WITH A TOTAL of 29 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the country, San Beda University (SBU) placed 1001+ in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 2023 that was recently published last June 1.  

The university participated in THE Impact Rankings 2023 which highlights the five categories under the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The categories were clustered as good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, peace, justice, strong institutions, and partnership for the goals.  

Based on THE Impact Rankings Methodology 2023 version 1.1, SDG 17, otherwise known as a partnership for the goals, was especially a requisite in the submitted data of the participating university.  

Dr. Christian Bryan S. Bustamante, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) of SBU, stated how the said ranking’s criteria utilized the university’s activities aligned with the SDGs for its measurement.   

SBU ranked 601-800 among 1,218 institutions in SDG 3 (good health and well-being); 1001+ among 1,304 institutions in SDG 4 (quality education); 401-600 among 1,081 institutions in SDG 5 (gender equality); 601-800 among 856 institutions in SDG 16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions); and 1001+ among 1,625 institutions in SDG 17 (partnership for the goals).  

SBU, from 801 – 1000 rank last year, sunk to the 1001+ bracket. Dean Bustamante shared how there were a lot of underlying factors that caused such demotion to happen; one of those was the number of participants.  

“So, regardless of your score, kapag maraming sumasali, ang tendency mo ay pwede kang bumaba,” he shared, noting the activity’s nature of being a ranking in the first place.   

Another thing to consider with regard to the university’s lower rank was the capabilities of each participating university. Notably, it was mentioned that the participation of the big four universities in the country and the state universities already gave the said institutions an advantage to begin with.  

Dean Bustamante also shared how most of the state universities already have a built-in system that would favor the SDG indicators. These were achieved through priority of the grants given by the government.  

In addition, research was especially an integral part in how a university was to be measured by the THE Impact Ranking. Dean shared how a generous amount of budget is needed to fund researches. 

Yun ang problema sa private school sa Pilipinas, lahat ng budget kinukuha sa tuition fee,” said Dean, “So pag walang tuition fee, eh pag walang estudyante kulang, wala kaming grant. Sino ang magresearch pag walang grant?” he added.  

The big four universities in the Philippines, on the other hand, have reached a high rank as “they have the resources, they have a bigger population, they have bigger alumni who can give them more money,” Dean Bustamante added.  

Along with this, Dean Bustamante urged all Bedans to take evaluation forms seriously in order to formally address a matter worth noting or improving, rather than taking matters into social media that might result in backlash.  

Anticipating next year’s ranking, Dean Bustamante said that SBU will join all SDG-based rankings in hopes of accumulating a better rank in the proceeding years, while continuously improving the entirety of SBU with the cooperation of all Bedans.  

(with Gian Marcel R. Chiu)

Photo courtesy of SBU