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Philippines: Palace to probe drop in rankings of top universities

Malacañang wants to know why the country’s top universities obtained lower rankings in a study conducted by an international research organization.

“We also want to be able to look into why that (drop in the rankings of top Philippine universities) happened,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said over radio dzRB. “But I’m sure that the universities have already taken notice of this,” she added.

Valte noted the drop in rankings could be attributed to different factors, including the higher rankings of institutions from other countries.

“It’s not a laughing matter. While it is still on the list, I’m sure that the universities are also looking to improve their rankings. So this is probably something that their administrations will be talking about,” she said.

According to research organization Quacquarelli Symonds Intelligence Unit (QSIU), five Philippine schools landed in the top 300 universities in Asia, but four of them got lower rankings compared to last year.

University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City dropped to 68th from 62nd last year. Ateneo de Manila University ranked 86th, down 21 places from 65th, while De La Salle University landed on the 142nd slot from 107th. University of Santo Tomas, the oldest existing university in Asia, ranked 148th from 104th in 2011.

The University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao City made it to the list for the first time but with no specific rank since only the top 150 Asian universities were given rankings.

QSIU said it ranks the universities based on five indicators, namely: academic reputation from global survey (30 percent), papers per faculty and citations per paper (30 percent), faculty-student ratio (20 percent), employer reputation from global survey (10 percent), and proportion of international faculty and students and proportion of inbound and outbound exchange students (10 percent).

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology topped the list of Asian universities, followed by the National University of Singapore, the University of Hong Kong and Seoul National University. The Commission on Higher Education welcomed the results but maintained that it will not use the QSIU report as a barometer of education quality.

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