Philippines falls behind in 2024 THE Asia University Rankings

Cristina Chi - Philstar.com
Philippines falls behind in 2024 THE Asia University Rankings
Composite photo shows the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, and De La Salle University.
Facebook / Ateneo de Manila University, and De La Salle University

MANILA, Philippines — No Philippine university made it to the top 100 of the Times Higher Education's 2024 Asia University Rankings, with the latest results showing that the country's top schools either dropped or retained their place.

While still the top university in the Philippines, the Ateneo de Manila University has slid from 84th place to the 401-500 bracket, according to THE's latest Asia rankings published on Wednesday.

The last time that no university from the Philippines appeared in the top 100 of THE's Asia rankings was in 2022, when then-frontrunner University of the Philippines dropped to 129th place from ranking 84th the previous year.

Meanwhile, this is the fourth year in a row that the University of the Philippines slipped in THE's Asia rankings, landing a few brackets lower from 201-250 to 501-600.

The De La Salle University and Mapua University remained in the 501-600 bracket and 601+ bracket, respectively. 

The University of Santo Tomas placed for the first time in THE's Asia rankings, landing in the 601+ bracket after being tagged with a "reporter" status the previous year.

A “reporter” status is given to a school when it submits data to THE but falls short of meeting the criteria needed to be ranked against other schools.

The latest rankings show that nine other universities in the Philippines received a "reporter" status. These are the following: Cebu Technological University, Central Luzon State University, Mariano Marcos State University, the Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology, the Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology, Tarlac Agricultural University, University of Eastern Philippines, University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines and Visayas State University.

Philstar.com reached out to the Commission on Higher Education for comment and will update this story with their response.

More focus on research 

Universities in Asia are evaluated across five areas with the following percentages: research quality (30%), research environment (28%), teaching (24.5%), industry (10%) and international outlook (7.5%).

According to the UK-based education magazine, its Asia University Rankings uses the same performance indicators as its World University Rankings, but “they are recalibrated to reflect the attributes of Asia’s institutions.

THE in 2023 updated its methodology to "reflect the outputs of the diverse range of research-intensive universities across the world," according to its website. 

The number of performance indicators THE uses to evaluate universities expanded from 13 to 18, with schools now evaluated according to their research quality and the number of granted patents.

THE explained in its methodology: "The extent to which universities are supporting their national economies through technology transfer is an area that deserves greater recognition."

"The patents metric, introduced in 2023, is defined as the number of patents from any source that cite research conducted by the university," THE said.

THE also introduced “research environment” and “research quality” as new categories for “research” and “citations,” based on last year’s rankings.

Specifically, THE expanded its citations category to include new research quality measures, such as research strength, research excellence and research influence.

"Our revised and improved methodology – which includes new metrics relating to research quality and patents – highlights performance that was not completely visible in previous ranking," THE said.

Ateneo's lower 'research quality' score

For 2024, Ateneo de Manila University received a lower overall score compared to the previous year, going from 47.4 to 28.1-31.4.

Its biggest drop appears to be in the "research quality" category (formerly called citations), where Ateneo's score was more than halved from 97.0 to 40.6 this year.

There was also a 10-point drop in Ateneo's score under "industry."

Similarly, the University of the Philippines' overall score dropped from 35.5-38.1 to 24.1-28,0. Its score in "research quality" slid from 62.5 to 33.7.

Scoring higher this year is De La Salle University, which received 24.1-28.0 compared to last year's 19.3-22.9.

Overall, Mapua also scored slightly higher, going up from 13.0-19.2 to 14.7-24.0.

Mapua University is the only Philippine university whose research quality score leaped compared to last year, going up from 8.6 to 33.1.

This year's Asia University Rankings included 739 universities, 70 more from last year.

China's Tsinghua University again ranked first, followed by China's Peking University.

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