University of Santo Tomas Office of QS/THE Rankings Deputy Director Engr. Nestor R. Ong, MSIE, PIE, ASEAN Eng, and Office Assistant Mr. Vien Vic G. Flores, MS, AFP, conducted a two-day QS Star Rating Onsite Lecture-Workshop at the Bukidnon State University (BukSU) upon the invitation of the institution. Held from July 21 to July 22, 2022, Bukidnon State University, a prominent university located in Northern Mindanao, organized the lecture-workshop to assess its readiness for its QS Stars Rating application.
The invitation was extended by BukSU President Oscar B. Cabanelez, Ph.D., through the UST Rector Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, OP, PhD, who immediately approved the request. It is a way by which UST is able to share its best practices with other universities in their journey of seeking assistance in being updated on emerging trends, challenges and opportunities in education.
On the first day, the participants, composed of academic officials, administrators and process owners, listened to Ong’s lecture on introduction to and high-level overview on QS Stars Rating. This followed by Flores’s discussion of the detailed QS Stars Criteria. BukSU QS Stars Coordinator Dr. Elle Christine Melendez, together with the BukSU participants, successfully completed a self-assessment of the university’s strengths and weaknesses as part of the initial workshop activity.
Ong set the lecture-workshop in high spirits, especially when he discussed the success story of UST taking on the QS Stars Rating challenge for three cycles in 2014, 2017 and 2021. He also shared the University’s best practices even during the pandemic. Ong discussed the five case scenarios for the participants to fully understand how the QS Stars Rating works especially from the perspective of the process owners for them to meet the various criteria and its thresholds, as well as its justification in the validation stages.
On the second day of the lecture-workshop, Ong focused his lecture on the Simplified Map Day Process and its deliverables. Related to it is WalkDay 1 Rev 0. He defined Map Day as a term used to describe a process for planning new projects that requires the integration of plans from multiple players or groups. It allows project team members to test assumptions, clarify expectations, and build commitment. Ong emphasized that Map Day helps clarify who needs to deliver what to whom and when, what to agree and disagree on, and decisions and/or issues that need early resolution. This will cover the risk assessment as well as the institution’s decision for Go or no Go decision.
Ong and Flores were awarded by Bukidnon State University through Dr. Melendez with a Certificate of Recognition.
The University of Santo Tomas (UST) was awarded the overall rating of Four Stars by the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Stars team from London in two cycles, 2015 and 2017. With this feat, UST has been known as “the Philippines to be star-rated, at Four Stars.” Consequently, UST has become a trend-setter in international ratings where other universities in the Philippines have considered UST as a benchmarking house of best practices in rankings and ratings.
Moreover, another milestone set its history among Philippine universities to become the first in the Philippines to obtain the coveted Five Stars Rating for UST, the penultimate rank in the six-tier system adopted by QS in its third review cycle of QS Stars Rating application. Thus, UST has established itself as an authority on international rankings and ratings and has been known for helping Philippine universities uplift their educational standards to be at par with international standards and be recognized on the global scene as also mandated by CHED.
The lecture-workshop is not the first engagement between UST and BukSU. The UST Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics has partnered with BukSU in its cultural heritage mapping activity. Likewise, the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters Dean Prof. Marilu R. Madrunio, Ph.D., served as the external adviser for BukSU’s doctorate program for English Language Studies.
BukSU traces its beginnings to Bukidnon Provincial High School established in 1924, which became Bukidnon State College in 1976, and eventually, a university in 2007. It has several Extension and External Studies Center in the different parts of Mindanao.