drop was result of poor performance in the other four areas.

UM’s worst rating came from its research performance. The university dropped 44 places under Citations per Faculty which pushed it out of the top 250 universities in terms of research influence.

Of the 22 Malaysian universities on the rankings, 15 improved in terms of academic reputation and 13 universities improved in terms of employer reputation.


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