Universiti Malaya made its mark in the Times Higher Education's (THE) Emerging Economies University Rankings 2019 by moving up nine places and sharing the 18th position with China’s Tongji University.
According to a statement, Universiti Malaya is credited as among the most improved institutions in this year's list of Top 20 - scoring better in all five categories assessed: teaching, research, international outlook, citations and industry income.
Overall, Malaysia has 11 institutions represented in the rankings, up from nine last year. This is Malaysia's best performance yet with eight universities ranked among the top 200 around the world.
The overall 2019 ranking involved 450 universities, up from 378 last year, involving 43 countries across four continents.
In a statement, THE's Global Rankings editor Ellie Bothwell described Malaysia as a success story.
"The nation is rapidly becoming an international student hub and reforms aimed at granting students greater political freedoms - and its universities more autonomy - are welcome.
"However, cuts to higher education funding pose a threat to the nation's success in future years," Bothwell said.
"Malaysia must ensure that its universities receive enough investment to thrive in an increasingly competitive global higher education market."
Aside from Universiti Malaya, Universiti Teknologi Petronas also moved up 17 positions to join the top 60, with improvements noted in all areas except industry income.
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia climbed 15 positions to take the 86th spot, also due to progress across each of the five pillars.
Globally, China dominated the 2019 rankings with 72 institutions represented, up from 63 last year. Its universities also took four of the top five positions.