Academic Ranks in Malaysia

Academic ranks in Malaysia are the titles, relative importance and power of professors, researchers, and administrative personnel held in academia. Generally, Malaysia uses Commonwealth academic ranks. However, there are universities using their own academic titles.

There are a significant number of ranks, but the most common are pensyarah or lecturer (equivalent to assistant professor in the North American system), pensyarah kanan or senior lecturer (equivalent to associate professor in the North American system), profesor madya or associate professor (equivalent to professor in the North American system) and profesor or professor (equivalent to distinguished professor in the North American system).

General ranks
Academic titles in Malaysian universities can be classified into five categories: Professorship, lectureship, consultantship, teachership and fellowship.

Profesor DiRaja (Royal Professor); the highest professorship in Malaysia, bestowed by the King. The only holder is Ungku Aziz of the University of Malaya, awarded in 1978.
Profesor Emeritus (Emeritus Professor) is a retired professor.
Profesor Ulung (Distinguished Professor) is an outstanding senior professor. He may be equivalent to or higher than the Director-General of Education and the Director-General of Higher Education. This is a very rare title.
Profesor (Professor) is the ordinary form of full professor, but corresponds to a distinguished professor in North America
Profesor Adjung (Adjunct Professor) is a non-academician who had contributed to the development of a field of knowledge.
Profesor Pelawat (Visiting Professor) is a university professor who serve as the same in another university as a visitor.
Profesor Madya (Associate Professor), corresponds to a full professor in North America or a reader in the United Kingdom.
Penolong Profesor (Assistant Professor), corresponds to associate professor in North America.

Pensyarah Cemerlang (Excellent Lecturer), established only in Aminuddin Baki Institute, Teacher's Education Institutes, Matriculation Colleges and Pre-University Classes.
Pensyarah Kanan (Senior Lecturer), equivalent to the Malaysian rank Penolong Profesor, and corresponds to Associate Professor in North America.
Pensyarah (Lecturer), corresponds to assistant professor in North America.
Penolong Pensyarah (Assistant Lecturer), equivalent to Pensyarah Muda (Junior Lecturer), Tutor (Tutor), Pemudahcara (Facilitator), Felo Siswazah (Graduate Fellow) or Calon Pensyarah (Academic Trainee). He could be either a fresh graduate or a student.

Pakar Perunding Kanan (Senior Consultant), equivalent to Professor
Pakar Perunding (Consultant), equivalent to Associate Professor

designations for industry professional absorbed into academic ( practiced in Universiti Kuala Lumpur)
Principal Specialist, equivalent to Profesor Madya
Senior Specialist, equivalent to Pensyarah Kanan
Specialist (Consultant), equivalent to Pensyarah
Instructor, equivalent to Penolong Pensyarah

Guru Cemerlang (Excellent Teacher), a teaching expert in school. He may be equivalent to a university professor.
Guru Kanan (Senior Teacher)
Guru (Teacher), equivalent to Jurulatih (Trainer) and Pengajar (Instructor).
Pembantu Guru (Teaching Assistant), equivalent to Pembantu Pengurusan Murid (Pupils' Personal Assistant) in kindergarten and special schools.

Felo Yang Amat Utama (Very Distinguished Fellow), equivalent to Distinguished Professor
Felo Utama (Distinguished Fellow), equivalent to Professor
Felo Kanan (Senior Fellow), equivalent to Associate Professor
Felo (Fellow), equivalent to Assistant Professor

Administrative ranks
Universities and higher institutions

Canselor (Chancellor), a university royal patron and ceremonial head; equivalent to the Constitutional Head of IIUM.
Pro-Canselor (Pro-Chancellor)
Presiden (President) can be:
The university chairman; or
The chairman of the university board of directors; or
The university chief executive officer.
Rektor (Rector); assisted by Timbalan Rektor (Deputy Rector), can be:
The chief executive officer of the International Islamic University Malaysia, university colleges and Teachers' Education Institute;
A head of branch campus of MARA University of Technology.
Naib Canselor (Vice Chancellor), the chief executive officer of a university. His deputy is Timbalan Naib Canselor (Deputy Vice Chancellor); and sometimes Penolong Naib Canselor (Assistant Vice Chancellor), lower than the Deputy Vice Chancellor.
Dekan (Dean); head of faculty. His deputy is Timbalan Dekan (Deputy Dean).
Pengarah (Director), assisted is Timbalan Pengarah (Deputy Director) or Penolong Pengarah (Assistant Director), can be:
The head of a university subordinate; or
The chief executive officer of an institute, a college and a polytechnic.
Pengetua (Principal); head of university residential college; equivalent to Ketua Felo (Head of Fellows).
Ketua Jabatan (Head of Department)
Ketua Program (Head of Programme)
Penyelaras (Coordinator)
Felo (Fellow) is an officer attached to a university residential college.

Pengetua (Principal), head of secondary school.
Guru Besar (Headmaster/Headmistress); head of kindergarten and primary school.
Guru Penolong Kanan (Assistant Principal/Headmaster) of primary and secondary school. Sometimes it can be referred as Timbalan Pengetua or Penolong Pengetua.
Ketua Bidang (Headteacher) of an academic field in secondary school. It can be referred sometimes as Ketua Jabatan (Head of Department).
Ketua Panitia (Course Leader) in primary and secondary schools.
Penyelaras (Coordinator), a teacher who performs an administrative duty.
Warden (Warden) is an inspector of a school dormitory. His leader is Ketua Warden (Chief Warden).

Nazir (Inspector) is an academician who inspect educational institutions and implementation of educational system in schools. Reporting to the Minister, an Inspector also provides guidance and advice to all key stakeholders on improvisation of education.

SIPartner+ stands for School Improvement Partner, a headteacher assigned to coach other headteachers.

A SIPartner+ plays vital roles in:
Building relationship and guiding school leaders;
Providing important trainings for school leaders, in collaboration with the Ministry and the District Education Office; and
Designing and managing special interventions to upgrade instructional quality in schools.

A SIPartner+ is appointed based on these terms:
A teacher shall be in Grade DG48;
A teacher shall own outstanding record in school management;
A teacher shall have wide experience in managerial duties; and
A teacher shall possess a National Professional Qualification for Education Leaders.

SISC+ stands for School Improvement Specialist Coach, a teacher assigned to mentor core subject teachers in schools.

A SISC+ is responsible to:
Build relationship and guide core subject teachers;
Provide important trainings for core subject teachers, in collaboration with the Ministry and District Education Office; and
Design and manage special intervention to upgrade teaching quality in schools.

A SISC+ is appointed based on these terms:
A teacher shall possess a bachelor's degree in education, or a bachelor's degree in any field with a diploma of education;
A teacher shall possess at least 5 years of teaching experience in schools;
A teacher shall be knowledgeable in teaching the subject of choice;
A teacher shall exhibit an excellent instructional skill; and
A teacher shall be ready to learn and try new and innovative teaching and learning methods and approaches.

Pegawai Cemerlang
Pegawai Cemerlang (Excellent Officer) is a teacher who perform administrative duties outside schools outstandingly. However, this is only applicable to those with a bachelor's degree in education. Those with only a Diploma of Education working administratively outside schools outstandingly is called Pengelola Cemerlang (Excellent Executive Officer) or Penyelia Cemerlang (Excellent Supervisor).

This is equivalent with Pengetua Cemerlang (Excellent Principal) in secondary schools, and Guru Besar Cemerlang (Excellent Headmaster/Headmistress) in primary schools.