In the 2018 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Asian Universities Ranking, De La Salle University (DLSU) saw an increase in placement from 143rd in 2017 to 134th overall. Though the nine-place improvement still leaves the University out of the Top 100 list, DLSU continued to demonstrate higher research productivity in comparison to several of its ASEAN university counterparts that made the Top 100. According to the report, the University gained a significant increase in per capita research papers published in research publications — effectively edging out the likes of Thammasat University (97th), Gadjah Mada University (85th), Universitas Indonesia (54th), University of the Philippines (75th), and Ateneo de Manila University (95th).
University Research Coordination Office (URCO) Director Dr. Feorillo Petronilo A. Demeterio III asserts that DLSU’s constant development in research productivity through the years is principally due to the vision put into place by the late Brother Andrew Gonzalez, FSC, who initiated the development of infrastructure designed to support this. Embedding the goal of becoming a leading research university in the Philippines in the institution’s vision statement during his time as president of the University, Br. Gonzalez envisioned research as the competitive edge of DLSU over other universities in the country. The foresight was duly recognized and implemented by the system through the years since its initiation.
One of the criteria used by Scopus-Elsevier and QS in measuring a university’s research productivity is the number of times its publications have been cited. Because of this, DLSU encourages its faculty members to publish their work in both local and international journals, in particular those endorsed by the Institute for Scientific Information, Scopus, and the Commission on Higher Education.
Having only declared itself as a research university in 2011, DLSU shares the struggles of other developing institutions with regard to funding allocated for research. Unlike other ASEAN countries, there is a lack of financial support for the research projects of universities and colleges in the Philippines. However, according to Demetrio, there has been an increase in the research funds offered by government agencies. The only challenge lies in the availability and competition in acquiring the funds as applications are open to eligible researchers from other institutions.
Aside from the current programs being implemented by DLSU, other measures are also being undertaken by the administration to further the university’s research productivity. These include the Ph.D. Research Apprenticeship Program and the grant of Research Faculty Status. University Chancellor Dr. Robert Roleda also challenges faculty members to publish at least one work per year—tripling the University’s current publication rate and placing it at par with moderately high research productive universities like Singapore Management University and Chulalongkorn University.