Malaysia is home to numerous universities that offer tertiary level academic courses in a variety of disciplines and fields. Students can pursue tertiary education at various levels ranging from diploma and A level to bachelor's, master's, and professional doctoral degrees in public and private higher educational institutions, polytechnics, and community colleges. Among the universities in Malaysia, 20 are public universities and 447 are private universities registered, both offer admissions to local and international students.
The higher education sector is responsible for the operation of higher education institutions (HEIs) in Malaysia and is governed by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE). The education sector has the highest national development expenditure, illustrating the Malaysian government's dedication to providing high-quality education. The governance of each university should be taken into account when rating Malaysian universities. A public university is significantly less costly than a private university because it is funded by the government and provides housing for students.
The public universities, on the other hand, not only accept a greater number of students, but also offer a diverse variety of classes, and the students who enrol in public universities are mainly local students who must meet stringent admissions standards. Private colleges have less entrance standards but charge much higher fees, and most do not have lodging for all students, causing students' living expenses to be much higher than at public universities. In contrast to public universities, private universities often offer courses that are more market-relevant, resulting in a much narrower range of courses and less opportunities for students. As a consequence, when ranking universities, it is important to consider whether the university is public or private.
UniRank is a forum for prospective students to study university rankings. UniRank is a leading international higher education database and search engine with feedback and rankings of over 13,800 officially accredited Universities and Colleges in 200 countries. According to UniRank, the public institutions in Malaysia that were accredited with the highest ranking is Universiti Malaya (UM) ranked 1st place, followed by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) ranked 2nd place and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) ranked 3rd place. Whereas the private institutions highest ranked by the CS world ranking is Multimedia University (MU) ranked 16th place, followed by University Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) ranked 19th place and Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) ranked 22nd place.
QS Quacquarelli Symonds is another world-leading provider of services, analytics, and insight to the global higher education market, and it employs a standardised methodology based on six basic metrics that effectively capture university results. Public institutions in Malaysia that were accredited with the highest ranking according to QS world ranking for the year 2021 are Universiti Malaya (UM) ranked at 59th place with 70.1 scores followed by Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) at 132nd place with 52.7 scores and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) at 141st place with 52 scores. The Malaysian private institutions highest ranked by the QS world ranking 2021 is Taylor's University ranked at 379th place with 28.9 scores followed by UCSI University at 391st place with 28.5 scores and University Technology Petronas (UTP) at 439th place with 26 scores.
The list of the best universities in Malaysia according to QS Asia ranking 2021 show different results than QS world ranking 2021. It is listed that public institutions in Malaysia that were accredited with the highest is University Malaya ranked 9th place with 94.6 scores followed by Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) ranked 28th place with 79.8 scores which are similar to the QS world ranking 2021 and the third place is Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) ranked 34th place with 75 scores. Whereas the private institutions highest ranked by the QS world ranking is University Technology Petronas (UTP) ranked 70th with 51 scores followed by Taylor's University ranked at 89th with 46.7 scores and UCSI University ranked at 105th place with 43.3 scores, which are slightly different than the QS world ranking 2021.
In Malaysia, the quality of education is assessed by research bodies that assist individuals in identifying excellent universities. While the frameworks used to assess and rate universities aren't ideal and aren't the only aspect to consider, university rankings and league tables offer a method for students and parents to evaluate higher education institutions' criteria and are easily accessible. Students must seek out high-quality education in order to secure better future jobs and a decision by a funding agency to invest in future studies.
Based on the ranking and insights from three different ranking systems, the top three of the best public and private universities in Malaysia are acknowledged in this list. The best public university based on all of the three ranking system is University of Malaya, the oldest university in Malaysia which is a public research university in Kuala Lumpur.
Similarly ranked as the second-best public university in Malaysia by QS world ranking 2021 and QS asia ranking 2021 is Universiti Putra Malaysia, formerly known as Universiti Pertanian Malaysia, College of Agriculture Malaya, or School of Agriculture and the third best public university in Malaysia is National University of Malaysia is one of six research universities in the country. Whereas ranked third by both UniRank and QS Asia rank 2021 is Science University of Malaysia, is one of the largest universities in terms of enrollment in Malaysia.
Ranking the top three best private universities in Malaysia as according to the above three ranking system. The best private university in Malaysia as ranked by the QS Asia ranking 2021 is Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Petroleum Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), Malaysia's oil and gas multinational company, owns 100% of the university, the second best private university in Malaysia as ranked by the QS Asia ranking 2021 is Taylor's University, established in 1969 as a college and was granted university college status in 2006 and university status in 2010. The third best private university in Malaysia as ranked by QS world ranking 2021 and QS Asia ranking 2021 is UCSI University, previously known as Sedaya, the college was established in 1986 and was granted college status in 1990, followed by university college status in 2008.