14ymedio, Havana, 17 June 2016 — The University of Havana has been ranked 59th on the list of the 300 Best Research Centers in Latin America by QS Top Universities published this Tuesday. Despite an improvement in its positions compared to last year, when it was ranked 83rd, the academic institution falls below the standards of excellence defended by the authorities on the island.
Only two Cuban universities made it into the ranking, the other being that of Santiago de Cuba, ranked 145th, a drop from 2015 when it ranked 141st. Left off the list were two universities which ranked between 250th and 300th last year: Cienfuegos Carlos Rafael Rodriguez and Jose Antonio Echeverria, known as CUJAE.
Among the biggest problems faced by students at the University of Havana is poor access to the internet. Each student receives a monthly quota of hours for websurfing, depending on their year of study, but the low connection speed and the age of computers in the digital information room hinder the experience.
The list, published for the sixth consecutive year, considers five main criteria: the impact of research and productivity, the commitment of the teachers, the ability of graduates to get jobs, the impact on the internet and, for the first time this year, internationalization.
Other determining factors are, according to the authors, the academic reputation of the study center and the ratio of students to faculty. Although the QS University Rankings for Latin America are part of the global initiative QS World University Rankings, evaluation methods differ according to different areas of the world, adapted to the regional context.
Leading the classification is the University of Sao Paulo, followed by another Brazilian center, the University of Campinas, and the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.