KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 ― Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) hurtled to the 49th spot to make it to QS Quacquarelli Symonds's top 50 regional rankings this year, while Universiti Malaya remained the country's top school, climbing two places to 27th.

In this year's expanded ranking by the London-based education group, 20 Malaysian universities ranked in the top 350 with three Malaysian universities breaking into the region’s top 200 ― Taylor’s University (179), Universiti Teknologi MARA (181), and Malaysia’s Multimedia University (193).

“Malaysia keeps five universities among the region’s top 100,” said QS in a statement on the release of its 2016 installment of the QS University Rankings: Asia.

The five universities are Universiti Malaya (27th), UPM (49th), Universiti Sains Malaysia (51st), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (55th) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (63rd). UPM jumped 17 places to rank 49th.

The 2016 report added that Universiti Malaya is the only Malaysian university to achieve a benchmark score of 100.0 in any one of the ten metrics used by QS.

“It achieves the full weighted score for both proportion of inbound exchange students and proportion of outbound exchange students ― indicative of its successful internationalisation,” said QS.

Malaysia’s most productive research university was the Universiti Teknologi Petronas (127th overall), which achieved a score of 72.9 for papers per faculty ― QS’s metric for measuring the research output of a university.

Malaysia’s most impactful research was produced by Universiti Sains Malaya that scored 57.1 for citations per paper, QS’s metric for measuring the number of times, on average, a university’s papers are cited by researchers around the world.

Neighbouring Singapore continues to occupy the region's top 10 universities, with the National University of Singapore remaining first.

The island republic's Nanyang Technological University climbed to third from the fourth spot from last year.

Hong Kong's University of Hong Kong remained the second best university in the region for the second year running.

The 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) aims to see two Malaysian universities ranked among the top 100 tertiary education institutions on the QS rankings.

The QS World University Rankings is an annual league table of the top universities in the world. This year, 3,539 institutions were considered for inclusion and 891 were ranked.

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