Higher education in the Philippines
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|Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)|
|Life in the Philippines|
The higher education in the Philippines is offered through various degree programs (commonly known as courses in the Philippines) by a wide selection of colleges and universities—also known as higher education institutions (HEIs). These are administered and regulated by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
There were 3,408,815 students enrolled in higher education for the school year 2019-2020, an increase of 457,620 from school year 2010-2011 student enrolment of 2,951,195.
HEIs are either classified as a college or a university, and either public or private, and also either secular or religious. As of 2019[update], records from CHED showed that the country has 1,963 HEIs (excluding satellite campuses of state universities and colleges). From this number, 242 are public HEIs, while 1,721 are private institutions.
In the Philippines, college is a tertiary institution that typically offer a number of specialized courses in the sciences, liberal arts, or in specific professional areas, e.g. nursing, hotel and restaurant management and information technology. Meanwhile, to be classified as a university—such as state universities and colleges (SUCs), CHED-supervised higher education institutions (CHEIs), private higher education institutions (PHEIs) and community colleges (CCs)—it must meet the following requirements:
- operate at least eight different degree programs; including
- at least six undergraduate courses, specifically
- a four-year course in liberal arts,
- a four-year course in science and mathematics,
- a four-year course in the social sciences, and
- a minimum of three other active and recognized professional courses leading to government licensures; and
- at least two graduate-level courses leading to doctoral degrees.
- at least six undergraduate courses, specifically
Local universities have less stringent requirements than private HEIs. They are only required to operate at least five undergraduate programs—as opposed to eight for private universities—and two graduate-level programs.
Public higher education
State universities and colleges
State universities and colleges (SUCs) refers to any public institution of higher learning that was created by an Act passed by the Congress of the Philippines. These institutions are fully subsidized by the national government, and may be considered as a corporate body. SUCs are fully funded by the national government as determined by the Philippine Congress.
The University of the Philippines System, being the "national university", receives the biggest chunk of the budget among the 456 SUCs, and has likewise been strengthened by law through Republic Act 9500.
This section needs to be updated. The reason given is: it needs information about the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act. (February 2020)
SUCs lamented the Philippine government's inadequate financial aid. For the fiscal year 2008, the Congress of the Philippines allotted PHP 20.8 billion in subsidy for the operation of the SUCs, where PHP 15.4 billion of the amount goes solely to the salaries of faculty members and employees.
Collectively, SUCs have a student population of approximately 865,000, which means that every student is subsidized by an average of PHP 24,000 per school year. Each Filipino family contributes PHP 1,185 a year to run these schools through their tax payments.
During the growth and restructuring of the systems of SUCs, names such as University of the Philippines have changed their meanings over time.
- In these five cases, the unqualified name has become the official name of the multi-campus system that includes the campus which is the original bearer of the name. Examples include:
- University of the Philippines – Its flagship campus in Diliman, Quezon City is better called U.P. Diliman, rather than U.P. The latter refers to the University of the Philippines System.
- University of Rizal System – Its main campus in Tanay is better called URS-Tanay Main than simply URS.
- Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University – Its main campus in Bacnotan, La Union is better called DMMMSU-North La Union than simply DMMMSU.
- In other cases, the unqualified name remains the official name of an individual main campus which is now part of a larger system. Example include:
This section needs to be updated.February 2020)(
SUCs are confronted by annual budget cutbacks. As a result, these schools impose enrolment quotas and increase fees. In recent years, tuition and miscellaneous fees in the SUCs have seen huge increases.
In 2007, the University of the Philippines hiked its tuition by 300 percent, from PHP 300 to PHP 1,000 per unit, while Eulogio "Amang" Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology implemented a 600 percent tuition hike, from PHP 15 per unit to PHP 100 per unit, resulting in a 50 percent drop in enrollment. During the same period, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines was poised to increase its rate by 525 percent, but because of massive student demonstration the administration had to shelve the plan.
SUCs are also forced to accept only a limited number of students due to budget cuts. In 2007, some 66,000 high school graduates took the University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT) but only around 12,000 were admitted. The same is true in Polytechnic University of the Philippines where only 10,000 to 13,000 are admitted from more than 50,000 examinees of Polytechnic University of the Philippines College Entrance Test (PUPCET).
This section needs to be updated.February 2020)(
Only 10 percent of college students were in state-run schools in 1980, but this rose to 21 percent in 1994 and to almost 40 percent in 2008.
