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SONA, CHEd figures on university rankings don’t match 3 global metrics

The figures cited by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the Commission on Higher Education on universities that have been included in the World University Rankings don’t tally with those culled from the three global metrics CHEd itself has identified as the bases.

CHED Chairman Prospero de Vera said in a statement the 52 universities mentioned in Monday’s State of the Nation Address were based on rankings of the Times Higher Education (THE), Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), and the World University Rankings for Innovation (WURI).

Rebutting a fact check that Marcos’ figures were incorrect, De Vera said:

The Commission furnished this data to President Marcos based on the published reports of Quacquarelli Symonds (QS World, Asia, and Stars), Times Higher Education (THE World, Asia, and Impact Rankings), and the World University Rankings for Innovation (WURI).
CHED reiterates its position that as of May 1, 2023, there are 52 Philippine Higher Education Institutions included in world university rankings.

CHEd released a list showing the 52 schools. The list combines different ranking systems: global, regional, impact and innovation. It also includes QS Stars, an opt-in university rating system rather than a ranking system.

According to QS, rating refers to “who’s good at what” while ranking identifies “who’s the best.”

“Rankings often include only the top 100 or top 1000 universities across the globe,” it said.

Of the 28 Philippine universities given QS Stars, 11 do not appear in any world rankings.

Data on Philippine universities compiled by FactRakers from the three global metrics identified by De Vera show that a total of 74 universities appearing on the lists (both ranking and rating) this year, not 52 as the president and CHEd both said.

Without the 11 that received QS Stars ratings but didn’t show up in the global rankings, there are 63 universities in the various world rankings.

Ateneo de Manila University, De la Salle University and the University of the Philippines, which are both on THE and QS World University Rankings, are notably not on WURI and Q Stars. Mapua University, which is on THE but not QS World University Rankings, is also not on Q Stars.

Aside from the four universities given a global ranking (Ateneo, DLSU, UP and Mapua), THE assigned "reporter" status to six others that submitted data but were ineligible for inclusion in the annual rankings.

FactRakers' compiled list also shows at least 33 getting into the lists last year, not only 15 as Marcos said in his SONA. (QS Stars data for 2022 are unavailable.)

Boasting the achievements of his administration in higher education, Marcos said in his SONA:

More and more of our higher education institutions (HEIs) have reached world-class status. This year, 52 Philippine HEIs have been included in the World Universities (sic) Rankings, compared to just 15 last year.

Fifteen Philippine universities appear under last year’s THE Impact Rankings, the only figure matching the president's. Twenty-nine are on this year’s list.

THE’s World University Rankings are based on 13 indicators that measures a university’s performance across teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

Its Impact Rankings consist of “global performance tables that assess universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

QS World University Rankings emphasize employability and sustainability.

WURI evaluates universities on six categories: industrial application, entrepreneurial spirit, ethical value, student mobility and openness, crisis management and Fourth Industrial Revolution.


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