UST slid three places to 104th in this year’s Quacquarelli-Symonds (QS) ranking of Asia’s top universities — behind University of the Philippines (UP) and Ateneo de Manila, which ranked 62nd and 65th, respectively, but still ahead of De La Salle University, which went down farther to No. 107.

Rather than question the methodology of the survey, the University now views the annual ranking as a chance to improve itself, an official said.

“We can always question the process and the intention of the recognizing agency. However, rather than use my precious time disproving the results, I’d rather approach it in a developmental way,” said Fr. Arthur Dingel, O.P., assistant to the Rector for planning and management.

But he noted that the QS survey was “perception-based,” which means the results may have been the product of “brand management.”

“If the identified respondents are not familiar with the accomplishments of an institution, there is a major chance that, even if the institution is doing well, [the respondents] will not list the institution as having top programs,” Dingel said. “Since it is perception-based, brand management is inevitable if an institution would like to be ranked as having top programs.”

UP ranked 62nd, up from last year’s 78th and overtaking Ateneo de Manila, which fell to 65th from 58th last year. De La Salle ranked 107th, down from last year’s 106th.

Hong Kong dominated the top spots with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology on first place, followed by the University of Hong Kong at second place.

'Elementary' college

The survey ranked universities according to the following criteria: academic peer review (30 percent), research citations per faculty (15 percent), citations per paper (15 percent), Asian employer review (10 percent), student-faculty ratio (20 percent) and international factors (10 percent).

“International factors” were based on international faculty, international students, inbound exchange students, and outbound exchange students.

UST dropped to the 95th place in academic peer review from last year’s 90th, while UP, Ateneo, and DLSU ranked 32nd, 47th, and 73rd, respectively.

In the Asian employer review, UST placed 59th, similar to last year’s rank.

“Results from academic peer review and employer review are taken from surveys sent to identified respondents,” Dingel said.

UST ranked first among Asian universities in the citations per faculty category from last year’s eighth place, but was not able to get a slot in the category citations per paper.

“An alternate direction has been taken in order to address the regional context—here we are trying to address both productivity AND quality—and the area has been split into two indicators: papers per faculty member and citations per paper,” the website said.

UST ranked 109th in the international faculty indicator and 190th in the international students criterion.

Meanwhile, UST ranked lowest in Arts and Humanities, Engineering and Technology, Social Sciences and Management, and Natural Sciences.

In Social Sciences and Management, UST plunged to 136th from 83rd last year. It also fell in the field of Arts and Humanities, plummeting to 103rd from 69th last year.

Meanwhile, UP, Ateneo, and De la Salle, ranked 20th, 29th, and 59th, respectively, in Arts and Humanities.

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In Social Sciences, UP ranked 27th followed by Ateneo at 46th and De la Salle at 79th.

Last year, UST failed to get a slot in Natural Sciences and Engineering and Technology, but this year, the University ranked 104th and 170th, respectively.

UST went up to 61st from last year’s 69th in the Life Sciences and Medicine category, beating Ateneo, which ranked 64th place this year.

Dingel said the survey provided a chance to “review and confirm” the University’s organizational processes, monitor and correct possible non-conformance to standards, and develop measurable indicators acceptable not only to the University community, but to the rest of the education community, both national and international. Charmaine M. Parado


  1. In the coming days, expect this article to be infested with trolls. Especially in that phrase “beating Ateneo”


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