Malaysia absent in THE rankings for fourth straight year as Thailand, Singapore improve
Idris claimed in February that the country’s higher education system is now on par with that of advanced countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia in terms of quality of education. — Picture by Saw Siow FengKUALA LUMPUR, June 11 — Malaysian universities failed to make the cut for the Times Higher Education (THE) Asia University Rankings 2015 for the fourth year in a row.
The failure is all the more pronounced for Southeast Asia’s third largest economy as Singapore succeeded in getting two national universities into the top 10 and even Thailand climbed into the top 100.
The list is topped by Japan’s University of Tokyo followed by the National University of Singapore (NUS) in second place while the island republic’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) landed the 10th spot of THE’s top universities in Asia.
Northern neighbour, Thailand also secured two spots in the best 100 list with King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi and Mahidol University at 55 and 91 respectively.
Overall, the THE rankings saw China overtaking Japan as the top Asian country with world-class universities; a total of 21 Chinese universities were listed compared to 19 Japanese universities.
THE editor Phil Baty said the rise of Asian universities in general showed Eastern schools to be academically on par with their Western counterparts, with the potential to grow further.
“The world expects that Asia will be the next global higher education superpower, after Europe and North America. This new data from Times Higher Education demonstrate that many of the continent’s leading universities are already competing on equal terms with the best in the West.
“The table also demonstrates the region’s huge academic potential, a region now led by China, whose academy is reaping the rewards of serious, sustained investment and internationalisation — a model for other Asian nations to follow, ” he said in the report.
The THE rankings follow the same methodology used by the prestigious THE World University Rankings, which is cited as the “world’s largest academic reputation survey”.
The Asia rankings use 13 performance indicators to examine each university’s strengths against its core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.
The THE results contrasted sharply with the QS University Rankings: Asia 2015 released yesterday, in which Universiti Malaya placed 29th while Universiti Sains Malaysia was 49th. Singapore’s NUS was top while NTU was fourth in the competing ranking.
Baty reportedly criticised the QS of using “very, very weak and simplistic methodology” to assess universities worldwide, adding that Malaysian universities were “way off” from being world class.
Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh claimed in February that the country’s higher education system is now on par with that of advanced countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia in terms of quality of education.