8 December 2022

13th AUN Rectors’ Meeting: The Healthy University Rating System, A Road Towards Health Promoting Universities

AUN Writer Team

By Chanya Chinsukserm, AUN Programme Officer

Continuing on the 13th Rectors’ Meeting series, through the agenda “Driving University Through Competition and Cooperation in Rankings/Ratings,” Prof. Dr. Chartchalerm Isarankura-Na-Ayudhya presented to us the progress of the Healthy University Rating System (HURS). Back in August 2021, the ASEAN University Network-Health Promotion Network (AUN-HPN) first introduced HURS, an assessment and monitoring tool to assist AUN-HPN members in creating and implementing "whole university" approaches to a health promoting university. 

HURS is developed based on the Healthy University Framework (HUF) of AUN-HPN. Inspired by the two well-known university rating and ranking, they created the methodology of HURS by combining the concept from the QS star rating system with the scoring system from the UI GreenMetric.

On the one hand, the concept of University Rankings is to determine who are the best. Its rationale is to evaluate universities and compare them to one another. Rankings frequently include only 100 or 500 universities worldwide, making it impractical for smaller or newer universities to compete with the current top-tier universities. On the other hand, University Ratings’ concept is to determine who excels at what. Its rationale is to evaluate universities based on their performance in several areas. Rather than comparing universities against one another, their performances are assessed by a set standard. Thus, under the University Ratings system, universities will be given an overall score of “5 stars.” In addition, there is no limit on the number of universities that can achieve the highest score overall or in a particular area.

By adopting the latter’s concept, HURS has been developed to be an accessible online tool. It enables universities to evaluate their own performance using a total score of 1,000 based on their level of achievement in all 22 areas. Similar to the hotel star-rating system, an overall composite score can be used to calibrate or compare with the preset rating criteria classified into 1–5 stars. Participating universities can use the scores to evaluate health promotion progress as well as to compare the healthy status among different faculties within the institution or with other universities. 

Prof. Dr. Chartchalerm Isarankura-Na-Ayudhya, who is the Dean of the Faculty of Medical Technology at Mahidol University and also the Chairman of the Committee on HURS Development, explained the proposed score and point calculation were based on a five-point rating scale system, and the total score is 1,000 points for all 22 areas. The overall 22 items to look over and review in HURS are as follows:

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HURS contains 42 self-assessment questions based on the 22 mentioned areas. There will be three main categories in the website questionnaire, which consist of: systems and infrastructure (SI), zero tolerance areas (ZT), and health promotion areas (HP). These categories are divided into several sections, with detailed explanations below the questions. Participating universities will be asked to provide the answers and relevant evidence to reflect their status in the best possible way.

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HURS portal https://hurs.mahidol.ac.th/#/ 

HURS kicked off in August 2021–November 2021 with the registration of a total of 11 universities from 5 countries (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Cambodia). The complete submissions were from 8 universities from 4 countries (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines), resulting in:

  • 4 stars: 3 universities
  • 3 stars: 1 university
  • Less than 3 stars: 4 universities

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Example of HURS Scoring and Rating

Ultimately, AUN-HPN invites your university to be part of the HURS! AUN university members are welcome to join in the HURS implementation and provide constructive feedback to enhance such an innovative instrument. In the long run, the use of HURS will continuously be promoted and encouraged among universities inside and outside the ASEAN region.

For more information and clarification on HURS proceedings, please visit HURS Manual Version 2022