One of Asia’s emerging regional and international study hubs, Malaysia is an increasingly popular choice for international students, and has set an ambitious goal of becoming the world’s sixth largest education exporter by 2020.
Universities in Malaysia already have a strong presence in both global and regional rankings, an
d the country’s home-grown institutions are also joined by a growing selection of international branch campuses, many based at the new EduCity development.
For those considering studying in this dynamic and diverse country, here’s a guide to the top univer
sities in Malaysia, based on the 2016 QS University Rankings: Asia.
Universiti Malaya (UM)
The highest-ranking Malaysian institution is Universiti Malaya (UM), a public research university based in Malaysia’s federal capital and largest city, Kuala Lumpur (which features in the QS Best Student Cities). Malaysia’s oldest university, Universiti Malaya was established in 1949, based on a merger of several existing colleges in neighboring Singapore. It offers courses across the full subject spectrum, with an enrollment of more than 12,000 undergraduate students and more than 11,000 postgraduates.
Universiti Malaya ranked 33rd in the latest QS University Rankings: Asia, and placed 167 in the 2016/17 QS World University Rankings®. It’s a popular choice among international students, especially at postgraduate level; in 2013, almost a quarter of postgraduate students were from outside Malaysia.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
Second among the top universities in Malaysia is the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), also known as the National University of Malaysia (NUM). Like most of the top universities in Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia is publicly funded, with a fairly large intake of students at both undergraduate and graduate levels, teaching a comprehensive range of subjects alongside a strong research focus. It has its main campus in Bangi, a small town in the Selangor region to the south of Kuala Lumpur.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia ranked 57th in the 2013 QS University Rankings: Asia, and 269= in the 2016/17 QS World University Rankings. Having been established only in 1970, UKM also features in the QS Top 50 Under 50 – a ranking of the world’s top 50 universities under 50 years old. It scores especially well for its success in attracting overseas faculty members, ranked 12th in Asia on this indicator two places above Universiti Malaya.