Shopping for a university? If you're looking to study abroad, check out the 2013 QS World University Rankings by Subject, which recognizes the top 200 universities in the world in 30 areas of study. If you're not going to stray too far, there is also a chart ranking higher education institutions (HEIs) within the country.
On top of the world this year is Harvard University, which ranks No. 1 in 10 disciplines, followed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which topped seven areas of study; University of California (UC) Berkeley (4); Oxford (4); Cambridge (3); Imperial (1); and UC Davis (1) (see chart below).
The data may be interpreted in many ways, of course. For instance, although Harvard hogs more top spots than any other university, it is the University of Cambridge that makes it to the top 10 in most subjects with 27, leading Oxford and Berkeley (23), Stanford (22) and Harvard (21).
Three Philippine HEIs are among the top 200 universities in three of the 30 subjects ranked. They show a strong performance in English language and literature, with Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and the University of the Philippines (UP) both placing in the 51-100 range and De La Salle University (DLSU) in the 101-150 range.
UP is also among the top 200 HEIs for agriculture and forestry, while ADMU also figures in the top 200 for modern languages.
Now look at the country file (see chart for an overview of Philippine HEIs rankings by subject).
Here UP shines at No. 1 in 22 out of 30 disciplines and is in the top three in 27 out of 30 subjects. ADMU takes the topmost rank in five and is in the top three in 22 out of 30 areas of study. DLSU ranks first only in chemical engineering but is in the top three in 15 out of 30 disciplines.
QS limited its rankings in the country version to the first five. The other universities that are in the top tier here are the University of Santo Tomas (in 15 out of 30 disciplines); Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (6); University of San Carlos (4); Ateneo de Davao University (4); Polytechnic University of the Philippines (4); Mapua Institute of Technology (3); Asian Institute of Management (2); and Mindanao State University, Xavier University, St. Louis University, Central Mindanao University and Silliman University (1).
For some reason, the Asian Institute of Management is ranked first under the heading "Engineering-Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing," when it offers no such programs, and No. 2 under "Accounting and Finance," when it offers only master's programs in Business Administration and in Development Management.
Back to the global evaluations. In the QS World Ranking of Universities, which is separate and apart from the 2013 study that ranks HEIs by subject, out of 873 institutions UP is at 348, ADMU is in the 451-500 ranking and DLSU is in the 601+ group.
In the 2012 QS University Rankings: Asia, which evaluated the top 300 universities in Asia, UP ranked No. 68 and ADMU ranked No. 86, while other local HEIs fared thus: DLSU (142), UST (148) and the University of Southern Philippines (251-300).
The recently released world rankings by subject evaluated 2,858 HEIs. As the official media release says: "It is the only international comparison that allows prospective students to compare universities in their particular area of interest."
QS tapped some 70,000 academic experts and graduate recruiters worldwide for input. It asked academics to name the leading universities within their field. Employers, on the other hand, identified the universities that they believed were responsible for the best graduates in a given area.
And how did the Asian universities fare overall? They shone in such disciplines as science, engineering and technology. In civil engineering, for instance, nine out of the top 20 HEIs are in Asia, with Japan's University of Tokyo ranking third and Kyoto University, seventh, along with three HEIs from Hong Kong and two from mainland China.
But it isn't just the ace Asian universities that are giving the US, UK and European HEIs a run for their money. Keenly competitive are the Australian universities that ranked among the global top 20 in 25 of the 30 areas of study.
Founded in 1990, QS is a British education and career networking company that has been ranking universities worldwide since 2004 based on research, teaching, employability and internationalization. In 2011, QS extended the study to cover a range of popular subjects.
The 2013 QS World University Rankings by Subjects evaluated the performance of HEIs in the arts and humanities, engineering and technology, life sciences and medicine, natural sciences, social sciences and management for specific subjects such as English language, modern languages, history, mathematics, accounting and finance, electrical engineering, chemical engineering and psychology, among others.
For the full methodology, log on to TopUniversities.com.