First, some reminders.

This coming school year, students and their parents may again have to claw deeper at the bottom of the barrel as the administration has hiked up tuition fee by a whopping 15 per cent. It is the seventh consecutive year that the price of education in this venerable institution has risen, pulling with it the bar that decides who can enter and avail of its quality and supposedly “catholic” education—“catholic” here meaning universal or for all. This is what the school should try to be, as much as possible.

On the one hand, UST should ensure that the education it offers is worth the students’ money. On the other, the administration should find ways to provide quality education other than squeeze money from the very people it aims to serve. What better kind of quality is there than one that is for less? More bang for the money—if UST is able to execute this, not only will it boost its image of service, it will attract students not because the latter were not able to hurdle the screening process of other reputed schools like the University of the Philippines, but because UST really is their first choice.

Of course, many who come to this school really chose it over the others. But often, they become disillusioned by the poor performance of its instructors and the sloppy facilities.

But, with all due respect, the administration’s argument that the tuition fee increase is directly proportional to maintenance costs as well as increasing teachers’ salaries does not hold water. Quality comes with a price, they say, but this nonchalant statement seems contrary to the avowed mission implied in the school’s title to reach out to each and every deserving student.

PUBLIC SERVICE... with a smile

Or does the administration have a different understanding of “deserving”?

Now, on the salary increase for the academic employees. True, a school pays more to keep good professors here and not flocking to schools with better offers. But must it always be the students who shoulder the cost? Correct me if I’m wrong, but schools were built for students, and not because of them. While asking the students for help is not unreasonable, dependence on them, which the yearly increase of fees seem to confirm, is.

If the administration wishes to win the competition with other good schools, UST should win it not by copying what the elite schools do, that is, raise fees to maintain quality, but by striving to offer quality for less.

The school can ask Thomasians for help in another way, and that is by giving all it has for the students while they are studying, then afterwards asking them (as alumni) to give back a little from their earnings as professionals. This is done all the time in other schools. Alumni are made to pledge a small amount. Call it a “thank you” gift.

Calling the Public and Alumni Affairs Office!


Now what was it that I wanted to say? Oh yes.

This is the last edition of Ramblings. This writer does not assume that he was read as much as he wanted to be, but to those who did put up with the inanities, insanities, and occasional lucky shots at wisdom in this column, thank you. Oh, and thank God for the times the ramblings made sense.

Santo Tomas internment camp survivor

To those who skipped this nook of the paper for the more sensible parts, I don’t blame you. These were, in any case, just the ramblings of an insignificant fool. At least you read the paper.

I thank the Varsitarian’s funny sense of humor, for putting up with me. And the staff—ah, it was a pleasure working with you. An honor, really. Thank you. Many of the things I now carry with me I learned from you, with you. I leave a better man.

But as life is infested with crossroads, I won’t say goodbye.

See you.



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