Updated: Malaysian universities continue to make progress in THE World University Rankings 2023

April 17, 2024

EasyUni Staff

University rankings play a crucial role in shaping students' decisions when it comes to choosing the right institution for higher education. As the demand for quality education continues to rise, students need to have access to reliable and up-to-date information. This article will delve into the latest (2023) university ranking report and analyse its findings to help students make informed decisions.

Factors taken into consideration:

The latest university ranking report, released by Times Higher Education (THE) for 2023, provides a comprehensive overview of global universities. The report considers various factors such as teaching quality, research output, international diversity, and industry collaborations to rank institutions worldwide.

Exploring the Rankings:

To make the analysis more relevant, let's focus on the universities located in Malaysia and their rankings. According to the report, the highest-ranked university in Malaysia is the University of Malaya, securing the 351-400 band. This is followed closely by the Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) and Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), both of which secured the 401-500 bands. Fourth to seventh-placed universities (in the 601-800 band) are Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).

List of THE world university Ranking (Malaysia Universities) 2023

Source: THE World University Ranking 2023


Key Findings and Analysis:


Research Output:

The report highlights the importance of research output in determining university rankings. It suggests that institutions with a robust research ecosystem tend to perform better. This is evident in the case of the UM and UTP, which have contributed substantially to research in their respective fields.


International Diversity

Another significant factor considered in the rankings is the international diversity of students and faculty. Institutions that foster an inclusive and diverse learning environment tend to score higher. The report indicates that UM and UPM have made significant efforts to attract international students and faculty members, enhancing their global reputation.


Teaching Quality:

While teaching quality is not explicitly measured in this report, it indirectly affects rankings through indicators such as student-to-faculty ratio and faculty qualifications. These indicators reflect the emphasis placed on providing high-quality education. The report suggests that universities must continuously strive to improve teaching standards to enhance their overall ranking. UPM and UKM are the top two universities for this factor. 


Importance of Industry Collaborations:

The report highlights the significance of industry collaborations in fostering innovation and preparing students for the job market. Universities that actively engage with industries tend to score higher in the rankings. Both the UTP and UTM have established strong partnerships with industries, resulting in valuable opportunities for their students.



(photo courtesy: upm.edu.my)

Performance of Ranked Universities in Malaysia

Now, let's take a closer look at the performance of six ranked universities in Malaysia based on the data provided in the report. By analysing their rankings across various categories, we can better understand their strengths.

1. University of Malaya:

Rank: 351–400

Overall Score: 45.0–46.9

Teaching: 37.4

Research: 32.6

Citations: 61.2

Industry Income: 42.7

International Outlook: 82.7

The University of Malaya, securing a position in the 351–400 band, exhibits notable international outlook and citation strengths. With an impressive international outlook score of 82.7, the university has successfully attracted students and faculty from diverse backgrounds, contributing to its global reputation. Moreover, its high citation score highlights the impact and influence of its research output within the academic community.

2. Universiti Teknologi Petronas:

Rank: 401–500

Overall Score: 42.1–44.9

Teaching: 26.8

Research: 33.8

Citations: 58.9

Industry Income: 77.6

International Outlook: 76.7

Universiti Teknologi Petronas, located in the 401–500 band, excels in industry income and international outlook. Its strong industry connections and collaborations contribute to a high score of 77.6 in industry income, indicating its success in translating academic knowledge into practical applications. Additionally, a solid international outlook score of 76.7 reflects the institution's efforts to foster a global learning environment.

3. Universiti Utara Malaysia:

Rank: 401–500

Overall Score: 42.1–44.9

Teaching: 33.4

Research: 25.7

Citations: 60.2

Industry Income: 41.2

International Outlook: 74.8

Universiti Utara Malaysia demonstrates strengths in teaching and citations. With a teaching score of 33.4, the university prioritises providing high-quality education to its students. Moreover, a commendable score of 60.2 in citations indicates that its research output has significantly impacted the academic community, contributing to its overall ranking.

4. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia:

Rank: 601–800

Overall Score: 34.0–39.2

Teaching: 37.6

Research: 23.9

Citations: 47.1

Industry Income: 40.1

International Outlook: 65.7

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia stands in the 601–800 band and performs well in teaching and international outlook. With a teaching score of 37.6, the university emphasises providing a high-quality learning experience for its students. Additionally, an international outlook score of 65.7 indicates efforts to promote global perspectives and attract international students and faculty.

5. Universiti Putra Malaysia:

Rank: 601–800

Overall Score: 34.0–39.2

Teaching: 38.5

Research: 28.2

Citations: 28.8

Industry Income: 74.3

International Outlook: 79.4

Universiti Putra Malaysia excels in teaching, industry income, and international outlook. With a strong teaching score of 38.5, the university emphasises delivering excellent educational programs. Furthermore, a remarkable industry income score of 74.3 reflects its success in fostering collaborations with industries and providing valuable student opportunities. The university's high international outlook score of 79.4 indicates its efforts to create a diverse and inclusive learning environment.

6. Universiti Sains Malaysia:

Rank: 601–800

Overall Score: 34.0–39.2

Teaching: 36.1

Research: 25.3

Citations: 43.2

Industry Income: 44.8

International Outlook: 60.6

Universiti Sains Malaysia demonstrates strengths in teaching and industry income. With a teaching score of 36.1, the university focuses on delivering quality education to its students. Additionally, its industry income score of 44.8 suggests successful collaborations with industries, fostering innovation and employability among students.



Analysing the performance of ranked universities in Malaysia provides valuable insights into their strengths and areas for improvement. Each institution exhibits unique qualities, whether it be excelling in teaching, research, citations, industry collaborations, or international outlook. By considering these factors, students can make more informed decisions when choosing the university that aligns with their academic goals and aspirations. Remember to explore beyond the rankings and delve into each university's programs, faculty, campus life, and other factors that matter to you personally.


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