DESPITE the 5.5 per cent tuition increase this year, the University still enjoys robust enrollment.

UST Asst. Registrar Chin Uy said that the enrollment increased from 31,782 last year to 32,239 this year.

“Enrollment is still on-going in the Graduate School and the Institute for Physical Education and Athletics (IPEA), so we are even expecting that number to increase until the second week of July,” Uy told the Varsitarian.

Uy explained that the rise in the number of enrollees is due to the quality of education that the University offers.

“Quality of education is an important factor for most parents,” Uy said. “They would want their children to enter the University, which tops most of the board exams yearly.”

In an interview with the Varsitarian, former UST Rector Fr. Tamerlane Lana, O.P. agrees with Uy that high school graduates, from rich to middle class families, prefer to enroll in UST for its reputation in providing quality education.

“Parents always want the best for their children and they will be willing to shell out reasonable costs to provide their children the best education,” Lana said.

According to Lana’s end-term report, UST registered an average 82 per cent passing rate in all board exams in 2005, a marked improvement from 79 per cent in 2003. The University has also maintained its 15 academic programs with Centers of Excellence and Centers of Development status.

Lana also explained that the tuition in UST is reasonable compared to other schools.

Despite the increase in the number of enrollees, Lana pointed out that the University did not ease its strict admission policies.

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“In the last four years, an average of 36,753 applicants sought admission to the University but only 7,302 applicants were accepted,” Lana said.

Meanwhile, Uy is optimistic that the University can accommodate more students in the College of Commerce and the Faculty of Arts and Letters (Artlets) next year, as many classrooms will be available for the students with the separation of the newly established Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy.

“Due to the limited sources we had before, the University cannot expand and accept more students. But because of the separation of some colleges, we can now accommodate more students by next year,” Uy said.

Enrollment trends for this school year varied with each college. The number of freshmen from the College of Architecture rose from last year’s 433 to 523, while Commerce registered 967 first-year students compared to last year’s 1,448.

Other colleges and faculties with increased freshmen population are the Faculty of Engineering, Artlets and the College of Nursing.

On the other hand, freshmen enrollment at the College of Science, College of Fine Arts and Design, College of Rehabilitation Sciences, Conservatory of Music, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Pharmacy and Faculty of Civil Law declined.

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