The University of the Philippines (UP) remains the country’s top university while moving up four places in the ranking of Asia’s top 300 universities, from no. 67 in 2013 to no. 63 in 2014, according to the latest results from international higher education information provider Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).
The QS ranking is based on nine indicators, foremost of which are academic reputation and employer reputation. While UP is ranked 63 in the region, it is ranked number one among Philippine universities and no. 46 and no. 41, respectively, in Asia in academic reputation and employer reputation.
In terms of its faculty, UP’s highest ranking is in Social Sciences and Management where it is no. 33 in Asia and number one in the Philippines. UP is also number one in the Philippines in three other faculty areas: Life Sciences and Medicine, Natural Sciences, and Engineering and Technology.
UP has been steadily rising in Asian rankings from a low of 78 in 2010. This year, UP gets its highest ranking since 2011.
Among the nine survey indices, UP shows marked improvement in its scores in employer reputation, from 85 to 87.6; faculty to student ratio, from 51.5 to 55.5; citations per paper, from 72.2 to 82.7; international faculty, from 3.9 to 5.3; and international students, from 5.1 to 5.4.
Low scores in the papers per faculty, number of international students (201+ in the region, 7th in RP) and international faculty (201+ in the region, 5th in RP), and inbound and outbound exchange (201+ in the region, 4th in RP) pulled the ranking of UP down to 63.
Data on international students in Philippine universities remains low compared to other countries in the region. CHED data shows that there are 7,785 foreign students enrolled in 2012-2013 coming from Iran (1,712), South Korea (1424), China (1122) and the United States (501). Among ASEAN countries only Vietnam (164) and Indonesia (123) have significant number of nationals enrolled in Philippine universities.
One of the major reasons for the low student exchange is the June-May academic calendar used by Philippine universities. UP recently decided to start its academic calendar in August and other top universities like Ateneo de Manila, De La Salle University and University of Santo Tomas will shift in 2015.
The shift in academic calendar is seen as a needed reform to promote student mobility among countries in the region and the world.
UP President Alfredo E. Pascual said that “the improvement in the scores can be attributed to our continuing efforts to increase funds and incentives for research, upgrading our facilities and laboratories, proving support for PhD and Master’s scholarships, recruiting faculty through the Balik-PhD Program and Visiting Professors Program, giving greater incentive for honor graduates to teach in UP, and pursuing internationalization.”
Internationalization involves adopting international standards and increasing the number of international faculty members and students. One step taken by UP to attract foreign students is to harmonize its credit transfers and academic calendar internationally, added Pascual.
Pascual recently called for rapid and increased mobility of students in ASEAN universities to create globally competitive students and reap the opportunities of internationalization and ASEAN integration during the 7th ASEAN International Mobility for Students (AIMS) Programme review meeting hosted by UP.
Aside from joining international student mobility programs, UP is also a long-standing member and participant in international academic networks and agreements like the ASEAN University Network (AUN), Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU); ASEA-UNINET; USAID RIF and COMPETE AND IDEA Programs; and Erasmus Mundus Programme of Europe.
UP has submitted BS Civil Engineering, BS Statistics, and BS Biology programs in Diliman and Los Banos to quality assurance assessment under the AUN Quality Assurance Program
You may view the 2014 QS University Rankings: Asia by following this link: http://www.topuniversities.com/asian-rankings
The full methodology can be found here: http://www.iu.qs.com/university-rankings/qs-ur-asia/