Shekinah Jedidiah M. Alima 

After Philippine higher education institutions (HEIs) failed to enter the top 100 world university rankings, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. encouraged private schools to get involved with the development of the country’s tertiary institutions during the National Higher Education Day Summit at PICC Complex, Pasay last Wednesday.

Photo Manipulation by Melinda Reyes. Photos Courtesy of Yummie Dingding/Patrick Roque/Business Mirror/Flickr/Mapua University.

PBBM stressed that the country is being left behind by other Asian HEIs when it comes to the quality of higher education, making him advocate for private and public sector’s collaboration.
 
"When it comes to educating our youth, government and private schools are not competitors but must be regarded as equal partners," he stated.
 
The 2024 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings revealed that the highest placement of the Philippines was Ateneo de Manila University’s bracket of 401-500 that dipped from last year’s 84th place.

De La Salle University and the University of the Philippines made it to the 501-600 rank, and University of Santo Tomas and Mapua University were placed under 601+, which the President wants to improve, together with other HEIs from the country.

Marcos believes the private sectors’ part in improving the universities' rankings would be vital, as the government cannot do all the work alone.

"As with all the important developments, all the important plans that we put together, we cannot say that this is only the government's responsibility. But we should also allow private parties to participate and not shove private parties to the sidelines," Marcos said in the same speech.

Recently, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) announced they will cease to accommodate senior high school students beginning the upcoming academic year to focus on fostering learning development in higher education.

Not just the tertiary universities are having difficulties on attaining an outstanding performance, but the secondary institutions as well.

The latest Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings showed PH students are having difficulties on literacy, mathematics, and science as the country was among the bottom 10 schools out of 81 countries prompting the implementation of ‘Catch-up Fridays’ program.