IS UST taking in too many students than its limited resources could handle?

The perennial overcrowding problem is affecting students’ learning experiences, particularly in the faculties of Engineering and Arts and Letters (Artlets) and the College of Commerce and Business Administration, which accounted for more than one-third of the UST student population in Academic Year (AY) 2012-2013.

Classrooms are in short supply in the three populous colleges. In Commerce, which had an average 3,947 students in AY 2012-2013, the student-to-classroom ratio was 123:1, based on the Varsitarian’s own computations. For Artlets, which had 4,235 students, the ratio was 151:1. Engineering, with more than 7,300 students, had the worst ratio at 162 students per classroom.

Kyra Porciuncula, external vice president of the Engineering Student Council, said some equipment were already in bad shape. “Some of our air-conditioning units barely work, some classrooms have no projectors,” she said in an interview.

Incoming Artlets Student Council president Henry Villamiel likewise said the growing student population had resulted in the wear and tear of school equipment. However, the Artlets dean’s office was able to address these problems, he said.

Two more programs—History and English studies—were added to the faculty in 2011, increasing the student headcount in St. Raymund’s Building, which Artlets shares with the Commerce. The faculty had to convert its auditorium into a classroom to accommodate the increasing number of students.

Commerce Student Council President Ivan Bernadino said some LCD projectors and chairs badly needed replacement.

“There are improvements to be made like the installation of antivirus software in laptops and repair of some projectors kasi ‘yung iba malabo na talaga. I also find the need to change the chairs in our classrooms because some of them are already broken,” Bernardino said.

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Irregulars and shifters

Administrators point to overstaying irregular students and shifters as one reason for overcrowding in classrooms and the shortage of equipment.

“Generally, we experience [lack of chairs] when shifters take subjects that they did not take before in their previous college during regular classes," said Mary Hildence Baluyot, assistant dean of Commerce.

Artlets Dean Michael Anthony Vasco echoed Baluyot, saying that irregular students preferred to attend regular classes than summer classes to remove their deficiencies.

Justifying high tuition

Next academic year, tuition will go up by 2.5 percent or P31.23 to P1,280.23 per unit. UST officials have decided to cut the rate of increase by half from the original proposal of a five-percent hike following consultations with student leaders, deans, and University officials last February.

Incoming Central Student Council President Miyuki Morishita said in an earlier story by the Varsitarian that the increase was necessary to ensure that UST would continue to offer high-quality education despite rising costs.

“As much as the administration wants a lower percentage of increase to accommodate the students and the growing financial crisis the Filipino families are being subjected to, apektado rin po ang ating Unibersidad ng mga suliraning ito,” she added.

Bernardino said that with the increased cost of education in the University, facilities should be upgraded.

“The tuition that students pay for is big enough. I think it won’t be that hard to find funds for our facilities,” said Bernardino.

UST still a household choice

Amid complaints of “overpopulation” in the University, the freshman population for AY 2012-2013 actually decreased to 12,800 from 13,424.

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UST had experienced a surge in annual freshman enrollment since 2005, data from the Office of the Registrar showed. In 2006, UST admitted 10,271 first-year students. The number increased to 12,765 in 2007, 13,132 in 2008, 13,324 in 2009, and 13,438 in 2010.

Marie Anne Vargas, officer in charge of the Office of Admissions, said the University had limited the number of freshmen to 10,000 to 11,000. But the quota was often exceeded, she said, due to huge demand. Parents prefer ust because of its quality.

“There should be a balance between quality and quantity. We are working on that kind of framework,” she added. JOHN ZERBON P. ONG

10 COMMENTS

  1. You should tell your admission office that accepting huge number of applicants will affect the quality of education in UST.

    UST is becoming a generic school, similar to FEU, UE, CEU etc… it’s no longer prestigious because anyone can be admitted.

    10k+ students accepted per year????

  2. There is nothing wrong accepting more than 10,000 students, it is part of an income generating mechanism of the University. But UST must debar students who are not deserving to get at least a second semester sticker on their IDs. Colleges must implement stricter academic requirements and show no mercy to students who are not academically prepared. After all, they were given a chance to showcase their capabilities by being accepted to UST. Staying in UST is another issue…

    So when the students reached second or third years, they are few but very deserving ones. It doesn’t suffer the University in terms of resource mobilization and it doesn’t compromise the quality of UST provides to its students.

  3. ….”Parents prefer ust because of its quality.” This is a lame excuse; the parents are not the ones enrolling in the university. If their sons/daughters don’t make the grade to qualify for admission then they should go elsewhere.

  4. ….”Parents prefer ust because of its quality.” This is a lame excuse; the parents are not the ones enrolling in the university. If their sons/daughters don’t make the grade to qualify for admission then they should go elsewhere.

  5. The number of enrollees a certain school achieves could be their way of allowing more students to partake of the high quality of education that they promise to give to their clientele. Conversely, a lower number of enrollees in a certain school does not automatically mean that their students have gone through the proverbial “eye of the needle’ that these products are really well-honed as to come out passers in their respective board exams. Though this may be true for a few schools in our country, this is certainly not true for most schools with lower enrollment. A school with excellent education should even take in more students in order that it can contribute more to society by opening its doors to more people who deserve to receive the kind of education they offer. May all schools with high quality of education not be ashamed to let in more students instead of striving for a more “elitist” image which they believe can be achieved by lesser number of students taken.