List of SUCs per region
The SUCs are banded together in one organization called the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC). As of 2004, PASUC's membership comprises 111 SUCs and 11 satellite associations. There are 436 state universities and colleges in the Philippines (including satellite campuses).[needs update]
Local colleges and universities
Local colleges and universities (LCUs), on the other hand, are run by local government units and established through local ordinance or other enabling acts. The Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila is first and largest among the LCUs.[failed verification]
Private tertiary institutions
Most private schools are operated by not-for-profit Catholic institutions, like the Ateneo de Manila University (Jesuit), Adamson University (Vincentian), De La Salle University (Christian Brothers), Don Bosco Technical College (Salesian), Notre Dame of Dadiangas University (Marist Brothers of the Schools), Saint Louis University (Philippines) (CICM), San Beda University (Benedictine), University of Asia and the Pacific (Opus Dei), University of the Immaculate Conception (Religious of the Virgin Mary), University of San Agustin (Augustinian), San Sebastian College – Recoletos (Augustinian Recollects), the University of San Carlos and the Divine Word College of Vigan (SVD), and the University of Santo Tomas and Colegio de San Juan de Letran (Dominican). However, there are also non-Catholic not-for-profit sectarian institutions such as Silliman University (Presbyterian), The MARIAM School of Nursing Inc. -Lamitan City (Marians), Adventist University of the Philippines (Seventh-day Adventist), Wesleyan University Philippines (Methodist), Central Philippine University (Baptist), Philippine Christian University (Methodist), Trinity University of Asia (Episcopalian), New Era University (Iglesia ni Cristo).
Non-sectarian private schools, on the other hand, are corporations licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Examples of these are AMA Computer University, Centro Escolar University, Far Eastern University, and STI College which are likewise registered on the Philippine Stock Exchange.
Accreditation is a process for assessing and upgrading the educational quality of higher education institutions and programs through self-evaluation and peer judgment. It is a system of evaluation based on the standards of an accrediting agency, and a means of assuring and improving the quality of education. The process leads to a grant of accredited status by an accrediting agency and provides public recognition and information on educational quality.
Accreditation of Private institutions
This article needs to be updated.February 2020)(
Voluntary accreditation of all higher education institutions is subject to the policies of the Commission on Higher Education. Voluntary accrediting agencies in the private sector are the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU), the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities' Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA), and the Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities Accrediting Association Inc. (ACSCU-AAI) which all operate under the umbrella of the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP), which itself is the certifying agency authorized by CHED. Accreditation can be either of programs or of institutions.
Programs offered by satellite campuses of non-system higher education institutions are subject to separate accreditation of these accrediting agencies.
All of the institutions accredited by these three agencies certified by FAAP are private institutions. Under CHED's Revised Policies and Guidelines on Voluntary Accreditation in Aid of Quality and Excellence and Higher Education, there are four levels of program accreditation, with Level IV being the highest.
Two institutions, Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University-Manila were granted Level IV accreditation pursuant to the provisions of CHED Order, CMO 31 of 1995, but when their Level IV institutional accreditation lapsed, only Ateneo was granted Level IV re-accreditation in 2011.
At present,[when?] nine universities have current institutional accreditation. Institutional accreditation is the highest certification that can be given to an educational institution after a consideration of the university's number of individual program accreditations and the result of an overall evaluation of the quality of its facilities, services and faculty. These schools are Ateneo de Manila University, Ateneo de Davao University, Ateneo de Naga University, Adventist University of the Philippines, Centro Escolar University, Central Philippine University, De La Salle University – Dasmariñas, Silliman University, Trinity University of Asia, and University of Santo Tomas.
At present,[when?] the Ateneo de Manila University, is the only university in the Philippines that has been simultaneously granted both Level IV Status and institutional accreditation. Silliman University on the other hand is recorded to have the highest number of accredited programs in the country, fourteen of which are on Level IV accreditation status while simultaneously bearing Institutional Accreditation by the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines.
Accreditation for Public Institutions
Accrediting agencies for government-supported institutions are the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities in the Philippines (AACCUP), and the Association of Local Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (ALCUCOA). Together they formed the National Network of Quality Assurance Agencies (NNQAA) as the certifying agency for government-sponsored institutions. However NNQAA does not certify all government-sponsored institutions. Like private institutions, satellite campuses of non-system public institutions of higher learning are subject to separate accreditation.
The Technical Vocational Education Accrediting Agency of the Philippines (TVEAAP) was established and registered with the Securities Exchange Commission on 27 October 1987. On 28 July 2003, the FAAP board accepted the application of TVEAAP to affiliate with FAAP.
