THE UST Research Center on Culture, Education and Social Issues (RCCESI) may soon be split into two centers, reversing a rationalization scheme that abolished various research centers in the previous decade.

The two centers will be: the Research Center on Culture, Arts, and the Humanities, which will cover Philosophy, Literary and Cultural Studies, Communication, and Architectural Studies; and the Research Center on Social Sciences and Education, which will focus on Economics, Business and Finance, Language, Education and Leadership, Psychology, and Contemporary Social Issues Studies.

RCCESI Director Clarence Batan said the move was urgent, as the entire country had been lagging behind in terms of research development.

“There [was] a time when we were the knowledge hub of Asia, [but not anymore]. The world has shifted and we [have] not,” Batan said in an interview.

In the latest Quacquarelli Symonds Stars ratings report, UST received only two out of five stars in the research category, which was also described as a “low” rating.

Batan said he was hoping the split would happen next academic year to allow more focus on different areas of study. He admitted that the move was meant to give emphasis on social science research, which had “lost its track.”

“We would have to renew [our] focus on social sciences and education. Hindi na [ito] messy na [nandoon] ang culture, arts and humanities because they are different dimensions in research. [If] you want the discipline to flourish, you have to recognize that it would be one center,” Batan said.

Maria Gonzales, an RCCESI associate researcher, said the division would lead to proper recognition and facilitation of researchers.

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“For you to manage a lot of researchers who have different research agendas and orientation would be difficult if you have just one center. Now that you’re dividing it into two sectors, the directors of both centers can facilitate the needs of the researchers under them,” Gonzales said.

UST as a research university

Batan said the division would accelerate the University’s progress in becoming a globally recognized research university.

He added that the move would utilize researchers of the University, especially those with doctorate degrees, for publication in a more effective manner, since they would be “vertically articulated” with their fields of expertise.

“We wanted to be a research university and as a research university, we want to be very clear about the fact that most of us, especially those who have [doctoral degrees], are researchers,” he said. “Kung [doctorate degree holder] ka, nagre-reseach ka. Kung hindi ka nagre-reseach, what is your [doctorate degree] for?” Batan said.

In addition, the split will help students with their theses, with researchers providing directed topics of their expertise. The collaborative process will also give undergraduate students a chance to be published in research journals.

Formed in 2008, RCCESI was a merger of three research centers namely, the Center of Educational Research and Development, the Social Research Center, and the Center for Intercultural Studies.

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