The 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) was released on 17 August 2014 by the Centre for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Since 2003, ARWU has been presenting the world Top 500 universities annually based on transparent methodology and reliable data. It has been recognized as the precursor of global university rankings and the most trustworthy one. University of Malaya is ranked at 377 this year and has improved from its position of 401 to 500 in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Universiti Science Malaysia is ranked in the group of 401 to 500 while both Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia are at 501 to 600.
UM Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dato’ Dr. Mohd Amin Jalaludin said that the improvement in the ranking was encouraging. “This is a significant jump which indicates that the strategic plan that UM has put in place from 2011 to strengthen its fundamentals in teaching and learning, research, innovations, publications and internationalization has delivered positive results”, said Prof. Amin.
Dr. Ying Cheng, who is the Centre for World-Class Universities Executive Director at Shanghai Jiao Tong University said the ARWU is conducted by researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong and ranked more than 1,200 universities annually, and published the best 500 varsities based on a set of objective indicators and third-party data. According to Dr. Cheng, UM stands out as it has several highly cited researchers who have published more than 2,000 WoS papers. “These include Prof. Dr. Saidur Rahman Abdul Hakim from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and was recently named in a report entitled The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds : 2014 by Thomson Reuters on researchers around the globe who have produced work that is most frequently cited by peers,” he said.
Harvard University topped the list this year followed by Stanford, MIT, Berkeley, Cambridge, Princeton, Caltech, Columbia, Chicago and Oxford. It is worth noting that UM, besides working with four Nobel Laureates, is doing collaborative research with many of the top universities on this list. Prof. Amin concluded “The ARWU rating is merely an indicator of UM’s position relative to other universities in the world. The more important task is for UM to use these indicators as a gauge to build a strong foundation. The result provides a barometer to the university for it to improve its performance by examining gaps and shortages in our achievements based on the criteria measured.”
Methodology For ARWU
Selection of Universities
ARWU considers every university that has any Nobel Laureates, Fields Medalists, Highly Cited Researchers, or papers published in Nature or Science. In addition, universities with significant amount of papers indexed by Science Citation Index-Expanded (SCIE) and Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) are also included. In total, more than 1200 universities are actually ranked and the best 500 are published on the web.
Ranking Criteria and Weights
Universities are ranked by several indicators of academic or research performance, including alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, highly cited researchers, papers published in Nature and Science, papers indexed in major citation indices, and the per capita academic performance of an institution. For each indicator, the highest scoring institution is assigned a score of 100, and other institutions are calculated as a percentage of the top score.
The distribution of data for each indicator is examined for any significant distorting effect; standard statistical techniques are used to adjust the indicator if necessary. Scores for each indicator are weighted as shown below to arrive at a final overall score for an institution.
The highest scoring institution is assigned a score of 100, and other institutions are calculated as a percentage of the top score. An institution's rank reflects the number of institutions that sit above it.
Indicators and Weights for ARWU
(Insert Table 1)