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Best universities in Malaysia 2024

Explore the best universities in Malaysia, based on data collected by Times Higher Education

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October 6 2023
Best universities in Malaysia


Top 6 universities in Malaysia 2024

Scroll down for the full list of best universities in Malaysia

Malaysia Rank 2024  World University Rank 2024   World University Rank 2023  University City/area
1  251–300   351–400  University of Malaya Kuala Lumpur
2  301–350   401–500  Universiti Teknologi Petronas Seri Iskandar
=3  401–500   601–800  Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Selangor
=3  401–500   601–800  Universiti Sains Malaysia Pulau Pinang
=3  401–500   601–800  Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Johor
=3  401–500   401–500  Universiti Utara Malaysia Kedah Darul Aman

Malaysia is a country in South-east Asia known for its natural beauty and diverse population.

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Made up of two main land masses, the Malaysian Peninsula and Malaysian Borneo, the country is known equally for its cosmopolitan capital and its wildlife-rich rainforests.

By contrast, Kuala Lumpur – the nation’s capital – is a bustling metropolis, often used as a stepping stone to many other major South Asian destinations. Featuring the iconic Petronas Towers, the city’s impressive skyline is just one of KL’s many attractions. ​

Street food is incredibly popular, and you can expect a varied cuisine with Indian, Chinese and Malay influences.

Among all of this are some outstanding universities, which we have listed below, based on data collected for the THE World University Rankings 2024.

=3. Universiti Utara Malaysia

Universiti Utara Malaysia is a public university that was established in 1984.

The university’s three faculties focus on business, arts and sciences, and law, government and international studies.

Most undergraduate programmes are taught in English, and students are expected to pass a test to prove their proficiency in English. You must also learn the Malay language during your degree, and you will be tested on it at the end of your course.

=3. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia is a public research university with a focus on engineering, science and technology.

It offers courses in subjects ranging from architecture and accounting, to electrical engineering and Islamic studies.

The institution has two campuses, one in the centre of the country's capital, Kuala Lumpur, and the other in the city of Johor Bahru, the state capital of Johor state, which is at the southern tip of peninsular Malaysia. The latter location is UTM’s main campus and there are 10 residential colleges at this site. 

=3. Universiti Sains Malaysia

Founded in 1969, the Universiti Sains Malaysia was the second university to be established in the country. 

The university specialises in the sciences and courses are offered in a number of scientific disciplines, including natural sciences, medical sciences, and building sciences and technology, along with courses in arts, humanities and education.

Alongside the university’s three academic campuses, it also has 17 research centres dedicated to a range of specialisations, including archaeology, policy research and international studies.

=3. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia was established in 1970. It has campuses in Bangi, Cheras and Kuala Lumpur.

UKM’s Tun Seri Lanang Library is one of the biggest university libraries in Malaysia with a collection of over 2 million books, journals, e-books, and e-journals. 

Key areas of focus for the university are energy related, which include earth sciences and biotechnology. Research from the university has helped propel various Malaysian industries, within engineering, architecture and food science. 

2. Universiti Teknologi Petronas

The Universiti Teknologi Petronas is a private research university that was established in 1997. It is owned by Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), a Malaysian oil and gas company.

The university works alongside PETRONAS to conduct research in six key areas: self-sustainable building, transport infrastructure, health analytics, hydrocarbon recovery, contaminant management, and autonomous systems.

The university is located in Seri Iskandar, a town in western Malaysia.

There are two undergraduate faculties within the university: the faculty of engineering and the faculty of science and information technology. There is also the Centre for Foundation Studies, as well as the Centre for Graduate Studies.

1. University of Malaya

The University of Malaya, a public research university in Kuala Lumpur, is Malaysia’s oldest university, founded in 1905.

Initially established to address the shortage of doctors in the country, the university has maintained its position as a leading medical school.

It also offers bachelor’s degrees right through to doctoral qualifications across a range of other disciplines including economics, law, engineering, accountancy, linguistics and education.

The university also partners with several institutions across the globe, with links to Australia, France, Japan and the UK.

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The top universities in Malaysia 2024

Click on each institution to see its full World University Rankings 2024 results

Malaysia Rank 2024  World University Rank 2024   World University Rank 2023  University City/area
1  251–300   351–400  University of Malaya Kuala Lumpur
2  301–350   401–500  Universiti Teknologi Petronas Seri Iskandar
=3  401–500   601–800  Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Selangor
=3  401–500   601–800  Universiti Sains Malaysia Pulau Pinang
=3  401–500   601–800  Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Johor
=3  401–500   401–500  Universiti Utara Malaysia Kedah Darul Aman
7  501–600   601–800  Universiti Putra Malaysia Selangor
=8  601–800   801–1000  Universiti Malaysia Pahang Pahang
=8  601–800   801–1000  Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris Tanjong Malim
=8  601–800   801–1000  Sunway University Selangor
=8  601–800   801–1000  Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) Selangor
=12  1001–1200   1201–1500  Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) Sarawak
=12  1001–1200   1001–1200  Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) Petaling Jaya
=12  1001–1200   1201–1500  Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) Terengganu
=15  1201–1500   1001–1200  Universiti Malaysia Perlis Arau
=15  1201–1500   1201–1500  Multimedia University Cyberjaya
=15  1201–1500   NR  Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin Terengganu
=15  1201–1500   1201–1500  Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka Melaka
=15  1201–1500   1201–1500  Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) Batu Pahat
=20  1501+   1201–1500  Universiti Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur
=20  1501+   1201–1500  Universiti Malaysia Kelantan Kelantan
=20  1501+   1501+  Universiti Teknologi MARA Selangor
=20  1501+   1501+  Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Sabah
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