Friday, October 06, 2006

UKM makes top 200 — for the first time

UKM makes top 200 — for the first time
06 Oct 2006
June Ramli

KUALA LUMPUR: For the first time ever, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia is among the world’s top 200 universities.Ranked 185th by The Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) in its 2006 rankings published yesterday, UKM improved by an impressive 104 places from the 289th spot last year.

In achieving its best position so far, UKM beat well-known universities such as University of Minnesota in the United States, which was placed 187th, University of Reading, Britain (192), and University of Wollongong, Australia (196).Sadly though, Universiti Malaya, which was ranked among the world’s top 100 universities two years ago, continued its downward slide.In its worst placing ever, the nation’s oldest university tied with the University of Reading for the 192nd spot. It had slipped to 169th spot last year from a commendable 89th in 2004 when it was the only Malaysian university which made THES’ top-200 list.When contacted yesterday, both vice-chancellors of UKM and UM declined to comment on the latest rankings.

Instead, UKM’s Datuk Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin and UM’s Datuk Rafiah Salim said they would be making a joint statement today.But former UKM vice-chancellor, Prof Datuk Mohd Salleh Mohd Yasin, credited the university’s improved placing to the concise information provided on its website.

"We knew they (THES) were looking at our website, to look at the information and see whether it was easy to use. Everyone put a lot of effort into this and I guess the brief features showing the academicians at work also helped," he said.

Salleh said UKM had also produced a lot of brochures which were distributed by lecturers attending seminars and conferences abroad."It was a simple one-page brochure to promote the university to as many people as possible," he said. Salleh, who was UKM’s vice-chancellor for the last three years until he retired on Aug 27, said he was proud of the university’s achievement and credited the hard work put in by the staff."The university would not have gotten where it is today without the support of the staff," he added.

As for international institutions, American and British universities dominate the rankings for the top 100 universities in the world.In fact, all 13 top universities are from the two countries. Harvard University (United States) leads the pack, followed by Britain’s University of Cambridge and University of Oxford.

The US has 33 universities ranked in the top 100. Britain has 15, while Australia and the Netherlands have seven each. Switzerland and France are next with five, while Hong Kong, Japan, Canada and Germany each have three institutions among the 100 top universities.
China and India, the world’s two most populous countries, have two each along with Singapore, New Zealand and Belgium. The highest-ranking Asian university is Beijing University which is placed 15th while the National University of Singapore is ranked 19th.

THES looked at 500 universities worldwide and asked 3,703 academics to pick their 30 best universities in terms of research carried out.It also takes into account responses from 736 employers globally. Other factors include the ratio of academic staff to students and a university’s ability to draw foreign students and world-renowned academics.

Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia also improved in this year’s standings – UPM rose by 102 places from 394 to 292, while USM climbed from 326 to 277.
Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang described this year’s results as a double shame for UM. “Not only did it slide further but UM also fell behind UKM. This is unacceptable for Malaysia's premier university. There is need for a shake-up,” he said.He added that although UKM should be commended for its place in this year’s rankings, Malaysia’s top public universities should rank among the top 50. Lim attributed Malaysian universities' poor ranking to the failure of the institutions “to practise real meritocracy in academic appointments and promotions, as well as in student intake.”
p/s.. Dato Sallleh said ""We knew they (THES) were looking at our website, to look at the information and see whether it was easy to use. Everyone put a lot of effort into this and I guess the brief features showing the academicians at work also helped," and produced a lot of brochures to distributed by the lectures when they joining a seminar abroad.
hurm... like during our school time la, we know what our teacher will ask during the exam a.k.a 'soalan spot', so we worked hard for the spot question only about the quality? ( but i'm still not agree with kit siang).
baldimerah :: i'm ex ukm too.. nk bangga ke tak? xyah kot..xde effect pon. huhuhu

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