MANILA, Philippines – Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Commissioner Prospero de Vera III on Thursday, August 10, said state universities and colleges (SUCs) may be asked to tighten their admission policies in order to stem possible effects of the free tuition law.
Stricter admission and retention policies would do two things: prevent massive transfer of students from private colleges and universities and ensure they don’t abuse the law in order to receive more funding. (READ: LIST: State colleges and universities covered by free tuition law)
“There are other components of the law that we’re looking at including ensuring that state universities and colleges and LUCs (local universities and colleges) tighten their admission and retention policies,” said De Vera.
Admission policies could be made stricter by limiting access of the free tuition to students who enroll on a full load and finish their course on time, he said. (READ: Who will benefit from the free tuition law?)
“Students who fail to complete their required number of units wll lose their subsidy for their semester or that year. Those are some of the things we will put in the IRR (implementing rules and regulations) to make sure schools adopt strict policies,” said the CHED official.
Students doing their second degree will also not be covered by the free tuition law.
SUCs and LUCs will be told not to implement an open admission policy.
“We will…make sure that the enrollment of state universities, colleges and LUCs will be controlled. So we will be telling the state universities – to the SUCs and the LUCs – to make sure that their admission and retention policies do not adopt an open admission,” said De Vera.
The stricter admission is to “allay” fears of private schools that there will be a massive transfer of their students to SUCs.
De Vera said one other assurance CHED can give is that the subsidy from the national government will be pegged on the actual or regular increase of enrollment in SUCs and LUCs, based on 2015 data.
Also, massive transfers are unlikely due to the limited slots per course for students in state-run schools. Students will still have to compete to get a slot.
A no-transfer policy in SUCs is yet another way to stem student migration from private schools.
De Vera said some SUCs are already implementing this policy from sophomore to senior year.
“The possible shift of enrollees that intend to go to private universities but will go to SUCs will probably happen only for the entering freshmen batch,” he said.
Government officials, led by Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, had their first meeting on Wednesday, August 9, to draft the law’s IRR.
De Vera said they are hoping to finish the IRR “within the week” so that the law can be implemented starting June 2018. – Rappler.com
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