April 16, 2016, 4:19p.m. – THE COMMISSION on Higher Education (CHEd) has granted UST a fresh five-year autonomous status, which means less government regulation until 2021.

Autonomy allows UST to increase tuition, determine and prescribe curricular programs and offer new courses, open satellite campuses, offer extension classes, establish linkages with foreign higher educational institutions (HEIs), and grant honorary degrees to deserving individuals without securing approval from CHEd.

In addition, autonomous HEIs also get priority in subsidies and other forms of financial assistance.

UST was one of only three private HEIs granted the five-year status. The others were Ateneo de Manila and De La Salle University – Manila.

Meanwhile, 53 schools got autonomous status for three years, including Adamson University, Centro Escolar University, University of the East – Manila and Far Eastern University. Three others were granted autonomy for a year, namely Baliuag University, Cebu Doctors’ University and Philippine Women’s University.

According to CHEd Memorandum Order No. 20 series of 2016 released last April 13, UST’s autonomous status runs from April 1, 2016 until May 31, 2021.

UST got the autonomous status in 2002, which was renewed in 2007.

An autonomous HEI is considered by CHEd as having attained “consistent exemplary academic excellence in the provision of education, research and extension services through existing quality assurance mechanisms.”

CHEd evaluates HEIs according to three criteria namely: long tradition of integrity and untarnished reputation, commitment to excellence, and sustainability and viability of operations. Kathryn Jedi V. Baylon and Alhex Adrea M. Peralta


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