Universiti Malaya (UM), once the country’s best university, has taken a drastic step to reduce its intake for undergraduate students in an effort to enhance its global competitiveness.
The university will now offer a wider range of postgraduate programs and put more emphasis on research and development, one of the key criteria in determining the global university ranking.
Undergraduate students who obtain first class degrees will be also immediately offered with postgraduate scholarship.
Last year, UM was forced out from the world’s best 200 university list published by Times Higher Education Supplement and Quacquarelli Symonds (THES-QS), slipping from position 192 to 246. It rose to a slightly higher position, 230 in 2008 but the fact that it failed to secure the top 200 ranking became an intense debate among the public, academicians and even politicians.
Things got worse for the university when it lost out to Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in the race for the Apex university status this year. Apex, which stands for Accelerated Programme for Excellence, is deemed as a university of excellence and it is part of Malaysia’s attempt to put the country’s best university among the world’s top 50 by the year 2020.