CHED to tighten tuition hike rules

By Helen Flores, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 26 2013 07:31 AM | Updated as of Mar 26 2013 03:33 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is set to come out with stricter guidelines in granting petitions for increase in tuition and other school fees, officials said yesterday.

CHED chairperson Patricia Licuanan said they are working with economists and “people who have practical experience on the cost of education” in developing a “reasonable formula” for tuition increase.

Of the 1,800 higher education institutions (HEIs) nationwide, 451 have filed petitions for increase in tuition rates and other fees for the coming school year.

In the National Capital Region alone, 95 of 336 HEIs have submitted applications for tuition increase.

Licuanan said CHED would release by end of April the list of schools whose petitions for tuition hike and other fees were granted.

“What really is fair justification for increasing tuition? When you say there is inflation rate, if you can tell where it is going to go, I think it is not wrong but it can be refined further. What is actually happening is we don’t distinguish as much among schools and maybe we should be doing that but we don’t have the formula,” Licuanan said.

“Right now the way it is implemented, if certain conditions are met, it is seldom that schools are denied for justification. Often they are denied because they are late or they did not follow the right process. So at the moment, it would be arbitrary until we have a good formula and that is what I’m looking for to tighten a bit,” she added.

However, she said the applications would not be covered by the new rules, which are likely to be implemented in 2014.

The CHED chief said they are trying to get experts to help them formulate the guidelines.

“We are asking the Philippine Institute for Development Studies to help us identify reasonable formula for tuition increase that will vary from region to region,” she said.

“Last year we refined it a bit. So as far as we are concerned it is okay. But when you get more complaints then you look at it again,” she added, referring to CHED Memorandum Order No. 03 issued in January last year.

Licuanan said some student groups keep complaining about “bogus” consultations allegedly being done by some schools planning to increase fees.

She said there has to be real consultation where all stakeholders would “have a chance to object and reason out why they do not think it is correct.”

"It must involved school officials, parents and alumni to get a lot of points of view,” Licuanan said.