Saturday, March 05, 2005

Philippines: College Education in Crisis!

UPDATE: Five years from now, the Philippines tertiary education will likely face a crisis if the current trends in college enrolment and dropouts will continue. Due to continuing tuition hikes more and more students enrolled in private colleges and universities find themselves either dropping out or forced to transfer to state institutions.

But the state universities and colleges (SUCs) are plagued by similar problems: Not only are they few now and their enrolment quotas limited, they are also haunted by increases in tuition and other fees thus forcing many state scholars to leave.

Recently, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) National Commission of the Philippines reported a measly 22 percent overall student survival from 1st to 4th year college. In June 2004, the Wallace report revealed that the dropout rate in college is at a staggering all-time high of 73 percent.

A new report by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) shows that the number of tertiary population in schoolyear 2002-2003 was 2.4 million compared to 1.87 million in 1994-1995. It cites however that while state institutions had their population soar by 415,972 (from 399,623 to 815,595 during the same period), private colleges and universities could only absorb an additional 139,357 enrolees (or from 1.472 million to 1.611 million).

It is true that in 1997, enrollment in private tertiary schools grew by 6.47 percent. By 2002 however the figure plunged drastically to a -2.8 percent. Enrollment figures in private schools fell by 46,354 in schoolyear 2002-2003 from 1,657,735 in the previous year.

The exodus of college students enrolled in private schools to state universities and colleges (SUCs) over the last two decades is also shown in other CHED records. In 1980, only 10 percent of college students were studying in SUCs. By 1994, the number went up to 21 percent and in school year 2002-2003, it already accounted for 34 percent of tertiary population.

For more reading, you can read from the