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New private uni ranking highlights ASEAN countries

A new private university ranking aims to highlight the “quality of learning and employability” of South East Asian nations, according to its creators.

AppliedHE created the Private University Ranking: ASEAN to shine the spotlight on institutions in the ASEAN countries. Photo: AppliedHE

The rankings are decided on data audited by AppliedHE and submitted voluntarily by the institution themselves

AppliedHE created the Private University Ranking: ASEAN to shine the spotlight on institutions in the ASEAN countries, with Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines among the top 10 of the inaugural lists.

Topping the board is Bina Nusantara University in West Jakarta, Indonesia, with a total score of 73.70 – with ranking criteria focusing largely on quality of teaching and learning, followed by employability and research.

“They are often the institutions who are most innovative”

“These rankings are a game-changer because they measure what is most important to students and their parents,” said Mandy Mok, AppliedHE founder and CEO.

Other criteria include internationalisation, community engagement, institutional reputation and brand value.

AppliedHE also claims, according to Kevin Downing, chair of AppliedHE’s Ranking Advisory Board, that it is the “first international university ranking that includes only private institutions of higher learning“.

The rankings are decided on data audited by AppliedHE and submitted voluntarily by the institution themselves.

The importance of private universities in Asia and in fact in many other emerging economies cannot be overstated,” Mok said during the rankings’ official launch on February 23.

“They are often the institutions who are most innovative, achieve high graduate employment and often raise the bar in terms of standards and rigour by partnering more willingly with international universities in many countries, including in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

“Private universities enrol more students than their public sector counterparts, and the sector has thus played a huge role in getting access to higher education,” she explained.

Indonesia claims five of the 10 top places on the ranking, with Universitas Islam Indonesia and Universitas Telkom at third and fifth place respectively.

The Philippines’ University of Santo Tomas takes fourth spot, with Thailand and Vietnam’s Krirk and Duy Tan universities featuring at seventh and eighth.

Malaysia’s Universiti Tenaga Nasional had second place on the rankings, and also dominated the rest of the top 20 with seven other institutions from the country featuring.

“The importance of private universities in Asia and in fact in many other emerging economies cannot be overstated”

“AppliedHE fills an important need in the global higher education evaluation landscape with a focus on quality of teaching and learning,” said Malaysia Qualifications Agency CEO Mohammad Shatar bin Sabran.

“This makes AppliedHE especially relevant to Malaysian students and parents when making a decision on where to study,” he added.

Sub rankings were also released as part of the launch, including in research, where Indonesia took the top spot and seven other spots in the top 10, community engagement, which was topped by Universiti Kuala Lumpur, and also internationalisation where Krirk University in Thailand came in first.

“A highlight to me is the focus on students,” said Winnie Eley, a ranking advisory board member during the launch.

It’s shining a light. The private universities in this region where you have some excellent universities – some very committed and extremely energetic institutions,” she added.

The need for a private university ranking was due to opinions stating that they are not viewed the same in university rankings including public institutions.

“Private universities are different from public universities, and the strengths of private universities are not adequately highlighted by existing university rankings,” said Downing.

“The AppliedHE Private University Ranking is therefore a welcome addition to the Asian and global rankings landscape,” he added.

External data from Google Scholar and Google News was also used in the ranking process, as well as peer university nominations.

“I think that the use of Google Scholar, which has coverage of non English research, is something which is also very important and it’s very welcome,” said Richard Holmes, another advisory board member.

Applied HE is run by “veterans” from leading ranking provider QS Quacquarelli Symonds, including its founder Mok, who was formerly CEO of QS Asia.

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