A total of 8 universities were awarded the much coveted 6 star rating (Outstanding) by the Rating for Higher Education Institutions in Malaysia, or better know as SETARA, in their highly anticipated 2017 ratings.Out of the 71 universities evaluated, a total of 58 managed to snag a rating of at least 4 stars (Very Good), which according to SETARA, is considered an improvement. The 8 universities that did receive 6 stars include Universiti Malaya (UM); Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM); Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP); Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM); Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM); International Medical University Malaysia (IMU), Monash University Malaysia and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).
Moving further down the list, a total of 21 universities managed to gain 5 stars this year, and this list includes Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN); Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM); Swinburne University of Technology (Kampus Sarawak); Curtin University; The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus; Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM), Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP); Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM); Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS); Taylor's University; UCSI University; Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM); Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP); Management and Science University (MSU); Sunway University; Asia Pacific University of Technolgy and Innovation (APU); Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT); The Global University of Islamic Finance (INCEIF); Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR); Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences and Lincoln University College.SETARA measures the quality of teaching and learning at level six (undergraduate level) of the Malaysian Qualifications Framework (MQF). Tier 6 is considered Outstanding, Tier 5 is Excellent, whereas Tier 4 is Very Good. No institution achieved a Tier 6 rating in SETARA's rankings in 2013, further proof of the strides made by the Malaysian education system.