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Study: M’sia Has The 9th Most Number of Universities in Asia But Only 4 are Ranked in The Top 100


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Despite our relatively small size, Malaysia is surprisingly home to one of the world’s highest number of higher learning institutions. Specifically, Malaysia has the 9th most number of universities in Asia and 17th globally.

This is according to a survey by Times Higher Education (THE) as per Statista, a German online platform specialising in data gathering and visualisation.

Malaysia has the 9th most number of universities in Asia, 17th in the world

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According to the study conducted in July 2023, Malaysia has a total of 351 institutions of higher learning, which is more than the number of universities in several developed countries in the list, including the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain.

According to the study, India has the most higher education institutions globally, with a whopping 5,349 universities.

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In second place is our Southeast Asian neighbour Indonesia, with 3,277 universities, followed by the United States (3,180), China (2,495), and Brazil (1,264), which make up the top five globally.

Check out the global rankings via this graphic by Ranking Royals below:


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Accordingly, here are the rankings for Asia:

  1. India (5,349)
  2. Indonesia (3,277)
  3. China (2,495)
  4. Japan (992)
  5. Iran (440)
  6. South Korea (401)
  7. Philippines (366)
  8. Pakistan (359)
  9. Malaysia (351)

So we have the quantity, but how about the quality?

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Despite having the 9th most universities in Asia, most of our higher learning institutions don’t rank that high in terms of performance.

According to THE’s Asia University Rankings 2024, only 4 Malaysian universities are ranked in the top 100, which are the below:

  • Universiti Teknologi Petronas (52nd in Asia)
  • Universiti Malaya (65th in Asia)
  • Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (85th in Asia)
  • Universiti Sains Malaysia (99th in Asia)
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So, what do you guys think of the rankings? Share your thoughts with us in the comments. 


Also read: “Nation must come first” – Politician Tells UiTM to Open Admissions of Surgical Course to non-Bumis

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