KUALA LUMPUR, 2 NOVEMBER 2021 - Universiti Malaya (UM) has been ranked 8th in the Quacquarelli-Symonds (QS) University Rankings: Asia (QS-AUR) 2022, ascending one place from last year. This unprecedented achievement sees UM improving on last year’s ground-breaking feat of breaking into the top 10 Asian universities for the first time since the inauguration of the QS-AUR in 2009. UM has consistently improved its performance by over 30 places over the last 11 consecutive years. UM remains the nation’s best in its overall position and 3rd among ASEAN universities. According to QS, UM is placed within the top 2% of the 687 Asian universities ranked in QS-AUR 2022.
UM tops Asia’s universities for the international research network indicator for the 3rd successive year. Among the remaining indicators, UM registered improvements in employer reputation, academic reputation, and staff with PhD. Areas requiring attention include inbound exchange students, outbound exchange students, international students, international faculty, citations per paper, faculty-student, and papers per faculty. Nationally, UM is placed first among the 36 Malaysian universities ranked in QS-AUR 2022 in the academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per paper, and international research network indicators.
According to Dato’ Professor Ir. Dr. Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor, Vice-Chancellor, UM is seeking to explore other global options for research collaboration that will contribute to stronger global impact.
“We are planning to venture to the African and Latin America region where there are many opportunities for research collaboration such as infectious disease, poverty and development studies as well as capacity building. We have already established the UM North-South Research Centre (UMNSRC). UMNSRC is a research centre focusing on comparative studies regarding economic, political, social and cultural issues around the world. There are four centres under UMNSRC, two of which are the Centre of Latin American Studies (CLAS) and Africa-Asia Development University Network (AADUN).
“The centres work hard to conduct research projects and organise activities to strengthen Malaysia's bilateral relationship with the respective partner countries. Therefore, I think that we are on the right track in placing the foundation for these ventures,” he said.
Another exciting capacity building initiative is the Erasmus+ Building Social Research Capacities in Higher Education Institutions (BRECIL) led by UM. The project had as its main objective to develop human capital and facilitate individual learning and institutional mechanisms in Social Science research in higher education institutions in Lao PDR and Malaysia.
“It was envisaged that at the end of the project, Lao PDR research capacity will be enhanced and that the project will have contributed to greater intra ASEAN mobility among the higher education community. The impact of this project will be significant and I am proud that UM is contributing to the region.
“In tandem with our tagline, “Serving the Nation, Impacting the World”, we are actively involved in global networks and associations such as the Presidents’ Forum of Southeast Asia and Taiwan Universities (SATU Presidents’ Forum), Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), ASEAN University Network (AUN), and Asian Universities Alliance (AUA) of which we hold the Executive Presidency for the 2021-2022 term.
“We are also proud that this year, Dato' Prof. Dr. Adeeba Kamarulzaman from the Faculty of Medicine, has been appointed as a member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Science Council, a high-level Scientific Advisory Group that will act as the voice of scientific leadership and will advise on advances in science and technology that could directly impact global health.”
Even as UM pursues its relentless bid to serve the nation against the Covid-19 pandemic, it manages to rise above the pandemic and continues to maintain its education and research quality.
“This is remarkable when you realize that the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) is one of the Covid-19 treatment centres while on campus, we hosted one of the nation’s vaccination centres (PPV). Adding to that, the Tropical Infectious Diseases Research & Education Centre (TIDREC) was appointed as one of the assessment bodies in performing the evaluation of COVID-19 diagnostics test kits,” Dato’ Hamdi said.
“Our challenges for the past two years include navigating and adapting to the new normal, international student and staff recruitment, student mobility, research funding, and movement restriction. Despite these challenges, we are blessed with a steep talent-pool, dedicated staff and effective strategic plan.
“I am deeply grateful for the support from our Chancellor, Pro-Chancellors and Board of Directors. My sincerest appreciation especially to Yang Berhormat Datuk Seri Dr. Noraini Ahmad, Minister of Higher Education for her unwavering support and leadership. I would also like to thank the University community – our staff and students for their commitment and dedication towards the achievement of the university’s performance in the QS-AUR 2022.
“We are committed to continue providing world-class education and quality research in line with our pursuit to be a global university impacting the world,” he added.