The University of Santo Tomas (UST) secured the coveted five stars rating in the third review cycle of its Quacquarelli-Symonds (QS) Stars application. It is the first university in the Philippines to be rated as a five-star institution.
UST received five stars for Teaching, Employability, Internationalization, and Facilities; four stars for Academic Development; and three stars for Arts and Culture and Inclusiveness. For the Specialist Criteria, QS gave a five-star rating to the University’s Doctor of Medicine program.
“University facilities, including student services, were rated with 5 stars. The presence of medical services, accommodation facilities, sports facilities, and student societies and associations were rated,” UST stated. (Read: UST Journal to Release Special Issues on 500 Years of PH Christianity)
The QS five stars methodology focuses on at least eight out of thirteen criteria against which university performance is rated. A four-star rating was first given to UST in 2015, which was renewed in 2018.
“UST’s program specialization according to QS criteria is the Doctor of Medicine program, which posted a perfect score in graduate employability and high scores in completion rate and student satisfaction and accreditation,” UST added.
The results were first communicated on June 25, 2021, and are valid until June 25, 2024. (Read: 5 Young Scientists From Top PH Universities Compete for NAST Grant)
QS Stars University Ratings
QS Stars is a rating system that provides a detailed look at an institution, allowing the public to identify which universities are the best in specific topics such as program strength, facilities, graduate employability, social responsibility, inclusiveness, and more.
The system will help the students to understand which universities have performed well against a comprehensive list of indicators. It also enables them to match their interests to universities when looking for a future program. (Read: 12 of the Best Educational Podcasts on Spotify)
In the methodology used for QS Stars, universities are evaluated in dozens of indicators across at least eight categories. Following the assessment, universities are awarded an overall star result that ranges from 0 to 5+ stars, depending on the number of points obtained through the evaluation.
Impact on the Philippine educational system
Aside from UST, around 19 institutions from the Philippines have been evaluated as part of QS Stars this year, including Batangas State University, Benguet State University, Bicol University, Cagayan State University, Caraga State University, Central Luzon State University, Jose Rizal University (JRU), Lyceum of the Philippines University, Malayan Colleges Laguna, Mapua University, and more.
According to QS Stars, 12 universities received five stars in teaching, 11 out of the 18 institutions evaluated in the facilities category have been awarded four stars, and 89% of students are employed within a maximum of 24 months from graduation.
“About half of the institutions have a further study rate over 30 percent, showing a strong trend of students pursuing advanced qualifications,” QS Stars explained. (Read: 3 PH Schools to Consider if You Want to Become a Priest)
The rating shows that there are many universities across different regions in the Philippines that offer good quality education, a safe campus environment, and employment opportunities. QS Stars proved that good quality education is not only limited to well-known or big universities.