AS THE University nears its quadricentennary, Fr. Rector Tamerlane Lana, O.P. is up to the task of reclaiming the old glory and prestige of the country’s oldest and only Royal, Pontifical and Catholic University, according to a Philippine Graphic article written by National Artist Nick Joaquin.

In the Nov. 25 edition of the magazine, Fr. Lana stressed that excellence in teaching, expertise in research and eminence in community service will be the keys to the campaign.

Fr. Lana expressed enthusiasm in coping with the fast-changing trends in science and technology, despite the scholastic tradition that UST has imbibed for nearly 400 years.

The Rector cited the last survey of the now defunct Asiaweek magazine on the top Asian universities a few years ago. In the survey, four Philippine universities—the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU), De La Salle University (DLSU), and UST—were included in the list. But the University was ranked last among the four schools and was the second to the last in the standings.

The lack of overseas exposure was perceived as one of the problems that led to the University’s poor academic standing in Asia. Other problems were poor research climate and low publication index.

But the University is slowly clawing back to the top as shown by the impressive performance of its graduates in licensure exams and its increasing renown in research and publications. It has also become more selective with the students it accepts. Moreover, it is improving its faculty profile as the number of professors with master’s and doctorate degrees has increased.

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But even as UST improves its academic standing, Lana said the University would still reaffirm its Catholic, Dominican, and Filipino character.

In the magazine’s coverage of UST and Philippine higher education, the Graphic appeared to have misclassified the University as one of the schools with big revenues. It is common knowledge that the University is a non-stock and non-profit sectarian institution.

The other schools in the list—Centro Escolar University (CEU), Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT), University of the East (UE), Far Eastern University, Asian Institute of Management, and AMA Computer University—are all stock and profit non-sectarian educational institutions.

Chinese-Filipino businessmen, according to the Graphic, have acquired top schools. Emilio Yap now manages CEU, Lucio Tan now controls UE, and Alfonso Yuchengco now runs MIT.

It was also noticeable that no statistical data showing the revenues of DLSU and AdMU were presented. Both schools, like UST, are sectarian non-stock, non-profit institutions.

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