No freshmen in 32 UP Diliman courses – report


MANILA, Philippines – At least 32 courses at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman have no freshman students after the full implementation of K to 12's senior high school program.

Citing data from UP Diliman's Office of the University Registrar, UP student publication Philippine Collegian said the following courses have no first year students for the first semester of academic year 2016-2017:

College of Arts and Letters

College of Fine Arts

College of Home Economics

College of Music

UP College of Education

College of Engineering

Meanwhile, BA English Literature, Bachelor of Physical Education, and BS Applied Physics recorded less than 10 freshman enrollees.

The same report said only 807 freshmen enrolled in the Diliman campus this school year – a huge drop from the 4,305 enrollees in 2015.

Higher education institutions already expected the drop in enrollment – an effect of the nationwide rollout of Grade 11 under the Department of Education's senior high school program last June. 

The drop in enrollment will last until school year 2021-2022, when things are expected to normalize.

For UP, they knew as early as the UP College Admission Test (UPCAT) in 2015, when only less than 10,000 aspirants took the test compared to the 87,000 test takers in 2014.

From the 10,000 only 1,558 takers passed the exam. In previous years, UPCAT passers actually ranged between 12,000 and 13,000.

The 32 UP Diliman courses without first year students will continue, the Philippine Collegian quoted Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Benito Pacheco as saying.

He added that the UP administration is also encouraging affected teaching and non-teaching staff to pursue graduate degrees in the university or even abroad. This way, they won't have to leave UP.

But the Philippine Collegian reported that despite the drop in freshman enrollment, long lines still marred the registration and enlistment of students at UP Diliman.

"Students are still pitted against each other and are made to plead to professors just to have slots in classes," the student publication quoted Student Regent Raoul Manuel as saying.

He added: "In a system that does not uphold the academic rights of both students and faculty members alike and in a system that crowns endurance of burdensome fees and bureaucratic processes, we have no other option but to rise and be part of the struggle for a nationalist, scientific and mass-oriented education." –