To help students get financial assistance and land in-demand jobs, the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) has updated its list of priority courses for academic years 2014-2015 up to 2017-2018.

Added to the list were courses in the fields of Agriculture, Engineering (Electronics and Communications Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering), Science and Math (Mathematics, Physics, Biology, and Chemistry), Information Technology, Teacher Education, Health and Sciences (Nutrition, Medical Technology, Physical Therapy, and Pharmacy), Arts and Humanities (Philosophy and Theology), Social and Behavioral Sciences (Psychology and Guidance Counselling), Business Administration and related courses (Accountancy and Tourism), Architecture, Maritime Transport, Communication (Communication Arts and Journalism), and others.

The decision was based on national development plans, manpower demands, and projected employment requirements up to 2020 of key industries, based on a study by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

In a media briefing last May 27, CHEd Executive Director Julito Vitriolo said the priority courses were needed to spur economic development. Students taking up priority courses will be eligible for primary student financial assistance programs such as scholarships and loans.

CHEd will spend P6.7 billion on the estimated 340,000 to 350,000 students who will avail themselves of financial assistance.

The agency also released the lists of priority courses for each region. Arianne F. Merez

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