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  "UM, USM Among Global Top 200"

PUTRAJAYA: Universiti Malaya (UM), and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) have been listed as among the top 200 universities in the world. In the World University Rankings conducted by renowned British journal The Times Higher Educational Supplement (THES), UM and USM were ranked 89th and 111th respectively. They beat other reputable universities including Australia¹s University of Technology, Sydney, Penn State University in the United States, Bonn University in Germany, and Canada¹s McMaster University. Four American universities ¬ Harvard University, University of California (Berkeley), Massachusetts Institute of Technology and California Institute of Technology ¬ bagged the top four spots. They were followed by the Britain¹s Oxford University and Cambridge University. WORLD UNIVERSITY RANKINGS

Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Shafie Salleh said while he was proud that two Malaysian universities were ranked favourably, more work was needed to improve the standing and for other local universities to make their mark globally. ³That¹s why I have been calling for more internationalization. There has to be faculty exchange between our universities and foreigners ones,² he told reporters after chairing his ministry¹s post Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. The ranking was based mainly on a survey of 1,300 academics in 88 countries. Other indicators that were measures were the amount of cited research produced by the universities, faculty to student ratio, appeal to foreign students and numbers of renowned academics serving in each university.

Malaysian Qualifications Framework (MQF) steering committee chairperson Prof Datuk Dr Sharifah Hapsah Shahabudin said the journal itself recognized that the indicators could change in coming years and as a result, affect the rankings. ³This is the first time the THES is doing this so we are taking note of it. It is good for us to see which areas to improve on,² she said.

Among the top 10 universities in the world, seven are from US, two from the UK and one from Switzerland. Asia¹s highest rankings universities were Tokyo University which came out 12th and Beijing University at 17th. On the 12th International Medical University (IMU) student who were given> Government loans that was enough to cover their tuition fees, Dr. Shafie said the matter were resolved as all 12 have signed a contract agreeing to terms of loans.

The students were among the 128 top scorers who obtained a perfect cumulative grade point average of 4.0 but failed to secure places in public universities this year despite it being listed as their first choice. Following a public outcry, 99 were offered places in private medical colleges. (The Star, 12 November 2004, Ms 24, Nation)

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