Two local universities, the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and the University of the Philippines (UP), saw their rankings rise in The Times Higher Education - QS (THE-QS) World University Rankings 2008, a leading global ranking of higher education institutions.
In the overall rankings released Monday, Ateneo rose from number 451 in 2007 to number 254 this year, while UP rose from 398 last year to 276.
The THE-QS World University Rankings are based on data gathered in the following categories: peer academic review, recruiter review, international faculty ratio, international student ratio, student-faculty ratio, and research citations per faculty.
Ateneo had an overall score of 48.0 out of 100, up from 30.8 last year, while UP posted a 45.9 overall score, up from 34.7 last year.
Ateneo was tied with Spain's Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, while UP was tied with Germany's Universitat Ulm and Universitat Wurzburg, and the United States' Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
The two universities also figured in the subject-specific rankings for the first time.
Ateneo and UP were both ranked in the top 100 Arts and Humanities institutions worldwide: ADMU was ranked number 79, while UP was at number 82, along with the University of Notre Dame in the US.
ADMU, UP, and another local university, De La Salle University, were also part of the 100 institutions with the highest employer review scores.
Ateneo was rank 76 in employer review, tied with the University of Western Australia, with a score of 88; UP was tied with the University of North Carolina at rank 82, with a score of 87; and DLSU was at rank 92, with a score of 84.
In the overall rankings, universities in the United States and the United Kingdom, led by Harvard University at rank 1, continue to dominate the rankings. The highest-ranked Asian university was the University of Tokyo in Japan (19), while the National University of Singapore (30) was the highest-ranked for Southeast Asia.
Meanwhile, two other Philippine institutions - the University of Santo Tomas and the De La Salle University - were part of the group ranked 401-500.
"Further down the rankings, fewer data are available to evaluate each university and the statistical appropriateness of discerning one university from the next begins to decay. Responses for institutions in our survey drop off exponentially from the top of the table, by the time it gets past 400 the results become highly sensitive to error. As a result, precise positions beyond 400, are not published," QS explained in its rankings tally in topuniversities.com.
Now in its fifth year, the research is conducted and compiled by QS Quacquarelli Symonds and features in print in Times Higher Education on 9th October and online on the QS web site www.topuniversities.com on 10th October.
Philippines' HE system 33rd
Meanwhile, the country ranked 33rd out of 40 countries included in the preliminary version of the QS SAFE National System Strength Rankings.
The QS SAFE National System Strength evaluation is "the first attempt to use rankings results, in concert with other indicators, not to evaluate the relative strength of individual institutions but of countries' higher education system strengths as a whole."
The rankings are based on four key indicators combined with equal weighting using standard statistical methods also used for the main THE-QS WOrld University Rankings - overall strength of the system, access, flagship institutions, and economic factors.
The rankings for the top 100 universities were released Thursday, while the rest (101-400) were released Monday.
"These rankings use an unprecedented amount of data to deliver the most accurate measure available of the world’s best universities, and of the strength of different nations’ university systems. They are important for governments wanting to gauge the progress of their education systems, and are used in planning by universities across the world," THE editor Ann Mroz said in a statement.
"In just five years, the THE-QS World University Rankings have become the primary benchmark for comparing universities across borders – recognised for their accuracy and insight. The rankings allow prospective students, parents, academics, employers and journalists to gain an insight into international university education, helping them to make the right choices, whether it is in selecting a university for study or for partnership," Nunzio Quacquarelli, Managing Director of QS Quacquarelli Symonds and co-editor of the Top Universities Guide, was also quoted as saying.
The data was based on survey responses from 6,354 academics and 2,339 employers from around the world.
The overall rankings and the full explanation of the ratings system can be found at the website www.topuniversities.com.