Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) has been named best overall university in Malaysia. This is according to the academic reputation survey carried out by the Nation Accreditation Board (LAN). The university scored a five-star rating, the only university in the country to be classified as excellent. The Academic reputation Survey (ARES), carries out by a team spearheaded by the Nation Accreditation Board (LAN), involved 17 of the 20 public universities. The survey covered 10 critical areas which included research quality, academic resources, reputation of academics faculty, Academic and Postgraduate programme quality, preparation of the leaders of tomorrow, the student’s choice of university and the quality of graduates.
It is a fact that about 70% of the University’s lecturers are PhD holders. This is indeed a fitting tribute to all their hardwork into making USM the best research university and top choice not only by local students from abroad.
Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said this was the first time the government was evaluating the quality of public higher education. Although generally public higher education institutions in the country are good, there is room for improvement. The University has been developing and expending since its inception, which started with an enrolment of 57 science based students. Now, USM offers courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels to approximately 20,000 students.
USM has also become a well-known university locally and internationally. It will be no surprise if the University is selected to become one of the nation’s apex universities, where it will be granted more autonomy and resources to create an environment that would attract the best students and faculty.
At present the University has a graduate students population of about 6,687 students, which constitutes more than 20% of its total students. About 1,424 of them are foreign students. Population mainly comes from Indonesia, China and countries in the Middle East, some African nations as well as a handful from Europe. These students are enrolled in 39 schools and four centres of Excellencein the areas of Medicine, Science and Technology, Engineering and Arts and are working towards their Masters of Doctorate Degrees.