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Top Universities & Colleges in Malaysia

Why go abroad when you can study in Malaysia! :)

Malaysia has over 590 higher education institutions and more than 1,270,000 students enrolled. 

With such a vast selection of universities and colleges, you may seek guidance in finding the right learning institution. 

Therefore, let us guide you through Malaysia's best universities and colleges. 

Top Universities And Colleges in Malaysia

Students graduating from a Malaysian university.

Malaysia's higher education system consistently improves and offers a range of top-rated colleges and universities. 

These institutions have gained recognition both locally and internationally. 

Hence, we have compiled a complete list of Malaysian education institutions according to the QS World University Ranking for 2024 below:

No.  University  QS World Ranking 2024


Universiti Malaya (UM) 65
2 Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) 137 
3 Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) 158
4 Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)  159
5 Universiti Teknologi Malaysia  188
6 Taylor's University 284
7 UCSI University 300
8 Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) 307 
Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)  538
10 Universiti Teknologi MARA - UiTM 555
11 INTI International University 556
12 Sunway University 586
13 Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU) Malaysia  621-630
14 Management and Science University  621-630
15 International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)  711-720 
16 Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN)  761-770 
17 Universiti Malaysia Pahang 781-790
18 Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)  801-850
19 Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI)  951-1000
20 Multimedia University (MMU)  1001-1200
21 universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) 1001-1200
22 Universiti Malaysia Perlis 1001-1200
23 Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) 1001-1200
24 Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) 1001-1200
25 Universiti Malaysia Terengganu 1001-1200
26 Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) 1001-1200
27 Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia  1001-1200

Also read: Malaysia University Ranking 2024 here!

Other than QS Quacquarelli Symonds, the Malaysian university and college ranking can be determined by SETARA. 


SETARA was developed under the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2015-2025 for Higher Education. 

This rating system uses a strict assessment methodology to evaluate the local educational institutions. 

It is based on three performance metrics -- teaching, research, and services, and the institutions' status, to be fairly represented. 

Below is the breakdown of the SETARA performance metrics weightage:

  Mature University Emerging University University College 
General 40% 40% 40%

Teaching and learning

30% 40% 50%
Research 20% 15% 5%
Services 10% 5% 5%

 Malaysian universities and college status

As for the Malaysian learning instituitions' status, you may refer to the table below: 

Types of universities and college Status remarks
Mature universities Over 15 years of operation.
Emerging universities Established within 15 years.
University colleges  Institutions with university college status regardless of the history.

SETARA rating-tier 

The SETARA rating system employs a comprehensive six-tier categorization scheme to assess performance. 

Rating-tier Category
Tier Six Outstanding
Tier Five  Excellent 
Tier Four Very Good
Tier Three Good
Tier Two Satisfactory
Tier One  Weak

Best Universities in Malaysia (SETARA ranking)

No.  Universities SETARA ranking
1 Universiti Malaya Outstanding: 6
2 Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)  Outstanding: 6
3 Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Outstanding: 6
4 Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Outstanding: 6
5 Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)  Outstanding: 6
6 Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) Outstanding: 6
7 International Medical Malaysia (IMU) Outstanding: 6
8 Monash University Malaysia  Outstanding: 6 
9 Universiti Malaysia Pahang Excellent: 5
10 Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)  Excellent: 5
11 International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) Excellent: 5
12 Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Excellent: 5
13 Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) Excellent: 5
14 Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) Excellent: 5
15 Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) Excellent: 5
16 Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) Excellent: 5
17 Curtin University, Malaysia  Excellent: 5
18 The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNM)  Excellent: 5
19 Asia Pacific University of Technology and innovation (APU) Excellent: 5
20 Management and Science University (MSU) 

Excellent: 5

Why University and College Rankings Are Important?

When deciding on pursuing higher education in Malaysia, students need to consider the rankings of universities. 

These rankings serve purposes, including providing a quality check for students to determine the caliber of higher education institutions in Malaysia. 

Rankings are often based on research output, academic excellence, and faculty credentials, which can provide a better career prospect. 

Therefore, highly-ranked universities usually provide better faculty, facilities, and academic resources to enhance students' learning experience.

They also offer financial aid and scholarships to attract more students to enroll in the institution. 

Besides, university rankings can help students to identify which institutions excel in their chosen academic discipline

It shows that the university rankings are not solely based on reputation. But it also depends on the specific study field. 

With that, the students can make informed decisions that align with their interests or prospect planning. 

When choosing a university, it is vital to remember that rankings should not be the sole determining factor. 

Instead, as a student, you should carefully consider your personal preferences, career, financial constraints, and the specific courses each institution provides. 

Ultimately, the ideal university for a student caters to their unique needs and objectives.

Our goal is to help you find the right course and university. Feel free to check out our website for useful Guides and Articles!


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