Comparative analysis on the photographic self-presentations of the top Philippine universities in their official websites


This paper is a visual analysis on photographs that were gathered from the main and secondary pages of the websites of the Philippines’ top four higher educational institutions (HEIs), namely University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD), Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU), De La Salle University (DLSU), and University of Santo Tomas (UST). Specifically, this paper used denotative reading, analysis of visual grammar, and connotative reading on the photographs to ascertain how each of these four Philippine HEIs represented their self-images in contradistinction with each other in terms of their teaching, research, extension, internationalization, campus and facilities, and student life, as well as their overall positioning. This paper was able to establish that UPD has strongest self-representation in teaching, and campus and facilities; ADMU in campus and facilities, and teaching; DLSU in teaching and student life; and UST in student life, and campus and facilities. This paper was also able to establish that UPD has the weakest self-representation in extension and internationalization; ADMU in research and extension; DLSU in extension and internationalization; and UST in research and internationalization. This paper is significant as it is the first publication that analyzes the websites of Philippine HEIs and even of Philippine corporations, while contributing to meager international literature on websites of HEIs and corporations. By looking at individual and collective self-representations of the top Philippine HEIs, this paper aims to gather insights on the status of Philippine higher education including the challenges it faces.