MANILA, Philippines – The University of Santo Tomas (UST) will move its opening of classes for college and graduate programs from June to July beginning next school year.
The approved collegiate calendar for academic year 2014-2015 released by the Office of the Secretary General (OSG) shows the start of regular classes will be on July 14.
Under the new academic calendar, the first semester will be from July to December; the second semester, from January to May; and the third term, from June to July.
According to The Varsitarian, the official student publication of the university, a memorandum from the OSG said the new schedule will be “a gradual transition to a much later date for the opening of the school year in 2015-2016 and onwards.”
UST announced earlier that they were looking at a September-June academic calendar. (READ: CHED: School calendar shift not for all)
But the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said they will only allow higher education institutions to change their academic calendars pursuant to the law. (READ: CHED: School calendar should follow the law)
Republic Act no. 7797, which sets the school calendar to a maximum of 220 class days, also states the school year should start on the first Monday of June but not later than the last day of August.
The change is in preparation for the ASEAN regional integration in 2015, The Varsitarian said. The shift will apply only to undergraduate and graduate programs of the university.
The announcement comes 5 days after two top universities in the country announced their decision to shift the start of their academic calendars from June to August.
The University of the Philippines (UP) said on Thursday, February 6, it will adopt the shift in a pilot basis for 7 constituent units starting next academic year 2014-2015, as approved by its Board of Regents. (READ: UP class opening shifts to August in 2014)
The system’s flagship unit UP Diliman is not yet adapting the shift pending consultations with stakeholders.
The Ateneo de Manila University’s board of trustees approved the shift, which will take effect by 2015. (READ: Ateneo de Manila to start school year in August by 2015)
Of the 5 universities that earlier expressed their intention to make the shift, only the De La Salle University and the Adamson University have yet to make their final decision.
Both UP and UST will implement the change starting next school year, but CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan earlier said she doubts schools can push through with the shift as early as 2014.
A technical working group, led by former CHED chair and University of the East President Ester Garcia, will be working on a study that will provide CHED enough data for a clearer position on the issue by March 2014. – Jee Geronimo/Rappler.com
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