The University of the Philippines topping other prestigious universities in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings was seen as evidence that its students are not just activists rallying against the government.
The premier university scored 98.8 for citations in clinical and pre-clinical health researches, according to the website of Times Higher Education.
The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development stated that UP’s score surpassed that of other prominent world universities such as Harvard University, the University of Oxford and Stanford University.
Meanwhile, in the overall Asia University Rankings score, UP got 38.1, which put it in the 95th spot.
In the world rankings, UP placed in between the 126th and the 150th spots.
While it was yearly featured in the roster, this was the first time the institution made it to the top 100 universities in Asia.
Moreover, it also remains one of the five universities from Southeast Asia. Two are from Singapore and the other two are in Malaysia.
This feat gathered praises online and some hoped that the researches would contribute to the country’s health sector.
Well I hope this would help improve the local health system (IF…the gov't allocated more budget).
— MagpakatotooKa (@robby10009) August 13, 2019
Others, meanwhile, took a sarcastic tone and noted that this is a blow to critics who perceive UP students as mere activists.
UP was one of the several educational institutions red-tagged by the military and the police force to be recruitment places of the Communist Party of the Philippines in 2018.
Early that year, President Rodrigo Duterte also threatened to take away the scholarships of the students who walked out of their classes as a form of protest against his policies.
Ronald Cardema, former National Youth Commissioner, previously made a request to Duterte to strip the student-activists off their scholarships.
The Times Higher Education (THE) lists have been one of the biggest and sought-after benchmarks of excellence of universities in the world.
This year, it ranked more than 1,250 research-intensive universities from different countries.
“It is the only global university performance table to judge research-intensive universities across all of their core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. We use 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons, trusted by students, academics, university leaders, industry and governments,” it stated on its website.
The top five in the world university rankings are
- University of Oxford
- University of Cambridge
- Stanford University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- California Institute of Technology
The Asia category list, meanwhile, uses the same 13 indicators as that of the worldwide version. However, it has been modified to fit the priorities of the universities in the region.
The top five in Asia are
- Tsinghua University
- National University of Singapore
- The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
- University of Hong Kong
- Peking University