23 October 2008

in baguio, in october

google's aerial view of baguio
view of the cathedral surrounded by structures along session road
view of burnham park
university of the cordilleras and the huge bowl behind it

session road
as i post this entry...

these days, there aren't too many pine trees in baguio. still, i decided to go up to finish a couple of manuscripts. baguio has always been good to me. i completed many poems here. i used to take long trips in college from manila to this city as a tutor-volunteer to underprivileged students. i spent many summers with writer-friends during the annual u.p. national writers' workshops. most importantly, i could not finish anything solid in manila. i need this short break very badly.

here, i've been walking to my favorite coffee shop daily. tantalized by the aroma of benguet coffee, i write religiously from noon to dusk. then i take a long walk back to my hotel room to work till dawn.

i'm back to my australia schedule. stay tuned.

p.s. occasionally, i bump into old friends and former students. while walking, a handful of local residents would stop and ask me if i am THAT person from the TV commercial. local and national newspapers are still running advertorials about me and the milk campaign. magaling talaga mag-promote ang nestle at ang chris cahilig consultancy inc. because of these guys, i am not totally isolated from the rest of the world.

18 October 2008

From UP Vice President Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo: UP did not participate in the THES-QS university rankings

In the 2008 university rankings recently released by the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) and Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), only the University of the Philippines and the Ateneo de Manila University (among Philippine universities) made it to the top 400. UP rose from 398 in 2007 to 276 this year; Ateneo rose from 401-500 to 254. De La Salle was ranked 415th and UST was ranked 470th.

According to UP Vice President for Public Affairs Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo, UP President Emerlinda R. Roman did not receive any invitation to participate in the survey this year or any questionnaire to answer. What President Roman received was an email message from QS Asia Quacquarelli Symonds’ Regional Director (Asia Pacific), Mandy Mok, informing her that UP had “gone up in the rankings.”

Since UP had not been invited to participate in the survey and had not provided any data, UP officials do not know where and how the figures were obtained on which the ranking was based.

Hidalgo revealed that the message also contained this statement: “In view of the good news, would you like to consider signing up the following at a very attractive package price?” The “package price,” which includes a banner on topuniversities.com, a full page full color ad in Top Universities Guide 2009, and a booth at Top Universities Fair 2009, amounts to $48,930.

“UP can hardly be expected to spend more than 2 million pesos on publicity for itself involving a survey conducted by an organization that refuses to divulge where it obtains its data,” Hidalgo said.

In 2007, UP was invited to participate in the survey, but when THES-QS refused to explain where it obtained the data used to determine UP’s rank in the 2006 survey (where UP was ranked No. 299), university officials decided not to accept the invitation to participate in the 2007 survey. Moreover, the university was given barely a week to respond to the questionnaire.

UP wrote THES-QS in July 2007, informing them of this decision, and again in September 2007, requesting the organization to respect UP’s decision. In response, research assistant Saad Shabir wrote back saying that if it did not receive the information it would be “forced to use last year’s data or some form of average.”

These rankings are supposedly meant to serve as “the definitive guide to universities around the world which truly excel.” In evaluating institutions it computes half of the index based on its reputation as perceived by academics (peer review 40%) and global employers (recruiter review 10%). Since it does not specify who are surveyed or what questions are asked, the methodology is problematic.

An earlier statement, released by UP in August this year, and carried by several national dailies, said: “Even peers require standardized input data to review. But according to the International Ranking Systems for Universities and Institutions: A Critical Appraisal, published by BioMed Central, the Times simply asks 190,000 ‘experts’ to list what they regard as the top 30 universities in their field of expertise without providing input data on any performance indicators (http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/5/30). Moreover, the survey response rate among selected experts was found to be below 1%. In other words, on the basis of possible selection biases alone, the validity of the measurement is shaky.”

According to the statement, the other half of the index is based on such indicators as student-to faculty ratio, the number of foreign faculty and students in the university, and the number of academic works by university researchers that have been cited internationally. “Data for these indicators, however, typically depend on the information that participating institutions submit. An institution’s index may be easily distorted if it fails to submit data for the pertinent indicators, or if it chooses not to participate.”

As Dr. Leticia Peñano-Ho said in an article carried by the UP Forum last year: “The crux of the matter is to identify the indices that can approximate the different landscapes of universities. There might be a need to relate these indicators to the unversities’ mission statements. UP’s constituents can identify their own indicators and decide on their desirability, relevance and reliability. These criteria should, as an added value, provide international comparisons.”

