Baguio schools fail to enter list of Asia’s top universities 

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BAGUIO CITY –Despite consistently ranking in the country’s list of top universities, Baguio-based universities again failed to enter the latest list of top universities in Asia, casting doubts on whether top-rated local schools are really adhering to the international standards of learning and teaching.

In the recently released 2015 World University Ranking in Asia by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), only four universities from the Philippines made it to the top 300 which has illustrated a consistent decline of Philippine-based higher education institutions maing it to the prestigious organization’s quality assessment.

University of the Philippines garnered the highest rank among the country’s higher education institutions landing in 70th place, followed by Ateneo de Manila University (114th), University of Santo Tomas (143rd) and De La Salle University (181-190). The annual QS University Ranking is considered the most comprehensive and globally-recognized listing of the top universities in the world.

Previously, Baguio-based Saint Louis University (SLU) consistently secured a slot in Asia’stop universities from 2009 until 2012. It ranked 201+ in 2010 which is considered as its highest overall rank since the QS Asia survey started in 2009.

Despite missing the cut in the overall rankings in the past few years, SLU remained in this year’s QS  Philippine rankings by subject. SLU was ranked third in Philosophy next to De La Salle University (DLSU) and University of Santo Tomas (UST) while it ranked fifth in Mathematics.

The recent move by universities in Baguio and Benguet to shift their academic calendar is seen as an attempt to better align their semestral schedules with their global counterparts, especially with the upcoming implementation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community by the end of this year with education as one of the integral aspects of the integration process.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) stated that these moves are motivated by the desire of these institutions “to internationalize their programs and the experience of their faculty and students” to cope up with the trend of globalization and the expected stiff competition that will be rendered by other top universities in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in the production of preferred professionals.

First compiled in 2004, the QS World University Rankings currently considers over 3,000 institutions, and ranks more than 800. Using a methodology based on nine performance indicators, the ranking facilitates comparison of Asia’s leading institutions on factors including global reputation, research production and impact, and internationalization.

In Asia, only the top 300 universities are ranked. The top150universities are ranked individually, while those placed 151 and over are ranked in groups. This year, the National University of Singapore (NUS) topped the list, followed by The University of Hong Kong and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology.

By KEVIN PHILIP D. GAYAO

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