THE HONOR roll is shorter, for this year at least.

Most colleges gave fewer Latin honors during their solemn investitures at the close of Academic Year 2012-2013, data obtained by the Varsitarian showed, amid observations that UST has been producing too many honor graduates.

The College of Tourism and Hospitality Management (CTHM) remained the top producer of honor graduates, but cut the number of medals awarded. The following colleges also reduced their honor rolls: the College of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD), College of Rehabilitation Sciences (CRS), College of Nursing, College of Architecture, College of Commerce, the Faculty of Art and Letters and the Faculty of Engineering.

CTHM reduced the ratio of honor graduates to total graduates to 28.9 percent this year or nearly three out of 10. The ratio had stood at more than 40 percent or four honor graduates out of every 10 graduates in the past two years.

The college dean, Ma. Cecilia Tio-Cuison, attributed the decline to “additional learning challenges” imposed on senior students this year. “Now in thesis defense, we invited research heads from different academic institutions, industry managers [and] industry researchers to make an effective panel,” she said.

Tio-Cuison was satisfied with this year’s crop of CTHM graduates, saying they were locally and globally competitive because of their education.

CTHM produced two summa cum laudes, 28 magna cum laudes and 130 cum laudes, or a total of 160 honor graduates out of 553 graduates.

Back in tune

The Conservatory of Music recorded the second highest ratio—at 25.7 percent or nine honor graduates out of 35—significantly higher than last year’s 13 percent. It had one summa cum laude, two magna cum laudes and six cum laudes, out of 35 graduates.

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Music Dean Raul Sunico said the kind of graduates produced by the Conservatory was more important than the number of “laudes.”

“I am not really conscious about the ranking. What is more important is that we maintain a standard. We are not going to compromise the quality of our academic standard just to have more honor graduates,” he said.

The Faculty of Pharmacy placed third anew with 142 laudes out of 817 graduates or a ratio of 17.4 percent, up from last year’s 13.9 percent.

This year, Pharmacy produced two summa cum laudes, 25 magna cum laudes and 115 . The tally was much higher than last year’s record of 87 honor students out of 626 graduates.

Pharmacy Dean Priscilla Torres attributed the feat to the “rigorous development” of faculty members and students.

Meanwhile, the Faculty of Arts and Letters cut the number of honor graduates this year to 121 laudes out of 970 graduates or a ratio of 12.5 percent. Last year’s ratio was 13.8 percent, down from 15.5 percent in 2011. Artlets was the top producer of honor graduates from 2008 to 2010.

Single digit

In the College of Education, the ratio of honor graduates to total graduates slightly increased to 9 percent from last year’s 7.5 percent, as 44 students received honors out of 490 graduates.

CFAD registered an 8.3-percent ratio with 53 students marching with honors out of 639 graduates. This was down from 14.2 percent or 53 laudes out of 374 graduates in 2012. Last year, CFAD was the second top producer of honor students.

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The College of Science produced 41 cum laudes, three magna cum laudes and a summa cum laude, which accounted for just 7.1 percent of the total number of honor graduates. This was slightly higher than last year’s 6.6 percent.

Engineering saw a slight decrease in its ratio to 6.8 percent from last year’s 7.9 percent. This year, Engineering produced 83 cum laudes and 14 magna cum laudes out of 1, 430 graduates.

CRS, meanwhile, recorded a drastic cut in its honor-student ratio to 5.8 percent from 10.4 percent. It produced only nine honor students out of 155 graduates, compared with 17 laudes out of 164 graduates last year.

Likewise, Nursing’s ratio plummeted to 4.2 percent from last year’s 8.1 percent. Nursing had only 18 laudes out of 425 graduates, compared with last year’s record of 37 students receiving medals out of 458 graduates.

Commerce decreased its ratio to 3.6 percent from 4.8 percent last year. Only 26 students received Latin honors out of 739 graduates.

No summa

Architecture produced the least number of laudes this year with just a 2.9-percent ratio of honor graduates to total graduates. Ten Architecture graduates out of 343 marched with honors this year, down from last year’s 15 laudes out of 286 graduates.

Dean John Joseph Fernandez said the performance of their graduates in board examinations was more important. UST graduates often land in the top 10 of the licensure exams, he noted.

“[Architecture] is a professional course, being technical and artistic. Talagang wala pang nag-graduate na summa cum laude,” he said.

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The Batch of 2013 had a total of 734 honor graduates out of 7,234, or 10.2 percent, records from the Registrar’s Office showed. In total, there were 631 cum laudes, 89 magna cum laudes and six summa cum laudes. The overall ratio went down from last year’s 11.5 percent or 703 honor graduates out of 6,104.

2013 ended CTHM’s two-year streak of producing the batch valedictorian. The University’s top graduate is Christopher Rey Dacanay of Pharmacy, who finished with a general weighted average of 1.069. Dacanay bested CTHM’s Kriskyn Diane Cabrera, who recorded an average of 1.119.

Excluded from this report are postgraduate courses of the University and the College of Accountancy, which will hold its graduation rites in June.

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