MANILA The number of students that can be accommodated in a school year is upon the discretion of state universities and colleges (SUCs), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) clarified on Thursday.
The clarification was issued in the wake of reports and speculations that CHED and the SUCs have been the main obstacles in the full implementation of Republic Act 10931 or Universal Access to Quality Higher Education Act.
In a press briefing, CHED Officer in Charge Prospero de Vera III explained that these might have rooted from the situation at the Cagayan State University in Tuguegarao City, where 10,000 students applied for admission but only 4,000 students where accepted.
"The commission cannot tell the universities to admit certain students. That's the decision of the universities, they decide based on the availability of facilities, their faculty student ratio. So the universities are in the best position to determine their carrying capacity, how many students they can accept and teach in a school year," de Vera said.
De Vera added that such power of the universities to decide are stated in Republic Act 8292 or the Higher Education Modernization Act of 1997 which provides for the uniform composition and powers of the governing boards, the manner of appointment and term of office of the president of the chartered state universities and colleges and other purposes.
"I think it has become an issue because Cagayan State University used to have an open enrollment, they don't have admission tests, this is the first time they have put up an admission test and certain education stakeholders in the region did not understand the reason for the admission test or probably didn't like the admission test," he said.
In order to provide access to quality education and not only higher education, de Vera said that RA 10931 states that SUCs and local universities and colleges (LUCs) must have admission and retention policies in place.
"I have been telling the SUCs and LUCs in the past months not to unduly expand their enrollment because if they do that they will put into motion a lot of problems that will come later on, if you have too many students, you will need classrooms, they will start demanding new faculty items and it's not going to end so the commission fully supports the Cagayan State University as far as their admission policy is concerned," he said.
De Vera also said there is no such problem in other SUCs.
Citing the University of the Philippines College Admission Test as an example, de Vera stressed that no one among the 103,000 applicants who had applied complained when only 13,000 students were accepted. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency