Rating Philippine universities

BREAKTHROUGH - Elfren S. Cruz - The Philippine Star

Education is now universally accepted as the foundation of economic progress of all countries in the world. It has also become the accepted route for addressing the issue of income inequality among social classes in society. Now it is seen also as the pathway for developing countries to attain the same economic and social level as developed countries. In other words, education has become the “great equalizer.”

The Philippines is especially dependent on developing a highly educated manpower that is globally competitive. This country’s biggest foreign earnings are derived from providing services to global organizations which need the services of price competitive but highly educated manpower (and woman power).

The memorandum issued by the Commission on Higher Education last December 2015 identifies the Centers of Excellence and Centers of Development for various disciplines at the university levels. Centers of Excellence (COE) are higher educational institutions, both public and private, which have demonstrated the highest degree or level of standards along the areas of instruction, research, and extension of their particular fields or courses. Centers of Development ( COD) are educational disciplines which have been considered to significantly improve over the course of the previous year. These provide institutional leadership in all aspects of development in specific areas of discipline.

The CHED has identified the COEs and CODs in the following nine categories with 47 academic disciplines:

1. Agriculture Education: Agriculture; Fisheries; Forestry; Veterinary Medicine; 2. Business and Management Education: Accountancy; Business Administration; Customs Administration; Entrepreneurship; Hotel and Restaurant Management; Office Administration; Tourism; 3. Criminal Justice Education: Criminology; 4. Engineering: Ceramic Engineering; Chemical Engineering; Computer Engineering; Geodetic Engineering; Mining Engineering;  5. Health Professions Education: Medicine; Medical Technology; Nursing; Nutrition and Dietetics; Optometry; Pharmacy; Physical Therapy; Radiologic Technology; 6. Humanities: English; Filipino; Foreign Language; Literature; Philosophy; 7. Information Technology; 8. Science and Mathematics: Biology; Chemistry; Environmental Science; Geology; Marine Science; Mathematics; Statistics; and, 9. Social Sciences and Communication: Anthropology; Broadcasting; Communication; Development Communication; History; Journalism; Political Science; Social Work; Sociology.

I have identified several universities and one college which have been credited with having several Centers of Excellence and Centers of Development.

De La Salle University

Centers of Excellence: Accountancy; Business Administration; Entrepreneurship; Chemical Engineering; Information Technology; Biology; Chemistry; Mathematics; Physics. Centers of Development: Computer Engineering; Literature; Statistics; History; Political Science;

University of the Philippines-Diliman

Centers of Excellence: Chemical Engineering; Geodetic Engineering; English; Foreign Language; Literature; Biology; Chemistry; Environmental Science; Geology ;Marine Science; Mathematics; Physics; Statistics; Anthropology; Broadcasting; Communication; History; Journalism; Political Science; Psychology; Social Work; Library and Information Science;

Ateneo de Manila University

Centers of Excellence: Business Administration; Entrepreneurship; Literature; Philosophy; Information Technology; Biology; Chemistry; Mathematics; Psychology; Sociology. Centers of Development: Communication; History; Political Science; Environmental Science

University of Santo Tomas

Centers of Excellence: Tourism; Hotel and Restaurant Management;  Chemical Engineering; Medicine; Medical Technology; Nursing; Pharmacy; Philosophy; Biology; Chemistry; Psychology. Centers of Development: Physical Therapy; Literature; Information Technology; Communication; Journalism;

University of San Carlos

Centers of Excellence: Entrepreneurship; Office Administration; Chemical Engineering .Centers of Development: Tourism; Biology; Chemistry

University of the Philippines-

Los Baños

Centers of Excellence: Agriculture; Forestry; Veterinary Medicine; Information Technology; Environmental Science; Development Communication

De La Salle College of Saint Benilde

Centers of Excellence: Business Administration; Hotel and Restaurant Management

Silliman University

Centers of Excellence: Nursing; Information Technology. Centers of Development: Medical Technology; Biology: Marine Science.

Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology

Centers of Excellence: Fisheries; Biology; Mathematics; Physics; Centers of Development: Ceramic Engineering; Chemical Engineering; Filipino; Information Technology; Marine Science; Statistics; History; Sociology.

CHED has extended the deadline for naming COEs and CODs to March March 31, 2016 for Teacher Education and the following Engineering programs: Agricultural, Aeronautical, Civil, Electrical, Electronics, Industrial, Mechanical, Metallurgical and Sanitary.

There are some interesting observations that can be made on the latest CHED ratings of Philippine universities. There are four academic disciplines that seem to have the most number of Centers of Excellence – Agriculture, Business Administration, Information Technology and Biology.

The Centers of Excellence for Agriculture include the following universities: Central Luzon State University, Cavite State University, U.P. Los Banos, Central Philippine University, Visayas State University, Central Mindanao University, Xavier University, University of Southeastern Philippinres, and University of Southern Mindanao. Aside from U.P. Los Banos, none of the leading universities are in the list. Perhaps, some of the leading universities can offer a course linked to Agriculture like Agribusiness.

There are nine Centers of Excellence in Business Administration and fourteen Centers of Excellence in Information Technology. Surprisingly, U.P. Dilliman is not included in the list of COEs for Business Administration and for Information Technology.

On the other hand, there are academic disciplines where there is only one Center of Excellence in the whole country.

There is only one Center of Excellence ( COE) for Accountancy – De La Salle University;  one COE for Mining Engineering – St. Louis University;  one COE for Optometry – Manila Central University;  one COE for Pharmacy – University of Santo Tomas;  one COE for Sociology – Ateneo. U.P. Dilliman is the only COE in the following disciplines: English, Foreign Language, Geodetic Engineering, Geology, Marine Science, Broadcasting, Communication, History, Journalism, and Political Science. There are three COEs in Medicine – U.P. Manila, University of Santo Tomas and University of the East.

It is clear that there is a need for more Centers of Excellence in the regions outside Metro Manila. There is also a need to develop more COEs in Science and Engineering programs. The Philippines must strive for world class university education as the pathway to a society of equal opportunity for all its citizens.

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Aquino Legacy: An Enduring Narrative is a collection of essays and stories on Ninoy, Cory and the Aquino family who have played such a pivotal and dramatic role in shaping Philippine history. As mentioned in President Noy Aquino’s foreword, the book “serves as a reliable source of information for Filipinos belonging to the millennial generation who may not be aware of how dire conditions were at the time and how we have, since then, moved forward as a people.”

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