Autonomy and deregulation
In an effort to rationalize its supervision of institutions of higher learning, CHED has also prescribed guidelines for granting privileges of autonomy and deregulation to certain schools. According to the guidelines, the general criteria examined by CHED are an institution's "long tradition of integrity and untarnished reputation", "commitment to excellence", and "sustainability and viability of operations".
Autonomous status allows HEIs to launch new courses/programs in the undergraduate and/or graduate levels including doctoral programs in areas of expertise without securing a permit/authority from CHED. HEIs granted autonomous status also enjoy the privilege of increasing tuition fees without securing a permit from CHED provided, however, that they fully comply with the existing CHED policies, standards, and guidelines (PSGs) on increases in tuition and other school fees, especially those pertaining to the consultation process and other requirements. Because of their autonomy, such HEIs are free from CHED’s monitoring and evaluation activities while complying with the submission of requested data for CHED’s data gathering and updating of its management information systems and projects.
Other benefits of HEIs granted autonomous status include exemption from the issuance of a Special Order (S.O.) for their graduates, priority in the grant of subsidies and other financial incentives/assistance from the CHED whenever funds are available, privilege to offer extension classes to expand access to higher education, authority to grant honorary degrees to deserving individuals in line with the provisions of the existing CHED issuance on conferment of honorary degrees, privilege to establish linkages with recognized foreign higher education institutions, provided that the existing CHED PSGs for twinning, networking, and linkages are fully complied with.
Aside from all host state colleges and universities and other chartered public universities, such as the University of the Philippines System, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Mindanao State University System and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, and special private institutions such as the Asian Institute of Management, seventy-one (71) private higher education institutions (HEIs) have been granted autonomous status as of October 2019[update]. To avoid confusion, the campus name of satellite campuses having autonomous status is provided in parentheses. If the status is awarded to the sole campus or the main campus of the institution, the campus is not indicated with parentheses.
CHED regularly reviews its list of autonomous institutions, with the latest published list valid until 31 May 2021. HEIs granted autonomous status shall enjoy benefits accorded to autonomous institutions until the specified date of validity or unless such status is revoked or suspended.
HEIs with deregulated status enjoy the same privilege as autonomous HEIs, but they must still secure permits for new programs and campuses.
|I – Ilocos Region|
|III – Central Luzon|
|IV-A – Calabarzon|
|VI – Western Visayas|
|VII – Central Visayas|
|XI – Davao Region|
|XII – Soccsksargen|
|National Capital Region|
Note: Satellite campuses of non-system universities or colleges are indicated with parentheses.
CHED regularly updates its list of deregulated institutions with the latest published list valid until 31 May 2021. As of that date, 16 deregulated HEIs were listed by CHED.
Rankings and league tables
There are no set methods for ranking institutions in the Philippines. Aside from comparisons in terms of accreditation, autonomy, and centers of excellence awarded by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), there are attempts to rank schools based on performance in board exams conducted by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). The PRC and CHED sometimes publish reports on these results.
FindUniversity.ph publishes the lists of top schools in each PRC regulated board exam, aggregated over the past four exams. These lists are updates regularly based on the PRC's publications of the performance of schools in each exam. The FindUniversity.ph website has also created the Weighted Board Exam Ranking which ranks Philippines HEI based on their ranking in all board exams their graduates have participated in. This ranking is also based on the last four exams of each board exam, and takes into account first time takers only, and only schools that had a total of at least 10 participants in the last four exams of each board exam.
In 2009, CHED executive director Julito Vitriolo said that they are in the process of establishing appropriate guidelines to rank Philippine universities and colleges for each specific academic program or discipline. As of June 2015, such rankings do not exist yet.
Internationally, the Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, the University of the Philippines (as a system), and the University of Santo Tomas are regularly listed among the region and world's top universities in league tables and surveys such as in the now-defunct Asiaweek university rankings (which last ranked universities in 1999 and 2000), and the THES-QS World University Rankings since 2005.
