MANILA — The teaching staff of Philippine universities need to "improve their credentials" and engage in more research with their peers from other countries, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said Thursday.
CHED Chairman Prospero "Popoy" de Vera made the statement following the release of the 2022 QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) World University Rankings, which found that Philippine universities performed poorly in the research (citations per faculty) indicator.
"Many of our faculty members still need to improve their credentials, finish their PhDs, for example... Dapat makapag-publish ka sa journals para makilala ka sa ibang bansa at 'pag nag-research kayo, papayag sila mag-research kayo together," De Vera said.
(Many of our faculty members still need to improve their credentials, finish their PhDs, for example... They should have their work published in journals for them to be recognized abroad and engage in research together with researchers from other countries.)
De Vera said there was a need to invest on faculty members to finish their degrees and have continuous professional development, increase linkages between local and international universities, and "increase the overall funding for research on higher education."
He also urged teachers to avail scholarships and study abroad, noting that the commission's funding to send Filipino scholars to other countries this year was at an all-time high.
"The funds available now in CHED is at all-time high compared to previous years. Pero 'yong intake ng mga maga-abroad, parang hindi kasingtaas ng expected," he said.
(The funds available now in CHED is at all time high compared to previous years. But the intake of those who want to study abroad is not as high as expected.)
De Vera said universities can also take advantage of the current remote learning setup to improve in internationalization, another indicator in which Philippine schools performed poorly in the QS rankings.
Philippine public universities cannot hire foreigners to teach under civil service rules and find it difficult to attract foreign students due to inadequate facilities such as dormitories, De Vera explained.
"But now, because of flexible learning... you can have foreign lecturers in your faculty and do it electronically," he said.
"Many foreign students will not go to the Philippines compared to other countries because they might have better dormitories, better sports facilities... But there's a way to address that because many of the classes are delivered online, so they don't have to physically be here."
The latest QS World University Rankings saw the University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas drop from their rank from the previous year, while Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University maintained their spots.
De Vera also noted that the current rankings are not "reflective of what's happening on the ground as far as the challenges of higher education is concerned" because they do not consider that many universities have shifted to remote or blended learning last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.