Malayan Colleges Laguna (MCL) closed 2020 with success as it obtained a three-star overall rating from the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Star Rating System from the United Kingdom. The institution received the information from the QS Intelligence unit last December 22, 2020.
Ever committed to its institutional goals, MCL is constantly on the lookout for credible and esteemed accrediting bodies or rating systems that would attest to the kind of education it offers, according to Engr. Maribel G. Songsong, MCL’s Vice President for Academic Affairs.
The QS Star Rating System is one such performance-based metric system that encompasses the key aspects of MCL’s mission. It gives star ratings to higher education institutions (HEIs) and universities, providing their students and other stakeholders a picture of their strengths and distinct values while recognizing achievements in various areas of operations. Each HEI that applies for QS Stars undergoes a rigorous evaluation process in a range of categories, and receives a rating for each, along with an overall rating.
Categories for rating
The four criteria and eight categories included in MCL’s evaluation are the following: Core Criteria, with Teaching, Employability, Internationalization, and Academic Development or Research as categories; Learning Environment/Facilities Criteria; Specialist/Program Strength; and Advanced Criteria, with Social Responsibility and Inclusiveness as categories.
Besides the three-star overall rating, MCL received a five-star rating for Employability, proof of the competence of its graduates as professionals in their own fields; a four-star rating for Facilities, for its smart campus and drive to deliver an advanced learning experience for students; and, in being true to its mission to contribute to the solution of industry’s and society’s problems through the various engagements of students with communities, three-star ratings for Social Responsibility and Inclusiveness. Through this, the institution has leveled up its national stature, assuring students and stakeholders of its dedication to its vision.
Commitment to excellence
“In spite of the pandemic and the uncertainty brought by COVID-19, MCL is committed to delivering quality education and in preparing our students for the global workforce. The achievement of a three-star rating in QS in these trying times is truly a resounding testament to MCL’s determination to live to its promise,” said Engr. Anthony Hilmer S. Medrano, MCL’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
“This achievement is a result of the hard work of faculty and students as well as our administrators and staff,” he added. “MCL will continue to improve its systems and devote itself to fully achieving its vision of becoming a global steeple of excellence in professional education.”
The journey for QS Stars was initiated by MCL’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea, who envisions MCL to become a globally recognized institution producing graduates at par with international counterparts, with the QS Stars rating being one of the strategic goals in place for realizing it.
“QS Stars are a way to assess institutions more broadly than through rankings, taking into consideration dozens of set indicators based on global standards and best practices. The 3-star rating awarded to MCL further proves that not only is it one of the best schools in CALABARZON, but is also one that can hold its own in both national and international stages; and is supplementing evidence that an institution’s young age is not a hindrance to achieving excellence,” said Dr. Vea.
“With it, we are able to pinpoint MCL’s strengths while recognizing what can be improved upon. May this achievement be a reminder and an encouragement for the MCL community to continue working together to ensure continuous quality improvement, and to always aim higher – consistency and the drive to go beyond will surely lead to the award of more QS Stars.”
A collective effort
Having been inspired by Dr. Vea’s leadership and commitment to realize MCL’s vision, a team composed mostly of department and college heads was created to help in completing the requirements in accordance with the QS Stars methodology. With collective effort, the team collated data sets and evidence used to satisfy the performance metrics, which were then reviewed and consolidated by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs before being submitted to the QS Intelligence Unit.
“The full support and cooperation of the team made it possible to accomplish the requirements in due time,” shared Engr. Songsong. “I wish to convey my gratitude to the entire team. It was a long but worthwhile journey, considering the challenges we faced from doing the arduous tasks due to the pandemic crisis. Ultimately, we were able to reap what we sowed because of the hard work and commitment of everyone involved in realizing this goal.”
Gearing up for more QS stars
“Rest assured that with the Continuous Quality Improvement process in place and with the imbued culture of excellence and virtue in the MCL community, we will continue to maintain a high standard in delivering our commitment of quality education for our students and stakeholders,” continued Engr. Songsong.
“With this, it is our hope for MCL students to continue well in their studies, be inspired to fulfill their dreams of becoming professionals who are globally competitive, and be able to contribute to the nation and the society. May this three-star rating inspire us even more to keep moving forward and continue innovating to improve our systems and processes so that we can contribute to nation building by producing competent professionals with desirable character.”
Being MCL’s first rating for the system, the overall three (3) QS Stars and the evaluation done has given the administration helpful insights on both the institution’s strengths and the areas that need further improvement. Gearing up for international recognition, the next step for MCL is to achieve more QS stars in the future by focusing on strengthening its internationalization program. This includes forging partnerships with international HEIs to do collaborative research and attracting international students for exchange programs in the coming years.
“Success comes with great responsibility, strategic planning, proper communication and coordination, as well as commitment and teamwork guided by strong vision and leadership,” added Engr. Songsong, reiterating that MCL will continue to push to the limits to reach for more QS stars.