QS/THE Rankings Deputy Director Engr. Nestor R. Ong, PIE, ASEAN Eng, together with Office of International Relations and Programs Associate Director Prof. Karen S. Santiago, Ph.D. and QS/THE Rankings Office Assistant Mr. Vien Vic G. Flores attended the three-day Virtual QS APPLE Conference and Exhibition held from November 25 to 27, 2020. The virtual conference theme was “New Global Partnerships for Resilience and Climate Action.”
Together with the delegates, the QS Intelligence Unit (QSIU) Events Team envisioned a new path for New Global Higher Education Partnerships for Resilience and Climate Action: a world where higher education can collaborate to tackle and address some of the world’s most pressing issues.
The delegates listened to over 70 speakers, leaders, and change-makers from different generations, backgrounds, and aspirations. With his year’s conference theme, the delegates were set out calls to action to empower the world’s future leaders in pursuit of a new reality. Over three days, cutting-edge plenaries, dialogues, debates, and roundtables highlighted the capacity of higher education to shape policy responses to the pandemic; to disrupt old ways of thinking; and to prepare for a post-COVID world.
UST joined Philippine delegates from 20 Philippine universities that include Ateneo De Davao University, Batangas State University, Benguet State University, Centro Escolar University, Cagayan State University, Cebu Technological University, Cavite State University, Far Eastern University, Holy Angel University, Lyceum of the Philippines University-Batangas, Lyceum of the Philippines University-Cavite, Lyceum of the Philippines University-Laguna, Mapúa University, Mariano Marcos State University, MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology, Tarlac Agricultural University, University of Mindanao, University of the Philippines, West Visayas State University, and University of Mindanao-Davao City. More than 30 delegates from the Philippines attended the conference.
Meanwhile, UST was tapped by the Commission of Higher Education-International Affairs (CHED-IAS) to make the video on Philippine Higher Education Institution’s (PHL HEIs) Internationalization Programs of the aforementioned participating Philippine universities. This video was showcased in the CHED Exhibition Booth.
Ong, who is the country’s sole member of the QS-APPLE International Academic Advisory Conference Committee (IAAC) chaired the Breakout Session on Track 5: “Mission-Led Leadership in All Seasons.” He received an excellent commendation from the presenters and co-presenters under the said track.
In a related development, the University of Santo Tomas website, which is managed by the Communication Bureau’s Online Section, won the Bronze Award for the Best International Website Page among the 23 nominees in the virtual 2020 Quacquarelli Symonds APPLE Conference, marking the third time that the platform was recognized by QS. It was the third bronze award for UST in the category. The UST website won it in 2015 and 2018.
Ong commented that “The changes to our website provided a new look to suit the taste and level of international standards.”
Moreover, UST was nominated to the QS Creative Awards under the categories Best International Student Recruitment Brochure, and Most Creative Corporate Institution Video.
It was also in the same conference that QS also released the 2021 World University Rankings: Asia region, which highlighted how the region’s higher education sector is changing. Fourteen Philippine universities joined the list of ASIA’s top 650 universities in the region with an impressive increase of seven universities from the Philippines.
The QS Stars Awards for Asia Pacific is under the QSIU’s QS Stars Rating System. The QS Stars Rating System evaluates higher education institutions against a range of performance indicators across several categories and pre-established international standards. The Philippine HEI that was awarded four Stars was: Mapúa University; and three Stars were: Batangas State University, Benguet State University, Cagayan State University, Central Luzon State University, Mariano Marcos State University, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, Visayas State University, and West Visayas State University.
UST is the first and only four stars for six consecutive years or two cycles from 2015 up to 2020. UST is on its renewal of QS Stars Certificate and is now under validation by QS London.
The conference reached close to 1,500 delegates from over 70 countries gathered across all platforms, and a global audience from around the world. The QS APPLE 2020 Virtual Conference and Exhibition, was the largest and most geographically diverse community in the QS Conference’s 16-year history.