The image of the country’s traditional “Top 3” schools—Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University and the University of the Philippines—could stand for some improvement of late.
In past years, they constituted the top college choices of many high school graduates and also dominated the QS Asia University Rankings, the annual listing of top universities globally by Quacquarelli Symonds, the UK company specializing on education.
When the results of the annual Bar exams for lawyers were released in April, many of the news reports highlighted the absence of law graduates of the three leading schools’ main campus in Manila in the list of top 10 Bar passers. The list was dominated by schools outside Metro Manila. The topnotcher was a graduate of University of St. La Salle in Bacolod.
Before that, a JobStreet Philippines survey also found that the most preferred school of employers hiring fresh graduates was the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, not any of the Big 3 schools.
However, the Top 3 schools are doing quite well producing most of the CEOs of the country’s largest listed companies, according to research done by Entrepreneur Philippines. We looked at the educational backgrounds of chief executives of the 100 largest companies listed at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), ranked by market capitalization as of end-March 2018.
The CEOs of more than half of the companies on which data is available got their college or undergraduate degrees from the Big 3 schools. Ateneo led the list with 17 CEO alumni, followed by La Salle with 14 and UP with 13.
An interesting finding is that almost a third of the companies with data hired CEOs that completed their college degrees from international schools. In fact, the fourth biggest source of CEOs in the list was University of Pennsylvania, with nine.
No data was available on 16 of the top 100 firms included in the list. It’s either the firms did not provide data on their CEO’s educational background, or their annual reports are not yet available in the Philippine Stock Exchange Electronic Disclosure Generation Technology (PSE EDGE) portal.
With additional research by Clyde Gaviola
Pauline Macaraeg is Entrepreneur PH's data journalist. Follow her on Twitter @paulinemacaraeg