Are Rankings Important When Choosing a Private University to Study at in Malaysia?
How Rankings Affect You in Choosing to Study at a Private University in Malaysia
Choosing a university is important as it will help to shape your mind, character and help you to develop the necessary skills for a successful career. Every university and course in Malaysia is different and each student wants different things to fit their education and career goals.
When developing your list of universities to study in Malaysia, students will take into consideration the rankings. There are more than 500 private universities & colleges in Malaysia for students to choose from for their tertiary studies. Without a ranking system in Malaysia, so how do students make the right choice?
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Are Rankings Important When Choosing a Private University to Study at in Malaysia?
Many students do not understand how rankings come about and how to use them as an aid in choosing their university of study.
Each ranking is based on different criteria and different sets of measurements. A university may be ranked number 1 overall but may not the best in the particular field of study that you are interested in. Therefore, just because a university is ranked number 1, doesn’t mean that it would be the best one that suits you and your academic and career goals.
Rankings are based on criteria such as teaching quality, research quality, career prospects, student satisfaction, and other factors.
In Malaysia, there is no ranking system but there is a rating system called SETARA.
It is inevitable for the public to form perceptions based on rankings and/or ratings. SETARA, a rating system developed and introduced by the Higher Education Ministry (MoHE) in 2007, ensures that the standards of HEIs are based on autonomy, quality and institutional performance.
Developed under the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2015-2025 for Higher Education, SETARA employs a rigorous assessment methodology to rate an education institution’s three core functions, namely teaching, research and services. Although measured against the same performance metric, each of the three categories have their own weightage so that their diversity, as well as unique strengths and challenges specific to their niche are fairly represented.
The latest rating exercise was completed in 2018/2019 involving institutions of university and university college status, which performance are rated and weighted as follows:
- Mature universities: Universities which are over 15 years old.
- Emerging universities: Universities which have been established within the last 15 years.
- University colleges: Institutions with university college status regardless of their history.
QS World University Rankings
Increasingly popular in Malaysia is the QS World University Rankings, where many of the public and private universities have participated. The QS ranking is largely determined by reputation, with 50 per cent of an institution’s score derived from reputation survey results gathered from over 40,000 academics across the world.
QS said its rankings are compiled based on six indicators, namely Academic Reputation based on survey responses from 130,000 academics, Employer Reputation based on 75,000 employers’ survey responses on the relationship between institutions and graduates’ employability, Citations Per Faculty, Faculty to Student Ratio, International Faculty Ratio and International Student Ratio.
Times Higher Education Ranking
The Times Higher Education ranking focuses on the teaching quality of an institution.
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022 include more than 1,600 universities across 99 countries and territories, making them the largest and most diverse university rankings to date.
The table is based on 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators that measure an institution’s performance across four areas: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.
Other rankings for UK universities like the Complete University Guide and The Guardian look at the entry requirements of the university as an indication of student quality and the career prospects for graduates.
Students interested in the UK Foreign Branch campuses in Malaysia can look at the ranking systems from the UK.
Exploring the methodologies of different university ranking systems can help you break down your own priorities, and identify what you think is important when choosing a university.
Looking at the Awards Won by Private Universities as a Guide
When choosing a private university in Malaysia to study, choose based on the experience of the university on the particular major or subject that you are interested in.
Look at the awards won in that subject field and the reputation it has. The number of awards won in competitions is evidence that the university is good in that particular field of study.
You can also determine the quality of the course by looking at the following:
- How many students does the university have for the course?
- How long has the course been offered at the university?
- What do other students say about this course at the university?
- Is the university famous for this course?
- What are the awards won by the students in this course?
Does Ranking Matter?
In the end, employability is what matters most from completing a degree, therefore, you choose a university that can equip you with the necessary academic knowledge and technical skills as well as important soft skills so that you will be relevant to the work force.
How famous or popular the name of the particular university is not important but how experienced and the expertise that it has in that particular field is more important to securing you a top job.
EduSpiral Consultant Services has more than a decade experience in placing students at top private universities that fit their academic and career goals. In addition, I have more than 20 years experience in counseling students to choose the right course and university. Do contact me should you need our free services.
What are the Reasons for Choosing a Top Private University in Malaysia?
There are many reasons and motivations for attending university in Malaysia, so ask yourself some serious questions to identify what you want from your university experience.
It goes without saying that one of the most important considerations when it comes to choosing the right university to study in Malaysia is your course of interest and whether that particular university is popular for it. Additionally, many universities in Malaysia may offer the same course but many students fail to consider looking at the subjects, the experience of the university in running the course, awards won as evidence of the university’s capability and the facilities to support the course.
Many students have taken the easy way out and choosing the university that is cheapest, nearest and where most of their friends attend. They fail to understand that what they decide now can affect their future career forever
How to Choose the Best Private University to Study in Malaysia
Choosing a university to study in Malaysia is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. Your decision will be influenced by many criteria.
Starting your university search with the basics will help you identify the universities that will best suit you academically and personally. Each of us has unique needs and values, and what is important to you may not matter to someone else.
The best university in Malaysia will focus on quality, have award winners for the particular courses, years of experience offering the particular course, highly experienced lecturers, a good study environment (not a party university) and good facilities.
Being a sports enthusiast, you may want a university that has the facilities to support your lifestyle. The same goes for school size, cost, and other basic college criteria. By identifying your needs, you can narrow down which universities and focus on the things that will make your university a perfect fit.
In addition, knowing which course you want to study will help in determining which university. Just like signature dishes for restaurants, certain private universities are famous for particular courses. Choosing the best university for that course would ensure that you benefit from their experience.
Furthermore many of the top private universities in Malaysia offer similar courses therefore making your decision a challenging one! To help you develop a good list of criteria, you need to talk to the right counsellors or education consultant who are knowledgeable and experienced.
The best private universities and colleges in Malaysia have excellent facilities, years of experience running the programme, strong student support services, internships and experienced lecturers.
Talk to a Knowledgeable & Experienced Education Consultant to Help you to Choose the Best Private University or College in Malaysia
Choosing a the right university to study after SPM in Malaysia takes time, it is a process in finding out which university in best for you. You need to talk to the right counselors who are knowledgeable and experienced.
A knowledgeable counselor would be able to provide detailed information about the course, facts & evidence to support the job prospects for the course and in-depth information about which university would be suit you. While an experienced counselor would be able to analyse your results, understand your personality & skills to figure out which course and career suits you.