MANILA (UPDATE) – The University of Santo Tomas (UST) has approved the shift in the opening of its college classes from June-March to July-May.
The Varsitarian, the university's official student publication, citing the official academic calendar released by the Office of the Secretary-General, said the shift in the opening of classes will take effect in the next academic year.
UST said for academic year 2014-2015, the school opening marked by the Mass of the Holy Spirit (Misa de Apertura) will be on July 7.
The traditional "Thomasian Welcome Walk" will be on July 11, while the start of regular classes will be on July 14.
Due to the shift in school opening, the first semester preliminaries will be held in September while the finals will be in November. In the old school calendar, the preliminaries and finals were held in August and October, respectively.
UST's first semester will end in November after the final examination in the week of November 17. The semestral break will last until January 4, 2015.
UST said the traditional "Paskuhan," which will fall on the semestral break, will be held on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Second semester will begin on January 5, 2015, 43 days after the start of the semestral break. Preliminary and final examinations for non-graduating students will be on March 6 and May 15, respectively.
Graduating students, on the other hand, will begin their final examinations on April 20. Their baccalaureate mass will be on May 15, while the solemn investiture activities will start May 26, "almost two months off the old schedule."
Classes will also interrupted by Holy Thursday (Apr. 2), Good Friday (Apr. 3), Araw ng Kagitingan (Apr. 9), and Labor Day (May 1).
There will be 104 school days for both semesters.
A third term, meanwhile, will take the place of summer classes starting June 3, the preliminaries of which will begin on June 17 and finals on July 7.
The Varsitarian said the last time UST and other Philippine universities changed the academic calendar was in the 1960s, under education secretary Alejandro Roces.
Recently, the University of the Philippines (UP) System (except UP Diliman) and the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) announced the shift in its academic calendar from June-March to August-May.
The change in the academic calendar is supposed to be in preparation for the integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2015.