The QS Star Rating System

Core Criteria

Academic Development

Specialist Criteria


Learning Environment

Program Strength

Advanced Criteria

Arts & Culture
Social Responsibility


Fostering World Class Philippine Universities is a CHED initiated project that aims to ramp up the internationalization initiatives of public universities. It seeks to further drive positively and incentivize the good practices, thrusts, and programs on internationalization that the delivers on fulfilling sustainable goals not just on education, but the 17 other goals stated in SDG 2030.

Bicol University has been identified to participate in the Fostering World Class Philippine Universities Project by the Commission on Higher Education and is a recipient of a financial support to undertake the project in view of the project's relevance to CHED's internationalization thrust to develop and sustain Internationalization Programs of HEIs per CMO 55 s. 2016, Policy Framework and Strategies on the Internationalization of Philippine Higher Education.  This project will assist Bicol University to showcase its excellence to the world by associating with an internationally recognized brand (QS Star Rating System) for quality international universities by promoting its internationalization initiatives and increasing global reputation. The variables of the international brand would have the following metrics:

  • Core Criteria (Teaching, Employability, Internationalization, Research or Academic Development)

  • Learning Environment (Facilities or Online learning)

  • Specialist Criteria (Subject Ranking or Program Strength)

  • Advanced Criteria (Arts & Culture, Innovation, Social Responsibility, Inclusiveness)

Bicol University

The Bicol University is SUC Level IV by DBM Standards. It is the 16th biggest among SUCs in terms of enrollment, 5th in terms of number of graduates and 6th in GAA budget in the country today. It is adjudged as one of the 22 leading SUCs in the Philippines. Bicol University is also ISO 9001:2015 certified and is CHED's Center of Excellence in Teacher Education, the Center of Development for Fisheries Education and Nursing Education. Its College of Education is the base agency for the Bicol Consortium for Health Research and Development (BCHRD) and the Bicol Consortium for Agriculture Resources Research and Development (BCARRD). Most of its programs are AACCUP accredited. BU has been identified by CHED as one of the 10 leading HEIs in the country and is a recipient of CHED-British Council TNE grant. It has an existing partnership with the Liverpool University in London and offers a dual degree program in MSc in Sustainable Food Systems (BU) and MSc in Advanced Biological Science (UoL). BU has active partnerships with universities particularly in Asia. Through the years, it has maintained its culture of academic excellence and is home to board topnotchers and placers.

As a University, BU has embraced internationalization and has adopted strategies to improve the quality of education that would translate into the development of a competitive human resource capital, has revitalized research undertakings through upgrading research facilities and by putting up more research centers to stimulate innovation and technological advancement.

But despite being the lead university in the Bicol Region, BU still needs to enhance its reputation in the global community as a center of higher education specifically in the following identified programs: Nursing Education, Accountancy, Social Work, Entrepreneurship, Fisheries Education, Sustainable Food Systems, and in the English Language.

 In terms of internationalization, while BU has a functional International Relations Office manned by a qualified Director, the University, based on the results of a self-rating using the QS Stars criteria, is very much wanting in international presence. Based on the enrollment data, it does not attract international students and faculty members. It likewise, has very few international collaborations with other HEIs along research that would yield publications in SCOPUS.

The QS Star Rating System

The QS Stars university rating system is a way to assess institutions more broadly than is possible through rankings alone. With a Stars rating given in eight categories and for the institution's overall performance, QS Stars allows universities to publicly highlight their areas of strength, and recognize and improve upon areas of weakness. This evidence-based marketing tool provides badges for each rating that the institution may use in its own marketing to help attract students. Institutions should use the chart below to choose between alternate categories, with Teaching, Employability, and Internationalization required for all assessments.

QS Stars is a new initiative that works as an auditing tool for Higher Educational Institutions. QS will conduct an evaluation of Bicol University, the data will be collected by QS and evaluated against four (4) major categories: Core Criteria Categories, Learning Environment Categories, Specialist Criteria Categories and Advanced Criteria Categories.    The principal objective of this project is to provide universities with an opportunity to highlight their excellence, specialisation, strengths and output to a wide audience. QS will provide a report of the evaluation, namely The QS Stars Development Roadmap, indicating the institutions overall result and performance within the audit as well as highlighting key strength and key areas for improvement.

Objectives of QS Star university rating

The University intends to accomplish in the next 5 years, the following objectives as a result of its participations in the CHED project:

  1. Improve its academic reputation in the global community through an enhanced web page to promote its flagship programs to attract international students;

  2. Engage in international research collaboration with Universities that will yield publications in Scopus and at the same time to attract foreign faculty members and researchers to handle classes in the University;

  3. Improve the University's performance along the different criteria used in the QS Stars and thus, boost its global presence through its webpage and QS Stars rating.


The following outcomes are expected:

  1. Improved academic reputation in the global community;

  2. Increased web presence;

  3. Increase in international students;

  4. More international research collaborations which will yield publications in Scopus and attract foreign faculty lectures;

  5. Increase in citations, and

  6. Use the results of the audit to help the University improve its performance.