By Danielle Clara P. Dandan
A EUROPEAN agency is ready to finance the construction of the UST General Santos satellite campus once it receives a master plan from the University, UST Rector Fr. Ernesto Arceo, O.P. has bared.
Arceo did not disclose the name of the funding institution, but said an alumnus, Architect George Ramos, made the recommendation. Ramos found the plans for the General Santos campus “impressive,” the Rector said.
“Ramos was encouraged to recommend UST to the agency when he saw the construction of UST in Sta. Rosa, Laguna taking place,” Arceo told the Varsitarian.
Arceo said that the University must first submit a long-term master plan for the General Santos campus before the agency releases funds.
“As of now, UST Gen-San is at the planning stage. We have to inform the agency about our specific plans for the next 10 to 15 years before it can provide the necessary funding,” he said.
Arceo added that the agency has supported several universities around the world and UST would be the first in the Philippines.
“The agency already helped many non-government schools in Southeast Asia because its main goal is to bring education to these developing countries,” he said.
Arceo said the satellite campus might look a lot like the España campus.
“UST Gen-San is most likely to be a ‘carbon copy’ of UST España, depending on the final outcome of our planning committee’s study,” Arceo said. “The committee is composed of architects and researchers who are studying the possible infrastructures to build in the new campus.”
Just like the España campus, a hospital and church will rise in General Santos, Arceo said.
In addition, there are 6,000 coconut trees in the site, a source of virgin coconut oil and other herbal medicines that UST General Santos plans to commercialize.
Although the list of academic programs is not yet final, the satellite campus might offer medical courses due at the request of the residents. UST General Santos will most likely offer courses being taught in Manila.
Last summer, the University invited faculty members from schools around the UST General Santos site to a teaching seminar in preparation for the campus’ opening in 2011.
UST General Santos, which covers 800,000 square meters, will be the biggest university in Mindanao.
“The expansion of UST Gen-San aims to reach out to students of Mindanao who are not capable of traveling to Manila. Nevertheless, they will still be given quality education and genuine Thomasian service,” Arceo said.
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