Friday, October 17, 2008

09 October 2008

2008 world's top 200 universities

Times Higher: World University Rankings

2008 Rank
2007 Rank
Institution name
1 1 HARVARD University United States
2 2= YALE University United States
3 2= University of CAMBRIDGE United Kingdom
4 2= University of OXFORD United Kingdom
5 7= CALIFORNIA Institute of Technology (Caltech) United States
6 5 IMPERIAL College London United Kingdom
7 9 UCL (University College London) United Kingdom
8 7= University of CHICAGO United States
9 10 MASSACHUSETTS Institute of Technology (MIT) United States
10 11 COLUMBIA University United States
11 14 University of PENNSYLVANIA United States
12 6 PRINCETON University United States
13= 13 DUKE University United States
13= 15 JOHNS HOPKINS University United States
15 20= CORNELL University United States
16 16 AUSTRALIAN National University Australia
17 19 STANFORD University United States
18 38= University of MICHIGAN United States
19 17 University of TOKYO Japan
20 12 MCGILL University Canada
21 20= CARNEGIE MELLON University United States
22 24 KING'S College London United Kingdom
23 23 University of EDINBURGH United Kingdom
24 42 ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) Switzerland
25 25 KYOTO University Japan
26 18 University of HONG KONG Hong Kong
27 32 BROWN University United States
28 26 École Normale Supérieure, PARIS France
29 30 University of MANCHESTER United Kingdom
30= 41 University of CALIFORNIA, Los Angeles (UCLA) United States
30= 33= National University of SINGAPORE Singapore
32 37 University of BRISTOL United Kingdom
33 29 NORTHWESTERN University United States
34= 33= University of BRITISH COLUMBIA Canada
36 22 University of California, BERKELEY United States
37 31 The University of SYDNEY Australia
38 27 The University of MELBOURNE Australia
39 53= HONG KONG University of Science & Technology Hong Kong
40 49 NEW YORK University (NYU) United States
41 45 University of TORONTO Canada
42 38= The CHINESE University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
43 33= University of QUEENSLAND Australia
44 46 OSAKA University Japan
45 44 University of NEW SOUTH WALES Australia
46 47 BOSTON University United States
47 43 MONASH University Australia
48 93= University of COPENHAGEN Denmark
49 53= TRINITY College Dublin Ireland
50= 117= Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de LAUSANNE Switzerland
50= 36 PEKING University China
50= 51= SEOUL National University Korea, South
53 48 University of AMSTERDAM Netherlands
54 71= DARTMOUTH College United States
55 55= University of WISCONSIN-Madison United States
56 40 TSINGHUA University China
57 60 HEIDELBERG Universität Germany
58 58 University of CALIFORNIA, San Diego United States
59 55= University of WASHINGTON United States
60 161= WASHINGTON University in St. Louis United States
61 90= TOKYO Institute of Technology Japan
62 74= EMORY University United States
63 71= UPPSALA University Sweden
64 84 LEIDEN University Netherlands
65 50 The University of AUCKLAND New Zealand
66 59 LONDON School of Economics and Political Science United Kingdom
67 89 UTRECHT University Netherlands
68 105 University of GENEVA Switzerland
69 57 University of WARWICK United Kingdom
70 51= University of TEXAS at Austin United States
71 73 University of ILLINOIS United States
72 61 Katholieke Universiteit LEUVEN Belgium
73 83 University of GLASGOW United Kingdom
74 97= University of ALBERTA Canada
75 65= University of BIRMINGHAM United Kingdom
76 68 University of SHEFFIELD United Kingdom
77 69 NANYANG Technological University Singapore
78= 63 DELFT University of Technology Netherlands
78= 67 Technische Universität MÜNCHEN Germany
78= 92 RICE University United States
81= 114= University of AARHUS Denmark
81= 74= University of YORK United Kingdom
83= 97= GEORGIA Institute of Technology United States
83= 76 University of ST ANDREWS United Kingdom
83= 64 The University of WESTERN AUSTRALIA Australia
86 70 University of NOTTINGHAM United Kingdom
87 142= University of MINNESOTA United States
88 106 LUND University Sweden
89 96 University of CALIFORNIA, Davis United States
90 85= CASE WESTERN RESERVE University United States
91= 100 University of HELSINKI Finland
91= 93= Université de Montréal Canada
93= 128 Hebrew University of JERUSALEM Israel
93= 65= Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (MUNICH) Germany
95 132= KAIST - Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology Korea, South
96 110 University of VIRGINIA United States
97 77= University of PITTSBURGH United States
98 117= University of CALIFORNIA, Santa Barbara United States
99= 77= PURDUE University United States
99= 80= University of SOUTHAMPTON United Kingdom
