M’sian varsities get top spot in Asean public, private rankings

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PETALING JAYA: Malaysian universities have come out tops in a new ranking of public and private institutions in Asean.


Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Sunway University lead the AppliedHE Public University Rankings and Private University Rankings for Asean, according to the results released on Dec 1.

Among the 10 most highly ranked public universities, four were from Malaysia.

UKM claimed top spot with National University of Singapore (NUS) and Indonesia’s IPB University (Bogor Agricultural University) was in second and third place.

Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Universiti Malaya were at sixth and seventh spot while Universiti Sains Malaysia was at number 10.


Among the 10 most highly ranked private universities, six were from Malaysia with four of these in the top five.

UCSI University and Taylor’s University were at third and fourth spots, respectively, with Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur at fifth place. Joining these institutions were varsities from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.

The ranking only includes universities located in Asean countries that award locally accredited degrees and has a strong focus on quality of Teaching and Learning (40%) and Employability (15-20%).

Research, internationalisation, community engagement, and institutional reputation, or brand value, are also included.On the need for separate private and public university rankings, AppliedHE Ranking Advisory Board Chairperson and City University of Hong Kong Secretary to Council and Court Professor Kevin Downing said, “Private universities are different from public universities, and their respective strengths are not adequately highlighted by existing university rankings that combine both types of university.”

The rankings were based on a mix of university-submitted and publicly available data.

Universities that submit data have their information audited by AppliedHE, and distribute the AppliedHE Ranking Student Survey to their students.

External data from Google Scholar and Google News were also used, alongside a system of peer nominations, whereby universities could nominate other institutions which they held in high regard.

For universities that did not submit data, AppliedHE used estimated or publicly available data.

AppliedHE founder and CEO Mandy Mok said the rankings measure what was most important to students and their parents – the quality of education, and employability.

Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) CEO Prof Datuk Dr Mohammad Shatar Sabran said AppliedHE filled an important need in the global higher education evaluation landscape with a focus on quality of teaching and learning, and especially employment and future careers.

This, he said, makes AppliedHE especially relevant to Malaysian students and parents when making a decision on where to study.

Founded in Singapore, AppliedHE was a globally oriented higher education evaluation and branding company with a focus on bridging the gap between higher education and employment.



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