MANILA, Philippines—The country’s leading universities remain highly regarded in international academic circles, but most of them slipped in the latest ranking of the world’s top 800 universities by the ratings firm Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).
The University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University and the University of Santo Tomas dropped in the 2013 QS World University Rankings, while De La Salle University maintained its place from last year.
UP still led Philippine universities on the list, but the premier state university was down to 380th this year from 348th last year.
Ateneo was also down to ranks 501-550 from 451-500 last year, while UST was down to rank 701+ from 601+ last year.
DLSU ranked at 601-650, basically the same as its 601+ rank last year.
QS, a major firm engaged in ranking universities worldwide, attributed the drop in the rankings of Philippine universities to their not having enough research citations and international faculty, two of the indicators QS uses in coming out with its annual list of top universities.
The indicators are academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty/student ratio, citations per faculty, international faculty and international students.
“The reputation of the leading universities in the Philippines remains highly regarded among international academics and it has actually grown compared to last year,” QS head of research Ben Sowter said in a statement Monday after QS released its 10th edition of the World University Rankings.
“But in the rest of the indicators, they have dropped considerably. To improve their competitiveness in the global scene, Filipino institutions have to increase their influence in research and in their ability to attract international faculty,” he said.
“As one of the emerging Asian Tigers, the Philippines should invest in knowledge creation to fuel and sustain its rapid growth,” he added.
The QS World University Rankings differs from its ranking of the top 300 Asian universities.
Its 2013 list of top Asian universities released in June only had on it five of the country’s universities led by UP, the smallest number of Philippine universities to make the cut since QS began ranking universities in Asia in 2009.
UP’s ranking went up a notch to 67th in the 2013 QS University Rankings for Asia, from 68th last year, 62nd in 2011, 78th in 2010 and 63rd in 2009.
Ateneo ranked 109th, down from 86th last year; UST ranked 150th, from 148th last year; while La Salle ranked in the 151-160th range, down from 142 last year.
The University of Southeastern Philippines remained in the same 251-300 range as last year.
QS ranks Asian universities on the following indicators: academic reputation; employer reputation; faculty/student ratio; papers per faculty; citations per paper; international faculty review; international student review; and student exchange inbound and outbound.
In the 2013 QS World University Rankings, the National University of Singapore was highest among Asian universities at 24th, ahead of the University of Hong Kong, which was ranked 26th.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) took the top spot in this year’s top universities worldwide, edging out Harvard University and the University of Cambridge.
QS said that while US universities continued to dominate the top 20, they had lost ground due to the financial crisis.
Of the 83 US universities in the top 400, 64 of them ranked lower than they did in the 2007 list.
Meanwhile, the 43 US public universities in the top 400 have lost an average of 20 places since 2007 due to successive government funding cuts.
Austerity measures in the wake of the recession have placed higher education institutions in the United States beyond the reach of students, QS said.