The University of Talca was strongly represented in the ranking held annually by La Tercera newspaper, which evaluates higher education institutions throughout the country only weeks before the start of the 2020 admission process.
UTalca has placed eighth at the national level, with a better standing in comparison to 2018. A key reason for the new ranking was the improvement in its management, placing the institution second in the Public University category – surpassed only by the University of Chile – and confirming once again its leadership as the most outstanding institution of the Maule Region.
Rector Alvaro Rojas stated that this result reflects a sustained and responsible progress, “which was also acknowledged through the increase in the accreditation of UTalca to six years, thus confirming our position among the best universities in Chile”.
Rojas further noted that this achievement “shows that talent, knowledge and skills are not found only in the capital, but that the regions have an important potential that many times, due to the concentration of media and advertising resources, people are unaware of and that this kind of ranking makes it possible to showcase.”
The Director of Institutional Planning and Analysis, Juan José Troncoso, explained that “the overall results of the 2019 Ranking done by the La Tercera newspaper place our University in the top ten out of the 43 institutions evaluated at the national level, obtaining 8th place this year and improving in comparison to the 2018 Rankings. This increase in the global ranking is the result of the great progress that our institution experienced this year in terms of quality of institutional management, ratified in practical terms by the six-year accreditation achieved last September which allowed us to climb 11 places at the national level, ranking UTalca in fifth place.”
He added that “the improvement achieved in the perceived quality by the labor market is no small feat. UTalca climbs two places and ranks tenth in this aspect. The permanent efforts to strengthen teaching management allowed the University to position itself in fifth place of the ten undergraduate programs in the top ten, out of all the programs that were evaluated this year”.
The reasons for success
“The rise in the ranking placement of the University of Talca, in the overall list, is most clearly reflected in the ranking of the quality of management, a list in which the University climbed 11 places, placing fifth. This rise – the greatest for an institution in all the rankings – is the result of its new accreditation, granted for six years, out of a maximum of seven,” highlights the piece by La Tercera.
In addition, the piece emphasizes that in management “the big winner this year was the University of Talca, which went from 16th to fifth place. This was made possible by the increase of its awarded accreditation by one year, joining the group of ten universities that have been accredited for six years and over, all of them belonging to the Rector Council of Chilean Universities (CRUCH by its acronym in Spanish).”
The indicators and weights used to measure the quality of management are the number of years of institutional accreditation (50%); the number of students for each full-time equivalent (FTE) (20%); retention for the second year (15%); and the difference between the formal duration of academic programs and how long it actually takes a student to complete and graduate (15%).
Another category in which an improvement is observed is in the perception of quality by the labor market, where the institution places tenth, moving up two positions compared to the previous ranking and thus entering into the more outstanding positions. Two thousand interviewees evaluated each of the Universities on a scale of 1 to 7 (where 1 means “very poor quality” and 7 “very good quality”).
The quality of students is measured by the Highschool Grades (NEM by their acronym in Spanish) and the score of the University Selection Testing (PSU by its acronym in Spanish) from the previous year. In this category, UTalca remained in the top ten, with an average student grade of 6.25 (out of 7.00) among the new admissions and an average PSU score of 587.38 points (out of 850). It is important to mention that out of the 43 ranked universities, 40 of them saw a decline in their PSU scores.
In the context of the 2020 admission process, Rector Rojas stated that results like this “give yet another reason that allows young people and their families to trust that their professional training is in good hands, because the University of Talca aims for excellence at all levels and takes on new national and international challenges.”
The undergraduate programs that stand out in the Ranking of La Tercera are architecture, which went from the ninth to the seventh place out of a total of 36 architecture programs that are taught at the national level, and Law, which is ranked in seventh place, also moving up two positions in comparison to 2018, obtaining a perceived quality that reaches 5.31 (out of 7.00).
Medicine is another program that climbed in the rankings, entering the top ten. In 2018, it was ranked in 12th place and this year it reached the tenth position. The Dentistry program remained in fifth place, with a perceived quality of 5.30. Meanwhile, Psychology also entered the top ten, ranking tenth, after occupying the 11th position in 2018.
See Ranking (only available in Spanish)