The latest bit of good news for the Philippines.

Two Philippine universities, one secular and one faith-based, jumped dramatically in the Times Higher Education Supplement university rankings. Ateneo de Manila is now ranked at 254 from the 401-500 bracket (which this year the THES-QS survey did not “rank” because of data concerns), and the University of the Philippines is now 276 from being in the same bracket the year before.

As I have connections with these two institutions, I must say that I am terribly proud. However, my concern is that the two other institutions I know are… well, based on this one, off the radar.

Rankings aren’t everything, but they do tell us one important statistic: the institution in question is in the radar, meaning that it has a profile of some sort to show in the academic world. So I suggest that rather than being petulant about it, we should now ensure that we can assume a wider profile. Also, if there is one legal amendment I would want to pursue, it is to end quotas on the number of foreign faculty a university can appoint. While it will be initially disadvantageous to Filipinos, supposedly, I think it is about time that we grow up and accept being judged on the same playing field.

Elsewhere, I commented on Leland de la Cruz’s note that this year’s COMIUCAP meeting will help keep the profile of the Ateneo de Manila (and, in hindsight, the University of Santo Tomas as well, as a co-host) high enough to factor into the 2009 survey.

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I must note, for the benefit of some of my readers, that Ateneo de Manila is in the same bracket as the Sorbonne, York University in Toronto, and is a rank below the School of Asian and Oriental Studies of the University of London. Full rankings here.

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On a related note, one of the things I would like to see is that consortial arrangements for theologates should be strengthened here, especially among schools of different Christian traditions. That may be one of the ways, I suggest, that Philippine theology would gain a higher profile of some sort on the world stage. Of course, with the likes of Bishops Daniel Arichea (Methodist) and Chito Tagle (Roman Catholic) making an impact elsewhere, we have a place to start. Unfortunately, mutual suspicion between different Christian traditions have not helped at all.

A big hat tip to Leland de la Cruz of the Ateneo de Manila for pointing out the rankings.

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