THE UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas (UST) slipped one notch to fifth best Philippine university but obtained a higher ranking worldwide in the 2023 Webometrics Ranking of World Universities.
From its 2,742nd spot last year, UST jumped to 2,523rd worldwide in the July 2023 edition of the Webometrics Ranking, a ranking system of higher education institutions that seeks to promote open access to academic and research materials.
Despite the improved world ranking, UST dropped by one spot among Philippine universities.
The University of the Philippines Diliman remained as the country’s top university with a world ranking of 849th. Other institutions that outperformed UST were De La Salle University Manila (1,595th), University of the Philippines System (1,847th) and Ateneo de Manila University (2,126th).
Webometrics Ranking editor Isidro Aguillo said the UP System, which includes all UP constituent universities, was also ranked since institutions with different web domains are considered as independent entries.
UST achieved its ranking based on its performance in the following indicators: impact or number of external networks linking to the institution’s web pages (3,367th); openness or the number of citations from the researchers (2,354th); and excellence or the number of cited papers across all disciplines of the full database (3,219th).
Of the three indicators, UST performed best in openness, where it obtained 37,934 individual Google scholar citations from the top 310 public profiles of each university collected from July 1 to 20, 2023.
The University ranked fourth among 21 Philippine institutions in terms of the number of Google citations. It had 37,934 citations, lower than those of the University of the Philippines System (337,391), De La Salle University Manila (118,948) and University of the Philippines Diliman (52,096). However, UST performed better than Ateneo de Manila University (25,656), Mindanao State University Iligan Institute of Technology (17,172) Mapua Institute of Technology (9,614) and 14 other institutions.
In an email interview with The Flame, Aguillo said the criteria used in assessing the universities’ rankings analyzed publications and citations based on a five-year window.
“Basically the criteria (this year) is the same (as last year), but moving the time window from 2017-2021 to 2018-2022,” Aguillo said.
‘Faster growth needed’
UST also remained among the top 100 universities in Southeast Asia, but fell from 97th in 2022 to 99th this year.
The National University of Singapore bested all universities in the region, followed by Nanyang Technological University, which is also in Singapore, and University of Malaya in Malaysia.
To produce a better ranking in the next edition, Aguillo said UST should increase its quantity and quality of web contents as it weighs half of the university’s performance. The indicator for the most cited paper weighs 40% while the most cited researcher weighs 10%.
“Size is important for the rankings and if the University intends to improve its rank it should consider not only to ‘perform better’ but to [grow] faster than other institutions,” Aguillo told The Flame.
“[The] Philippines is a country with a large young population. Far more world-class universities should be developed in the near future for attending the new generations,” he added.
Harvard University remained as the top university worldwide, followed by Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, all located in the United States.
Founded in 2004, the Webometrics Ranking biannually assesses more than 32,000 higher education institutions from over 200 countries. F – with reports from Joss Gabriel Oliveros and Zoe Airabelle Aguinaldo