14 Philippine universities among best higher education institutions in Asia

Published November 26, 2020, 11:16 AM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan & Ellson Quismorio

Fourteen universities in the Philippines were listed as among the best higher education institutions (HEIs) in Asia based on the Quacquarelli Symonds’ (QS) latest university rankings released on Wednesday.

University of the Philippines

The University of the Philippines (UP) still led the 14 local HEIs at 69th place, up three notches from previous published rankings, out of the 650 universities in the Asian region.
This is followed by the Ateneo De Manila University at 135th place, De La Salle University at 166th, and the University of Santo Tomas at 186th — all dropped from their rankings last year.
Also included in the list are the University of San Carlos in the 451-500 bracket; and Mapua University and Siliman University both in the 501 to 550 bracket.
The seven universities were also in the previous QS 2020 rankings for Asia, while seven more Philippine institutions made it to this year’s list.
These include the Ateneo de Davao University which also joined the 501 to 550 bracket; and the Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology in the 551-600 bracket.
While joining the top 601+ are Adamson University, Central Luzon State University, Central Mindanao University, Central Philippine University, and Xavier University.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said this year’s edition is the country’s “best-ever performance and representation” in QS, a global higher education think-tank and compiler of the world’s university rankings.
CHED Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III commended on Thursday the 14 ranked HEIs and attributed this development to the “internationalization of Philippine HEIs” which he said has been a key strategy of the administration to improve the quality of education and produce world-class graduates.
“The recognition given to the additional HEIs as among the best in Asia is welcome news to show that our efforts to provide access to quality education are bearing fruit,” De Vera said.
According to De Vera, CHED has continuously supported Philippine HEIs through various international programs and initiatives and has been assisting them to internationalize by promoting their initiatives through university-to-university twinning programs and research, study visits by university Presidents, and scholarships in top foreign universities.
Meanwhile, the higher education chief also boasted the 14 state universities and colleges (SUCs) who have subjected themselves to preliminary QS evaluation this year and obtained a three-star rating.
These SUCs are West Visayas State University, Visayas State University, Mariano Marcos State University, Cebu Technological University, Batangas State University, Benguet State University, and Cagayan State University. 
“These SUCs now know the improvements needed to be internationally ranked. With the proper financial support and diligence, CHED expects that these SUCs will soon join the QS Asian rankings,” he added.

Another recognition for UP, DLSU

Meanwhile, the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education has approved a resolution commending the University of the Philippines (UP) and De La Salle University (DLSU) for retaining their respective spots in the latest world university rankings released by London-based Times Higher Education (THE).

Endorsed for plenary adoption during a virtual hearing Thursday was House Resolution (HR) No. 1195 authored by Assistant Majority Leader and Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito-Castelo.

Baguio City Rep. Mark Go, panel chairman, said he found it “appropriate” for the House to cite UP and DLSU in connection with their achievements in the THE rankings. The measure was approved without much discussion.

UP, the country’s only national university, first entered the list in 2016 at 800+ rank, later climbing to 601st-800th in 2017, and 501st-600th in 2018.

“UP is still among the top 500 higher education institutions in the world, retaining its place in the 401st-500th bracket that it first achieved in 2019, according to rankings released on Sept. 2, 2020,” the Castelo resolution read.

“On the other hand, De La Salle University, which first entered the list in 2018 at 801st-1,000th spot, retained its 1,000+ spot in 2019,” it added.

The THE rankings are based on 13 performance indicators grouped into five areas: Teaching (learning environment), research (volume, income, and reputation), citations (research influence), industry income (knowledge transfer), and international outlook (staff, students, and research).

Also during the hearing, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Director Lily Freida Milla said there are now 14 universities in the latest QS University ranking released Wednesday, double the previous number of local entrants.

Deputy Speaker and Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez moved for the motu proprio creation of a resolution to commend the 14 universities, similar in nature to the Castelo measure. He said all those present in the hearing would serve as the authors to the new resolution.

The panel chairman also approved this action.