101 82 VANDERBILT University United States
102= 151= University of NORTH CAROLINA United States
102= 119 University of SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA United States
104 80= University of LEEDS United Kingdom
105 90= PENNSYLVANIA STATE University United States
106= 62 University of ADELAIDE Australia
106= 140= University of ZURICH Switzerland
108 177= University College DUBLIN Ireland
109 231= TECHNION - Israel Institute of Technology Israel
110 102= GEORGETOWN University United States
111 111 MAASTRICHT University Netherlands
112 102= TOHOKU University Japan
113 85= FUDAN University China
114 151= TEL AVIV University Israel
115 85= University of VIENNA Austria
116 123 Université catholique de LOUVAIN (UCL) Belgium
117= 108 MCMASTER University Canada
117= 88 QUEEN'S University Canada
119 95 University of ROCHESTER United States
120 112= NAGOYA University Japan
121 120 OHIO STATE University United States
122= 109 DURHAM University United Kingdom
122= 79 University of MARYLAND United States
124= 114= University of OTAGO New Zealand
124= 102= National TAIWAN University Taiwan
126 163= ERASMUS University Rotterdam Netherlands
127 224 STONY BROOK University United States
128 130= EINDHOVEN University of Technology Netherlands
129 112= University of WATERLOO Canada
130 121 University of SUSSEX United Kingdom
131 114= University of BASEL Switzerland
132 140= University of CALIFORNIA, Irvine United States
133= 99 CARDIFF University United Kingdom
133= 130= Technical University of DENMARK Denmark
133= 101 University of LIVERPOOL United Kingdom
136 124 University of GHENT Belgium
137= 146 Freie Universität BERLIN Germany
137= 122 TEXAS A&M University United States
139 126= HUMBOLDT-Universität zu Berlin Germany
140 157 Ecole normale supérieure de LYON France
141 155= University of Science and Technology of CHINA China
142 148 WAGENINGEN University Netherlands
143 125 NANJING University China
144= 173= University of GRONINGEN Netherlands
144= 163= SHANGHAI JIAO TONG University China
146 134 University of ARIZONA United States
147= 149= CITY University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
147= 144 Universität FREIBURG Germany
149 132= Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie PARIS VI France
150 192= Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) Mexico
151 177= RUTGERS, The State University of New Jersey United States
152 145 University of BATH United Kingdom
153 137= University of ABERDEEN United Kingdom
154 307= Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD) India
155= 304= VU University AMSTERDAM Netherlands
155= 142= Eberhard Karls Universität TÜBINGEN Germany
157 159= TUFTS University United States
158 136 KYUSHU University Japan
159 126= The University of WESTERN ONTARIO Canada
160 149= QUEEN MARY, University of London United Kingdom
161 217 University of LAUSANNE Switzerland
162= 197= CHALMERS University of Technology Sweden
162= 129 NEWCASTLE University, NEWCASTLE Upon Tyne United Kingdom
164 139 SIMON FRASER University Canada
165 135 University of FLORIDA United States
166= 223 CHULALONGKORN University Thailand
166= 168= Universität GÖTTINGEN Germany
168 155= University of NOTRE DAME United States
169 209= Universität FRANKFURT am Main Germany
170= 166= University of CALGARY Canada
170= 137= INDIANA University Bloomington United States
170= 147 University of LANCASTER United Kingdom
173 192= KTH, ROYAL Institute of Technology Sweden
174= 151= HOKKAIDO University Japan
174= 269 Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) India
174= 191 RENSSELAER Polytechnic Institute United States
177= 185= University of LEICESTER United Kingdom
177= 188= University of OSLO Norway
179 200= University of CAPE TOWN South Africa
180= 107 University of COLORADO at Boulder United States
180= 180= WASEDA University Japan
182 168= MACQUARIE University Australia
183= 154 Université Libre de BRUXELLES (ULB) Belgium
183= 231= Lomonosov MOSCOW STATE University Russia
185 208 BRANDEIS University United States
186= 194 University of BARCELONA Spain
186= 188= University of CANTERBURY New Zealand
188= 203= Technische Universität BERLIN Germany
188= 233 POHANG University of Science and Technology Korea, South
190 165 Universität STUTTGART Germany
191 175= University of MASSACHUSETTS, Amherst United States
192= 214 University of BERN Switzerland
192= 173= University of BOLOGNA Italy
194 180= University of READING United Kingdom
195 187 University of ANTWERP Belgium
196 175= University of SAO PAULO Brazil
197= 264= University of BUENOS AIRES Argentina
197= 221= DALHOUSIE University Canada
199 197= KOBE University Japan
200= 248= University of ATHENS Greece
200= 185= University of TWENTE Netherlands