Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Khaled Nordin. (Photo:MOHE)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian universities have never participated in the World University Rankings managed by the Times Higher Education (Times).

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Khaled Nordin said this was because local universities, which were made research universities in 2007, had yet to mature to meet Times’ standard of 62.5 per cent for research.

“We know that if we participated, we will not even make it into the Times top 400 university rankings because we are new, we need to wait until our research really matured,” he told a press conference after the National Academic Award 2009/2010 ceremony here.

He was commenting on the Times’ list of world’s top 400 universities issued last Friday, which saw no Malaysian university made it, while California Institute of Technology (Caltech) secured top spot, followed by Harvard, Stanford, Oxford and Princeton.

Mohamed Khaled said local universities needed between six and seven more years before considering the possibility to participate in the ranking system.

Besides Times, two other renowned university ranking systems are managed by Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, he said.

Mohamed Khaled said the QS’ system was more suitable for local universities in meeting the country’s demand for research and development as compared to the Times’ system which focused more on research and citation.

He said the financial factor had also caused local universities to lag behind in the research area.

Nevertheless, local universities were not built with the sole objective of securing top spots in the ranking system to the extent of forcing the government to set aside large allocation for the purpose which might not be very beneficial to the country, he added.