Ong, Flores of QS/THE Rankings provides QS Stars training for Bukidnon State University

University of Santo Tomas Office of QS/THE Rankings Deputy Director Asst. Prof. Nestor R. Ong, MSIE, PIE, ASEAN Eng, and Office Assistant Mr. Vien Vic G. Flores, MS, AFP, conducted a two-day QS Stars Rating Lecture-Workshop at the Bukidnon State University (BukSU) from July 21-22, 2022. BukSU, a prominent university located in Northern Mindanao, organized the lecture-workshop to assess its readiness for its QS Stars Rating application.

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 of the QS Stars Rating system. This was followed by Flores’s detailed discussion of the QS Stars Criteria. BukSU QS Stars Coordinator Dr. Elle Christine Melendez led the BukSU participants in completing a self-assessment of the university’s strengths and weaknesses as part of the initial workshop activity.

Ong shared UST’s QS Stars Rating challenges and successes for the three cycles of 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, who need to meet the various criteria and the attendant thresholds, as well as its justification in the validation stages.

On the second day of the lecture-workshop, Ong focused on the Simplified Map Day Process and its deliverables. Related to it is Walk Day 1 Rev 0.  He defined Map Day as a process for planning new projects and that which 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.

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 for UST to share its best practices with other universities and aid them in their journey of being updated on emerging trends, challenges and opportunities in education.

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, 2014 and 2017. This was the highest rating given to a Philippine University by QS. Consequently, UST set a benchmark international ratings among Philippine HEIs, several of whom have sought to know UST’s best practices in rankings and ratings.  

UST eventually bested its own previous record by becoming 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.

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, PhD, served as the external adviser for BukSu’s doctorate program in the English Language Studies.

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