KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s two best universities slipped to the middle of a Saudi-based list of the world’s top 1,000 universities, according to a news report.
Universiti Sains Malaysia, based in Penang, ranked the highest at 482nd position – a sharp drop from 315th last year – while the University of Malaya slipped from 492 to 498.
Universiti Putra Malaysia ranked in the bottom half at 610 – but had risen from 778 in 2014.
The rankings, the fourth in an annual series, are by the Saudi-based Centre for World University Rankings, according to Malaysian Insider.
The centre uses eight indicators, among them the number of varsity alumni who have won international awards; how many former students hold CEO positions; number of its academicians who have won prizes. Other factors, including publications, citations and patents.
Eight of the top 10 are US universities.
Harvard University topping the rankings with a perfect score of 100, followed by Stanford (98.66) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (97.54), followed by two British universities, Cambridge (96.81) and Oxford (96.46).
The highest-ranking Asian university was the University of Tokyo at 13th, followed by Kyoto at 17th place.
The DAP’s Zairil Khir Johari, MP for Bukit Bendera, was quoted as saying that Malaysian universities should take part in all international rankings to compare the consistency of their ranking.
He said it was strange that Malaysian universities had good rankings only on the QS Quacquarelli Symonds list, which places the University of Malaya at 151st in the world.
Other universities such as National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore had consistent rankings through all lists.
The results of the Saudi-based CWUR rankings were consistent with others such as Thomson Reuters and the Times Higher Education Rankings, before Malaysian varsities decided to boycott it.
Click and view the entire ranking by country here: