UP Cracks Top 100 in Best Universities in Asia List, Is Named Fourth Best in Southeast Asia

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The University of the Philippines (UP) placed 95th in London-based magazine Times Higher Education (THE)'s list of best universities in Asia for 2019. It is the first time the country's premier state university has breached the top 100 since THE started the rankings in 2013.

The list, published May 1, shows UP surging 61 notches from its ranking last year at 156th, making it the fourth best university in Southeast Asia. The institution has consistently ranked in the list since 2017, the only Philippine university to do so. 

This year, however, another local school makes an appearance in the list for the first time. De La Salle University (DLSU) made the cut in the 251-300 cluster. 

THE’s Asia University Rankings for 2018 gauged the Asian universities based on five key areas: “teaching (the learning environment); research (volume, income, and reputation); citations (research influence); international outlook (number of staff, students and research); and industry income (knowledge transfer).” Universities must have at least produced a minimum of 150 relevant research studies a year between 2013 and 2017 to be considered.

Topping the list is China’s Tsinghua University, overtaking Singapore’s National University of Singapore which held the top spot for the past two years. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology placed third place, followed by University of Hong Kong, with China’s Peking University completing the top five.

At the regional level, 34 universities in the list are in Southeast Asia, with Thailand contributing the most with 14, followed by Malaysia with 11, two of which ranked as the third and fourth best in the region. Indonesia is next with five.


Still, Singapore topped the region despite only having two entries, as National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University of Singapore are both in the top 10.

The Asia University Rankings has been compiled by THE since 2013. Originally ranking only 100 universities, the list expanded to 200 in 2016 and to 300 in 2017 and over 400 this year. It is a subset of THE’s global ranking of the world’s universities, where UP ranked in the 501-600 bracket, while DLSU is at the 800+ cluster.

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Elyssa Christine Lopez
Elyssa Christine Lopez is a staff writer of Esquire. Follow her on Twitter @elyssalopz
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