As one of the recipients of the “Fostering World-class Universities in the Philippines Program “of the Commission on Higher Education - International Affairs Section (CHED-IAS), Benguet State University submitted documents for a Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Stars audit on March 16, 2020 just before the municipality of La Trinidad went into Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
This CHED-IAS program included BSU as one of the 15 universities in the country to ramp up the internationalization initiatives of higher education institutions. This was formalized through a Memorandum of Agreement signed between BSU and CHED. The MOA contains the commitment of CHED to fund the international audit.
Quacquarelli Symonds is a provider of services, analytics, and insight to the global higher education sector. It has offices in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Romania and India. QS Stars is a rating and audit system by QS that provides a detailed look at an institution’s strengths and weaknesses. The University provides QS with evidence across dozens of indicators (QS Stars Methodology).
For the University, an AdHoc Committee chaired by Dr. Aurea Marie M. Sandoval, Office for Quality Assurance and Accreditation Director submitted documents along the following areas: Academic Development, Teaching, Employability, Internationalization (Core Criteria), Learning Environment, Subject Ranking and Program Strength (Specialist Criteria) and Social Responsibility and Inclusiveness (Advanced Criteria). QS evaluates and assigns points to determine the number of stars. As stated in the information material of QS, attaining stars increases a University’s international recognition, highlights areas of excellence and provides evaluation to improve a University’s performance.
Dr. Sandoval remarked that it is about time that the University responds to globalization and internationalization programs, and in keeping with its vision to be a “premier university delivering world-class education”. The QS Stars audit, through its indicators, can thus be an avenue by which the University can assess its internationalization status, update and improve its internationalization plans and strategies. She is hopeful that BSU will be able to get the much-coveted “stars”. //Jen Tabangcura