CHED recommends revision of SUC’s admission processes to help disadvantaged students

Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 30 2023 08:06 PM | Updated as of May 30 2023 09:24 PM

Commission on Higher Education. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File.
Commission on Higher Education. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File.

MANILA - The Commission on Higher Education on Tuesday urged the state universities and colleges (SUCs) to "tweak" their admission processes to allow more disadvantaged students to access free tertiary education.

CHED Chair Prospero De Vera said that after the passage of Republic Act 10931, or the “Universal Access to Tertiary Education Act” in 2017, the number of students applying to SUCs has “exponentially increased”, making access to free education even more difficult for some students.

He noted that in the University of the Philippines, only 14% of the more than 100,000 applicants have passed the admission test recently. In Polytechnic University of the Philippines the acceptance rate was at 15-20%, while in the Visayas State University, only 5% of those applied got in.

“So, because there are now more applicants, the participation rate, meaning the percentage of students who are enrolled in universities has increased to about 41% now. Before the free higher education [law], before COVID, that was about 30%,” De Vera said.

“Whether they are fully prepared for university education, the bigger problem is really the significant increase in the applications. It is more and more difficult, and we have to do something to address this problem,” he said.

CHED recommended that the SUCs and local state universities and colleges implement an “affirmative action program” to make sure that disadvantaged students are given equal access to free education. 

“They put a program together to consciously track who are the students who are getting admitted to our university and slowly increase the percentage of students coming from public schools, coming from indigenous communities, coming from poverty-stricken areas so that they can tweak the admission process so that the relative weights they put in the certain parts of the exam will be slowly increase the percentage of students who can come from disadvantaged groups,” De Vera said.

“Because if you don’t do anything those who pass the admission tests tend to be the relatively richer families, those who can afford the review class and we want equity,” he stressed. 


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