ASPIRING Thomasian lawyers will have to maintain a higher average grade to avoid a probationary status starting next school year, as UST strives to improve its lackluster performance in the bar exams.

Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina said the faculty would increase its quotient point index (QPI) average for sophomore and junior students to 81 percent from 79 percent.

The QPI is a numerical indicator of the academic performance of a law student. The required QPI for students for each semester of the first year is 78 percent, and 79 percent regardless of the student’s load in the subsequent years. Any student who fails to meet the QPI for any particular semester shall be admitted on probation for the following semester. However, if the student still fails to obtain the required QPI during the probationary semester, he or she will be debarred from the faculty.

“This [is part of] an effort to perform better in the bar exams,” Divina said.

UST was the seventh top-performing school in the latest bar examinations with 94 out of 172 Thomasians passing the test in September last year.

It has been eight years since UST had a topnotcher in the bar exams when Arlene Maneja topped all other examinees in 2002.

Faculty secretary Joan Co-Pua said the QPI hike has is yet to be approved by the secretary general.

Students had mixed reactions on the proposal.

“I don’t know if I’d be happy since I will no longer be affected by the time it gets approved next year. But it is good that the dean is aggressive in improving the faculty’s performance in the bar exams.” Lomeda said. “However, I am also worried because many students might get debarred.”

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Sophomore Lorraine Taguiam however said the higher QPI requirement would force law students to study harder and to sacrifice extra-curricular activities.

“It is difficult to get an 81 percent QPI. Even the 79 percent is hard for us. It is in law school where you will get your lowest grades in your whole academic life because professors are not easy to impress,” Taguiam said.

The QPI is computed by multiplying a student’s grade by the number of units divided by the total number of units.

The Faculty of Civil Law got a 54.65-percent passing rate in the last bar exams, higher than the previous year’s 51.81 percent. Divina wants to turn the faculty into one of the top law schools in the country in five years.

The bar exams was topped by San Beda College with a passing rate of 93.68 percent, followed by Ateneo de Manila University (88.82 percent), University of the Philippines (87.02 percent), Ateneo de Davao University (67.24 percent), University of San Carlos (66.91 percent), and Far Eastern University-De La University Juris Doctor-MBA tie-up (60.61 percent).

It has been eight years since Thomasian Arlene Maneja topped the Bar exams in 2002, following the decades-old legacies of former president Diosdado Macapagal and former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion, who aced the bar exams in 1936 and 1924, respectively. Darenn G. Rodriguez

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