Egypt and Malaysia are among the fastest improving higher education systems in developing countries over the past year, according to Times Higher Education’s latest ranking.
Both countries increased their representation in the THE Emerging Economies University Rankings 2019 despite rising competition from mainland China, with Egypt claiming 19 spots, up from nine last year, and Malaysia taking 11, also up from nine.
Two of Egypt’s leading institutions made significant gains in the table. Suez Canal University is ranked joint 114th, up from the 251-300 band last year, having made significant improvements in citations and industry income, while Mansoura University is placed at joint 137th, up from the 201-250 band, largely thanks to a rise in its citations score, as well as an improved international outlook score. Overall, seven Egyptian universities feature in the top 200 of the table, up from just two last year.
Meanwhile, six of Malaysia’s institutions have made progress in the list, including its flagship University of Malaya, which climbs nine places to enter the top 20 in joint 18th position. The institution improved across all five areas underpinning the methodology: teaching, research, citations, industry income and international outlook.
An analysis of country performance based on universities that feature in both the 2019 and 2018 tables show that Egypt’s and Malaysia’s average overall scores rose by almost three points, largely driven by improvements to their citation impact scores. In comparison, India’s average score improved by about 1.6 points. In addition, Malaysia’s average scores for the 13 individual performance indicators in the ranking all improved since last year.
Azlin Norhaini Mansor, senior lecturer in education policy and leadership at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, said that volume of publications and citations have become key performance indicators for lecturers in the country, as well as “prerequisites for promotion”, which helps to explain Malaysia’s rankings rise.
“It’s either ‘publish and get cited’ or ‘you will perish’,” she said.
However, she added, Malaysian universities still had work to do in “promoting professionalism among lecturers” to ensure that academics’ work was “ethical”.
Overall, 442 universities from 43 countries feature in the table. Any country deemed an advanced emerging, secondary emerging or frontier economy by the FTSE Country Classification process is eligible for inclusion in the ranking.
The list is based on the same range of 13 performance indicators used in the overall THE World University Rankings 2019, but the weightings have been adjusted.
Emerging Economies University Rankings 2019: the top 10
|Emerging Economies rank 2019||Emerging Economies rank 2018||Position in World University Rankings 2019||Institution||Country/region||Overall score|
|4||5||=93||University of Science and Technology of China||China||62.6|
|5||3||=199||Lomonosov Moscow State University||Russian Federation||59.7|
|8||7||189||Shanghai Jiao Tong University||China||56.5|
|9||9||=156||University of Cape Town||South Africa||56.4|
|10||10||170||National Taiwan University||Taiwan||55.2|