THE LONDON-based consultancy Quacquarelli-Symonds (QS) has given the University of Santo Tomas four out of five stars in its “Stars University Rating,” the first such rating for a Philippine university.

According to the QS Top Universities’ website, a university with a four-star rating is “highly international, demonstrating excellence in both research and teaching, and provides an excellent environment for students and faculty.”

UST recorded a perfect five-star rating in four out of eight criteria, namely: employability, facilities, engagement, and access; four stars in the teaching category; three stars in internationalization; and one star for specialist criteria and research. UST was the sole Philippine institution to be rated.

“UST graduates consistently and yearly dominate the top ten in courses with board exams (Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Engineering, Architecture, Accountancy, Education, etc.). This proves the University’s superior academic programs,” said QS Top Universities website. “UST has produced national heroes, church martyrs, renowned scientists, national artists, internationally renowned business people and athletes, prominent doctors, four presidents of the Philippines, three vice presidents and six Chief Justices.”

The new QS rating system evaluates an institution against over 50 different indicators, and awards universities between one and five+ stars over eight wider fields, as well as an overall rating, apart from the yearly QS world and Asian rankings. With this rating system, QS aims to give students an additional tool for choosing a university.

In 2014, UST ranked 141st in the Asian University Rankings, and 701st in the World University Rankings. Arianne F. Merez

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