UST is again out of the worldwide subject rankings of the London-based consultancy Quacquarelli-Symonds (QS), while three other Philippine universities failed to maintain their standing in the annual listings.

Leading the Philippine schools in this year’s rankings are Ateneo de Manila and University of the Philippines (UP), which landed within the 51-100 bracket for English Language and Literature. De La Salle University trailed at the 101-150 range.

Last year, La Salle placed 44th in the same category, while UST failed to get into the top 200. Ateneo and UP placed 24th and 33rd, respectively, last year.

UP placed within the 151-200 bracket in Agriculture and Forestry this year, but failed to maintain its post in Geography.

Aside from the English and Literature ranking, Ateneo also managed to get into the Modern Languages category, falling within the 151-200 range.

The last time UST figured in the top 200 of the subject rankings was in 2011, when it got into the 101-150 bracket for English and Literature. Last year, UST did not get a spot in any of the 30 categories.

The criteria for university subject rankings is divided into three parts: academic reputation, employer reputation and citations per paper.

History Department Chair Augusto de Viana said the undergraduate History program of the University had just started. But the post-graduate course in History has already produced research.

“Wala pa sa panahon na mag-rank ang History program ng Pilipinas sa QS subject rankings dahil sa UST nasimulan lang [i-offer ang course] more than two years ago,” he said.

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Meanwhile, Philosophy Department Chair Paolo Bolaños said it would be wrong to say that UST had not produced research based on the QS rankings. Philosophy has again obtained a Center of Excellence status from the Commission on Higher Education, wherein research is the strongest requirement.

“If the QS system does not recognize our research output, it doesn’t mean that the fault is with us. The system is so reliant on computer-generated indices and some of our philosophy journals were not indexed,” he said.

Bolaños said UST does not invest heavily on professional journals, thus unable to compete with journals that UP, La Salle and Ateneo produce. The administration should be more “receptive” and “aggressive” when it comes to the capability of university-wide departments to produce research, he added.

“If UST wants to compete then we should invest more on publications and research… The problem is that we don’t report our research outputs. Perhaps, we don’t publish in professional journals that are connected with QS.”

Social Sciences Department Chair Arlene Calara said she was saddened by the results of the QS subject rankings, adding that this would be a challenge to faculty members, especially in producing more research.

“We need to be more aggressive,” Calara said. “We have to involve ourselves more in research and other activities that would make us qualified to be included in the list.”

Joehanna Ngo, newly appointed assistant to the rector in-charge of the Office of Planning and Quality Management (OPQM), also said she was disappointed with the results.

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She noted, however that UST faculty members have a maximum load of 24 units, which makes it harder to allot time for research.

OPQM executive assistant Nestor Ong said the University had a hard time meeting even the minimum requirements of the QS listings. QS requires at least 6,000 research papers every five years, which requires a lot of investments, he said.

“They need to treat this as one of the challenges for the future QS rankings,” he said.

In the QS world university rankings last year, UST and La Salle were only good for the 601+ bracket. UP and Ateneo placed 348th and 451st, respectively. In the 2011 QS world university rankings, UP, Ateneo, La Salle and UST ranked 332nd, 360th, 553rd and 601th respectively.

For the world rankings, the criteria used were academic reputation (40 percent), employer reputation (10 percent), citations per faculty (20 percent), faculty-student ratio (20 percent), proportion of international students (5 percent) and proportion of international faculty (5 percent).

The four Philippine universities also slipped in the annual QS Asian rankings last year. UST ranked 148th while UP, Ateneo and La Salle slid to the 68th, 86th and 142nd spots, respectively.

The criteria for the Asian rankings are broken down as follows: academic reputation (40 percent), citations per faculty (20 percent), faculty-student ratio (20 percent), employer reputation (10 percent), proportion of international students (5 percent) and proportion of international faculty (5 percent). BERNADETTE D. NICOLAS and JEROME P. VILLANUEVA

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