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UKM and UPM climb higher in Asia University Rankings

By Sandhya Menon – June 4, 2020


PETALING JAYA: Two public varsities have improved their positions in the Times Higher Education (THE) Asia University Rankings 2020.

Previously at 170th and 188th spots respectively, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) have secured the 160th and 145th spots in the latest rankings.

A total of eight Malaysian universities were ranked in the eighth edition of the prestigious rankings.

The others are Universiti Malaya (43rd), Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (119th), Universiti Teknologi Petronas (124th); Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (143rd), Universiti Sains Malaysia (156th) and Universiti Malaysia Perlis (165th).

UPM deputy vice-chancellor (Academic and International) Prof Dr M Iqbal Saripan said the varsity’s improvement is a result of teamwork by its officers, students and alumni.

“We are proud of this result and this is one of the indicators that UPM is moving in the right direction, ” he said, adding that it is in line with its vision of becoming a university of international repute.

UPM, he said, focuses on its core of teaching and learning, research and professional services to industries and communities.

“We aim to keep increasing international student intakes to enable our local students to have the opportunity to communicate with individuals from different backgrounds and cultures using the English language to be global citizens.

“We are embracing transformation in our way forward and in our academic transformation plan, and we want to offer the best teaching and learning experience to students to produce future-proof graduates, ” he added.

THE chief knowledge officer Phil Baty said the rankings demonstrate the strength of higher education across Asia and showed that its universities are continuing to establish themselves among the world’s best.

“Covid-19 will undoubtedly have a significant effect on higher education across the world.

“This could include disruption to global talent flow with talent that may have previously moved from Asia to western universities in the region.

“If this plays out, Asian universities are in a fantastic position to continue to boost their international competitiveness, ” Baty added.

Tsinghua University, China tops the rankings, followed by Peking University, China and the National University of Singapore.


In a statement yesterday, THE said the universities were judged on their core missions of teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

UKM vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor attributed UKM’s improvement to the university’s quality research, publication and teaching.

He also lauded the university’s staff for their high-achieving spirit and its consistent push for quality, especially in its publications and teaching and learning process.

“We encourage our researchers to produce high-quality and high-impact journals, ” he added.


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Date of Input: 09/06/2020 | Updated: 09/06/2020 | aslamiah


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