    • @Bong Ablay: After reading your comment I have come to the conclusion that UST is not a good fit for you. May I recommend that you enroll in one of the many diploma mills who will allow you to “partake of the high quality of education that they promise to give to their clientele” and “whose high quality of education not be ashamed to let in more students instead of striving for a more elitist image……” I am sure you will be much happier there.

      • You may be misinterpreting my words because from what I gaher based on what you’re suggesting me to do, “that UST is not a good fit for me and that I should enroll in a diploma mill instead”
        this is simply not what I was expecting you to say after I issued that comment. I wish you could be more discerning before you issue caustic remarks. Anyway, to clarify my statement which Iposted earlier, I assure you that I believe that this university is rying its very best to offer the best possible education to its students and it is quite obviously succeeding in this endeavor as can b seen by is many graduates who even topped so many of their respective board exams. I myself was a witness of this having graduated from the College of Education in the late 80s. Contrary to your impression that I have doubts about UST’s good intention of providing the best education as a matter of fact I am even proud of my alma mater. In my message earlier please take note that I even mentioned that I am quite pleased with some schools who are opening their gates and doors wide enough to let more students in so that more young people can benefit from their high quality education and my stand is simply, that thes schools should even be lauded as they even risk being called diploma mills by outsiders by simply basing this belief on the fact of higher enrollments compared to other schools where their enrolments seem less liberal or open to so many young people as to what is the reason for this, I just don’t know, perhaps because of higher tuition or less ideal location of their school. However, I have also come to think that if UST is taking in too many these days, te it is right on the part of students like you to air this out to the present school administration so that they can do something about this if the situation is really so disconcerting that some or many of you are already calling the situation an “overcrowding” in the different colleges of the university to the point that it is already affecting the quality of teaching and learning. In this aspect I am sure we’re one and if this is really the case at UST now, may the school authorities listen to these concerns and respond to this right away while there is still hope and time to arrest the decline due to worsening “overcrowding” and seeming lack of classrooms for so many students who have enrolled in each college. Your later statement however about schools which in your belief are “diploma mills” might come too strong for those who are enrolled in these schools. Many have graduated from thse schools which yu consider as diploma mills bu mind you, many of them are now more successful than those who may have come out of so-called better schools. I once went to one of these so-called diploma mills but I tell you, I am not ashamed of it and many of my friends from that school went on to become successful and are now working abroad as professionals. This experience has humbled me, someone who came from a so-called high-quality school. Seeing that in these so-called “diploma mills” there were still a lot of teachers doing their very best to educate their students was quite an interesting revelation of an experience for me. Indeed there is so much truth in the perception of some that it is not really the school rather the student who would decide what kind of a person he’ll become, whether successful or not in the future.

    • @ Bong Ablay alias Bonskie: I beg for your indulgence if I ruffled your feathers and came across as rude in response to your comment above. In all honesty due to your comment being sophomoric for lack of good grammar and logic, I interpreted it as a “sour grape” response of an aspiring student who did not make the grade of admission to UST, rather than of a fellow alumnus/alumna. This being said, I will put an end to this discussion and I hope you will take to heart my constructive criticism. For your information I am an alumnus of the faculty of medicine and surgery.

      • I may come as sophomoric to you and my grammar bad. But I am not rude because I am not insecure. Only people who are insecure could afford to be rude. People who are secure about themselves tend be too particular about others’ trivial mistakes. There are not a few people who I have encountered as rude as you and I tell you now, hinde nako papatol sa mga gaya mo because it’s just unproductive for me and pointless because people who are fond of antics like what you do to me are not very impressive. Dami rin sa kanila when they are given important positions of authority, nagkakalat and do more harm for their work place than being constructive agents. Sorry for this, but this is what I observe or notice with people who set very high standards and demand people to be like them. They end up no better than anyone else. Magaling lang silang mambara pero wala rin naman palang magagawang positibo sa workplace nila how much more sa ating bansa. Now I rest my case. Pag isipan mo yang sinabi ko ha. Humility towards others and not arrogance, ok? May pinag aralan ka naman diba? From what I know having gone thorugh the College of Education during my undergrad years, mababait and magalang ang mga taga UST. So think about that so that you’d be a better example for the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery as you claim to be an alumnos of this institution. Naspakarami nang rude sa mundong ito, pls lang wag mo nang dagdagan pa. ok? Marami ka pang magagawang mas mabuti kaysa sa manlait or manliit sa opinions ng iba. Sorry but this is how I feel based on experiences with people who could be rude like you.

  6. Wag na lang patulan ang mga nambabastos sa forum na ito kasi di nga natin alam kung ito nga ba ay alumnos ba ng UST or hinde. From what I know UST alumnos are tactful hinde mambabastos ng iba kahit sa internet. Itong si alumnos malakas ang loob mambara ng opinion ng iba ngunit di nya naman ibigay ang tunay nyang pangalan sa thread na ito. I don’t believe you’re even an alumnos of UST. Sorry but I am not impressed.

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