PETALING JAYA - Five local institutions have been ranked for the first time in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-2016.
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia is the highest ranked in the 401-500 band.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia as well as Universiti Teknologi Mara are in the 601-800 band.
Times Higher Education World University Rankings editor Phil Baty said Universiti Malaya was not ranked.
"Unfortunately, as in previous years, the university has not supplied us with its data so it has actively excluded itself from the rankings process," he said in an interview.
"We find this regrettable and we hope very much that we can persuade the university of the merits of global benchmarking and participating in one of the world's global ranking systems."
"Malaysia has improved its higher education system in recent years, leading to student enrolment rising 70 per cent in the past decade.
"And this year it released an ambitious 10-year higher education strategy, which includes several objectives around access, quality and efficiency.
"It is encouraging to hear that the Government is starting to take higher education seriously," Baty added.
Baty explained that 800 universities were ranked this year compared with 400 last year.
This year's rankings feature universities from 70 countries.
The 29 new countries include Indonesia, Malaysia, Ghana, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Latvia, Oman, Qatar and the Ukraine, he added.
In Asia, Baty said the National University of Singapore holds Asia's number one spot (in 26th place) while China's two leading institutions, Peking University and Tsinghua University are in the world's elite top 50 group at 42nd and joint 47th, respectively.
California Institute of Technology tops this year's ranking.
It is followed by Oxford University in second place, Stanford University (third), Cambridge University (fourth), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (fifth).
Harvard University takes on the sixth spot, Princeton University (seventh), Imperial College London (eighth) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ninth).
The University of Chicago was ranked 10th.