|University of the Philippines||356||384||367||374||401-410||367||380||380||348||332||314||262||276||398||299||372|
|Ateneo de Manila University||601-650||651-700||551-600||501-550||501-550||461-470||501-550||501-550||451-500||360||307||234||254||451||484||520|
|De La Salle University||801-1000||801-1000||701-750||701+||701+||651-700||601-650||601-650||601+||551-600||451-500||401-500||401-500||519||392||526|
|University of Santo Tomas||801-1000||801-1000||801-1000||701+||701+||701+||701+||701+||601+||601+||551-600||501-600||401-500||535||500||531|
In the 2007 THES-QS rankings, only UP and the Ateneo remained in the THES-QS rankings' top 500. In 2008, Ateneo, La Salle, UP, and UST once again placed in the rankings, with the Ateneo ranked 254th in the world, UP at 276th while De La Salle University and the University of Santo Tomas both placed in the Top 401-500 category Ateneo and UP were also ranked among the top 100 universities worldwide in the field of the arts and humanities. The THES-QS rankings are mainly based on peer review survey, while the Asiaweek rankings were measured on the university's endowment and resources. In the 2009 world rankings, two Philippine universities made it to the top 300, with the Ateneo de Manila University ranked 234th and the University of the Philippines ranked 262nd. De La Salle University was ranked within the 401-500 range, whereas the University of Santo Tomas was ranked below 500.
There are other university rankings based on different methodologies and criteria. In the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities by a Spanish research body, which measures a university’s Internet presence and the volume of research output freely accessible online, has UP and La Salle ranked ahead of other local universities. On the other hand, in the Shanghai Jiao Tong University Academic Ranking of World Universities, which is based on Nobel Prize winners, Fields medals for mathematicians, highly cited researchers, or articles in Nature or Science; and, the École des Mines de Paris rankings, which is according to the number of alumni who are the CEOs of the Fortune 500 companies, do not have Philippine universities in the top 500.
QS Asian University Rankings
This section needs to be updated.February 2020)(
In the QS 2009 top Asian universities rankings, 16 Philippine schools participated or have been included in the survey. These schools were: the Ateneo de Davao University, the Ateneo de Manila University, Adamson University, Central Mindanao University, De La Salle University, Father Saturnino Urios University, the Mapua Institute of Technology, Mindanao State University, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Saint Louis University (Philippines), Silliman University, the University of the Philippines, the University of San Carlos, the University of Santo Tomas, the University of Southeastern Philippines, and Xavier University.
Quacquarelli Symonds Asian Rankings 2013
- University of the Philippines 67th
- Ateneo de Manila University 109th
- University of Santo Tomas 150th
- De La Salle University 151st-160th
- University of Southeastern Philippines 251-300th
Quacquarelli Symonds Asian Rankings 2014
- University of the Philippines 63rd
- Ateneo de Manila University 115th
- University of Santo Tomas 141st
- De La Salle University 151st-160th
- Ateneo de Davao University 251-300th
Views of the THES-QS rankings
This section needs to be updated.February 2020)(
Rankings such as the THES-QS have been received with mixed reactions. In 2006, Ang Pamantasan, the official student paper of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, published the university's criticism on the rankings, saying that the THES-QS criteria do not apply to the unique landscape of each participating universities, and that such rankings say nothing or very little about whether students are actually learning at particular colleges or universities. On the same year, the University of the Philippines, through its University President Emerlinda Román, expressed that it does not want to participate in the THES-QS Ranking, but was included in 2007 with an incomplete academic profile. That same year, Ateneo de Manila University President Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, S.J. commented on the rankings, pointing out that rankings such as these did not adequately reflect the university's progress or how well it has been working toward achieving its mission-vision.
In 2008, the University of the Philippines questioned the validity of the 2008 THES-QS rankings, claiming that the methodology used was "problematic", and cited the International Ranking Systems for Universities and Institutions: A Critical Appraisal, which found out that The Times simply asks 190,000 ‘experts’ to list what they regard as the top 30 universities in their field of expertise without providing input data on any performance indicators, as one of the bases for rejecting the said survey. Furthermore, the UP said that THES-QS refused to divulge how and where the data were taken from, and instead, advised the university to advertise at the THES-QS website for US$ 48,930 publicity package. CHED Chairperson Emmanuel Angeles, on the other hand, commended all four Philippine universities that made it to the list. He also suggested that Philippine schools would get better in the future THES-QS rankings if they choose to advertise in the THES-QS publications and when budgetary allocations for faculty and researchers, particularly at UP, would become better in the coming years.
In 2009, the University of Santo Tomas expressed that "it will be very difficult for a university to rank high in such surveys unless they enjoy big media mileage or they have extensive press releases to advertise themselves". Furthermore, UST lamented that, "it is quite puzzling that another university in the country ranked much higher than UST in the field of Life Sciences and Biomedicine when it hardly offers any course in the field like Pharmacy, Medical Technology, Nursing, Physical and Occupational Therapy". Despite repeated invitations to participate in conference sponsored by the THES-QS and to advertise the University in its websites and publications, UST strongly refused to do so.[unreliable source?]
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