‘Apex university’ USM slides to 335th place


Malaysia’s ‘apex university’ has dropped 34 places to 335th spot in the QS world university rankings. Cambridge University tops the latest world ranking.

Universiti Malaya is the only Malaysian U in the top 200 coming in at 167th spot, up 40 places.

These rankings are by no means free of shortcomings but here’s the full ranking on the QS website all the same.

We are well behind other Asian universities. According to QS:

Hong Kong University repeats its 2010 performance by taking the top spot in Asia, moving up one place to 22nd and increasing the gap with University of Tokyo to three places. HKU is joined by fellow Hong Kong institutions CUHK and HKUST in the top 50, and with HKU, University of Tokyo and National University of Singapore cementing their places in the top 30, leading Asian institutions are now proving on a year-on-year basis that they operate at a comparable level to the world’s best.

Other Malaysian universities have also slid down the scale (previous year’s rankings in brackets), according to a report in The Star.

UM – 167 (207)
UKM – 279 (263)
USM – 335 (309)
UPM – 358 (319)
UTM – 401-450 (365).
IIUM – 451-500 (not ranked)
UTM – 601+ (not ranked)

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It goes without saying that a university that emphasized on research and merit admission produces better graduates which in turn help the country economically in their contributions. I have seen with my own eyes, (certain) Malays who will be placed last in a mixed race school are admitted to sekolah sains. In recent years, better qualified Chinese were denied admission to UM while lesser qualified Chinese were admitted. The reason is clear, they want to give the less capable bumis to believe they are as good as the good chinese when in fact they are just the average Chinese. Singapore… Read more »


Just walk into the U and attend some lectures. We notice too many “kangkung” Dr, Assoc Prof and Prof presenting lectures. They speak rotten English and write atrocious English. This also happens in other local Us.

This is education in the country.


So long as the university admission criterion is not based on merit, our universities should not have high hope of climbing the ladders of ranking.


Actually UM is ahead of Mahidol. Mahidol came in at number 229 in the new QS list. The one you looked at was last year’s ranking of Asian universities.


UM is inching ahead, and the lead between UM and other Malaysian universities is widening steadily. One reason is the strong emphasis being placed by the current leadership to research and publication in top-tier journals. And this can explain the improvements in the QS Ranking and also Shanghai Jiao Tong rankings. Of course, there’s a long way to go before UM is on par with the likes of for instance NUS, but steps are being taken in the right direction.


USM down the tube only because of their uncontactable VC Zul….even his secretary (sometimes) doesnt know where he is…..and kampong Medical School in Kota Bahru must be dragging them down…

VC Zul has already decided that the rankings are a worthess exercise therefore giving him a free hand to wallow in inferiority…

CEOs in US are paid by the millions because they alone can swing a large oraganisation the right direction…

In Malaysia we insist in placing numbskulls as bosses of our institutions….so pay the price..


Once upon a time, prior to 1969, UM was ranked so high that a 3rd class degree in Engineering was sufficient for post graduate studies in the UK.

Today, it is ranked among the ‘also ran.’
It is a also a place where the good performance expectation is owed by so many, to so few.


UM seems to be making improvements…possibly due to their Ghauth?

Pookey Moon

UM is making improvement due to Ghauth? Have you forgotten that UM’s ranking also slided last year when he was in charge? Keith, don’t take the ranking too seriously. 40 places swing in one year? That can’t be right. Can the quality of a university swings that much in one year? Something’s not right.


I cannot agree more. In fact the ranking is highly correlated with financial power. If the university has the resources (financial), it can always employ those who are able to publish. Look at the universities in Singapore. I wonder how many of their academic staff are local?


Could it be due to the famous findings of Dr Seah (of Universiti Malaya Hospital?) on the pristine conditions of sperm after 56 hours in the rectum?

najib manaukau

I am not at all surprised at MU’s very low ranking. when Malaysian politicians are involved in the running of MU !

Phua Kai Lit

It is interesting to note that certain countries with small populations (less than 10 million people, with some that have less than 5 million people) can have universities that rank amongst the top 50 to 100 in the world e.g. New Zealand, Scandinavian countries. Singapore too, of course.

The rankings of the Hong Kong universities are also very impressive.

This probably means that they are able to retain their best brains as well as attract brains from other parts of the world.


Singapore universities (NUS & NTU) benefited from the enrolment of many talented young Malaysians who are denied entry to their courses of choice in their home country. They will likely to graduate, settle down and contribute to the little red dot as their predesesors in the last 3-4 decades.

Syiok Syiok

USM now lives on fading legacy hence no surprise ranking keeps slipping.
Firstly command of English is deteriorating to the extent that the teaching faculty conduct lectures with rojak command of Bahasa/English; hence produce majority who write thesis not easily comprehended by foreign readers (eg the word principle becomes princip etc even Dewan Bahasa Pustaka cannot catch up with linguo terms created – sure heboh !).


Hu Hu still remember I used to frequent usm swimming pool in late 70’s.