More Philippine universities join QS’ annual Asia list

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THE RANKS of Philippine universities making it to the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Top 500 Universities in Asia grew to eight in the 2019 edition with the addition of the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), according to a press statement the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) released on Wednesday.

The University of the Philippines (ranking 384th globally from 367th in the 2018 edition) topped local institutions on the list, rising in rank to 72nd in Asia from 75th in the 2018 edition.

UP was followed by the Ateneo de Manila University (115th from 95th in Asia and 651st-700th from 551st-600th globally), De La Salle University (155th from 134th in Asia and 801st-1,000th from 701st-750th globally), University of Santo Tomas (162nd from 145th in Asia and flat at 801st-1,000th globally), University of San Carlos (steady within 301st-350th in Asia), Mapua University (also steady at 401st-450th in Asia), MSU-IIT (451st-500th in Asia) and Siliman University (also 451st-500th from 351st-400th in Asia).

QS gauged Asian universities using 11 indicators, namely: academic reputation (with a 30% weight); employer reputation (20%); faculty-student ratio, international research network and citations per paper (each with 10%); papers per faculty and staff with doctorate degrees (each with five percent); as well as international students, inbound exchange and outbound exchange (each with 2.5%).

Sought for comment, De La Salle University (DLSU) sent an e-mail, saying it “acknowledges the value of different surveys that rank academic institutions worldwide using various criteria.”

“These appraisals allow us to view the institution from different perspectives.”

It noted, for instance, that “QS rankings are driven chiefly by the results of an academic reputation survey among faculty and researchers worldwide, different from other bodies that prioritize criteria like publication output, citations, internationalization of faculty and staff, etc.”

“There are many other measures that allow DLSU to take stock of its performance. There is no ‘one’ standard that can accurately measure excellence,” the university said.

“To further boost the quality and competitiveness of our public and private institutions, the commission will soon launch a project through its International Affairs Service that will assist Philippine universities to showcase their excellence to the world, promote their internationalization initiatives and increase global reputation through international benchmarking assessment of institutions using internationalization metrics,” CHEd’s statement quoted the commission’s chairman, J. Prospero E. De Vera III, as saying.

“Through this project, we expect more Philippine universities to be included in the internationalization rankings and develop programs that improve the quality of education in their respective institutions.” — Charmaine A. Tadalan