Philippine universities missing from Times Top 400 ranking

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

MANILA -- The Philippines higher education system has suffered a major blow as none of its universities and colleges made it to the Times Higher Education (THE) Top 400 universities in the world.

In its World University Rankings for 2011-2012, which it characterized as the "world's largest survey of academic opinion ever undertaken" taking into account 13 separate performance indicators designed to capture the full range of university activities, from teaching to research and knowledge transfer, no Philippine universities or colleges were in the top list.

Phil Baty, editor of THE survey, said the 13 indicators were brought together into five headline categories namely teaching or the learning environment which accounted for 30 percent, research, 30 percent, citations, 30 percent, industry income and innovation, 2.5 percent and international outlook (staff, students and research), 7.5 percent.

Taking the top five spots in the survey which was released Thursday were California Institute of Technology with 94.8 percent, Harvard University (93.9 percent), Stanford University (93.9 percent), University of Oxford (93.6 percent), and Princeton University (92.9 percent).

Rounding up the top 10 were the University of Cambridge with 92.4 percent, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (92.3 percent), Imperial College of London (90.7 percent), University of Chicago (90.2 percent), and University of California-Berkeley (89.8 percent).

In Asia, the top three institutions of higher learning are the University of Tokyo (30), University of Hong Kong (34), and National University of Singapore (40).

Other universities and colleges in Asia that made it to the top 200 list were China's Peking University (49), Kyoto University (52), Pohang University of Science and Technology (53), Tsinghua University (71), Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (94), Tokyo Institute of Technology (108), Osaka University (119), Tohoko University (118), Seoul National University (124), National Taiwan University (154), Nanyang Technological University (169).

Aside from the top 200, the survey also included a "best of the rest" list of 200 more institution of higher learning.

Asian universities making it to the top 201-225 ranking were Nagoya University and National Tsing Hua University, while Fudan University, Korea University, National Chiao Tung University, Tokyo Metropolitan University and Yonsei University make it to the top 226-250.

In the top 251-275 rankings were Nanjing University, National Sun Yat Sen University and the University of Tsukuba. In the 276 to 300 rankings were Hokkaido University, Sun Yat Sen University and Tokyo Medical and Dental University.

Other Asian institutions who made the list were Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, Keio University, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Sungkyunkwan University and Zhejiang University in the 301-350 rankings.

China's Harbin Institute of Technology, Hiroshima University, Kobe University, Kyung Hee University, Thailand’s Mahidol University, National Central University of Taiwan, National Taiwan Ocean University, Waseda University, Wuhan University and Yuan Ze University capped the 351-400 rankings of Asian universities.

Baty said the survey showed that China’s institutions of higher learning is striving to make it at par with the rest of the world adding that this can be shown by their presence in the top 201 to 400 ranking

In its website, which also showed the results of the survey, Baty said the "rankings were developed in concert with our rankings data provider, Thomson Reuters, with expert input from more than 50 leading figures in the sector from 15 countries across every continent" adding that "we believe we have created the gold standard in international university performance comparisons."

It added that the survey is used by undergraduate and postgraduate students to help select degree courses, by academics to inform career decisions, by research teams to identify new collaborative partners, and by university managers to benchmark their performance and set strategic priorities.

A survey released last year by London-based education and career organization, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) saw the University of the Philippines (UP) and several other leading Philippine universities such as the Ateneo De Manila University (AdMU), De La Salle University (DLSU) and the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) falling from their previous rankings.

The QS study showed that no Philippine university made it to the top 300 list, which was once again topped by the United Kingdom's Cambridge University.

UP, which is the country's leading university dropped to 332nd place from their 2010 ranking of 314th, while AdMU fell to 360 from 307 and DLSU went down from the 451-500 bracket to the 551-600 bracket.

The UST, on the other hand, fell out of the Top 600 universities from the 551-600 bracket in 2010.

The Commission on Higher Education (Ched) admitted that budget cut in higher education is one of the factors why Philippine universities are failing.

Julito Vitriolo, Ched executive director, said budget cut sustained by UP and other state universities and colleges (SUC) have affected their operation, adding that the recent development should prod the national government to allocate more resources to higher education in the country.

But he downplayed the results of the QS ranking saying it is not the right reflection of the supposed deterioration of the quality of tertiary education in the country, neither should it be a gauge of the school’s performance.

Of the P1.816 trillion National Expenditure Program for this year, only P21.8 billion was allocated to the 110 SUCs nationwide, downed from last year's P22.03 billion.

The amount is even less than the P49 billion that the Commission has requested as a consolidated budget for SUCs.

The operations budget of the SUCs have experienced a phenomenal cut that amounted to more than P1 billion. For this year, a total amount of P569.8 million was slashed in 50 SUCs, while the maintenance and other operating expenses of 45 schools also sustained cuts amounting to P250.9 million.

The budget for Personal Services were also not spared as P403.3 million were taken away despite scheduled automatic increase in PS services for each year, due to the Salary Standardization Law.

Universities and colleges used the MOOE funding to cover their operations and maintenance expenses such as for utilities (water, power etc) and other costs, while PS is for the salaries and bonuses of the employees. (AH/Sunnex)

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