In the previous months, three key executive leaders of QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) and THE (Times Higher Education) international ranking bodies have visited the University of Santo Tomas, in coordination with the newly established Office of QS/THE Rankings headed by its Deputy Director, Engr. Nestor R. Ong, ASEAN Eng, in three different occasions.
In each visit, Ong and his support staff, Mr. Vien Vic G. Flores were present to welcome them.
Mr. E Way Chong, the present QS Regional Director for South East Asia, is under the QS Intelligence Unit, and is in charge of engaging with universities across South East Asia. Chong said, “The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will sponsor the QS Stars Orientations to be attended by 18 Philippine public/state universities. In line with this, UST will be the primary University to be considered for benchmarking by selected Philippine public universities which will undergo the assessment and evaluation on a range of categories that recognize distinct strengths. It is a known fact that UST is the first and only Philippine University that is rated Four Stars in QS Rating awarded in 2015 and 2017 by QS London. Ong emphasized that “they need to follow the protocol in benchmarking by first seeking the approval of the UST Rector.”
THE Regional Director for South Asia Mr. Ritin Malhotra visited the University after his CHED engagement upon learning that the University is going to participate in the THE’s University Impact Rankings in 2020. The said rankings are a pioneering initiative to recognize universities across the world for their social and economic impact based on the Seventeen (17) United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ritin said that “The impact rankings have improved the data submission systems and its methodology covering all 17 of the SDGs based on the impressive feedback about the process and methodology during its pilot run. The pilot run had an overwhelming response with over 560 institutions that participated and only 466 ranked in the overall rankings.” Ong said, “This is a great privilege and opportunity for our University to showcase our significant contributions in supporting these SDGs and in recognizing their impact on society.”
Ms. Mandy Mok, the founding CEO of QS Asia, who had more than a decade-long leadership and stewardship, has propelled QS to become the most widely recognized and preferred higher education ranking and rating system in Asia. She shared, “A Philippine university and the Global Strategic Alliance (GSA) will sponsor the launch of her new initiative AppliedHE Ratings. You and your whole team must come and participate sometime in November 2019. We will bring in some international speakers. It is very much like what Prof. Lilian J. Sison, Ph.D., Director of the International Relations and Programs, used to do for me when I started with QS. We are also breaking into many countries.”
Mok emphasized that she really wants UST to participate in their pilot run. Ong in return, told Mok that he is “thankful to Mandy for always considering UST in her plans. But her invitation is something to think about and that it requires the approval of UST top management.”