AFTER a decade of increases in tuition and
other fees, UST will not hike tuition next academic year, amid tight
competition for enrollees among universities on the first year of the K to 12

Responding to a letter from the Varsitarian, Vice Rector for Finance
Fr. Manuel Roux, O.P., said the University did not apply for tuition hikes this

In a wide-ranging interview after ending his
four-year term as Rector, Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. said he believed there
needed to be a pause in tuition hikes.

“I’m not the rector anymore so I cannot
officially say [there will be no tuition hike]. There is a tuition committee
that’s under the vice rector for finance. If
there is [no tuition hike], I think the reason is the University has been raising
its fees for the past four years,” Fr. Dagohoy told the Varsitarian.


to tap savings for K to 12 transition

Fr. Dagohoy, an accountant, said UST was
ready to absorb deficits expected during the painful K to 12 transition, and
could tap into savings from excess revenues accumulated in previous years. The
University had excess revenues of P100 million to P200 million every year from “academic
income” such as miscellaneous fees and revenue from UST hospital, he said.

“You look at the bottom line and from our
savings, that’s where we are going to [plug] the deficit,” he said. “Mabuti nga tayo [at] mayroon tayong naipon.
Kung wala tayong naipon, mahihirapan ang
University mag-absorb ng losses,” Fr.
Dagohoy said.

Accumulated savings also mean the University will
not shut down due to financial difficulties, unlike other private schools.

ang problema ng maraming universities kaya ang nakikita natin, marami an
magco-close sa mga `yan after a year
or two. Pag wala kang estudyante, for
example, wala kang pagkukunan ng fixed cost mo e. Sa atin mayroon pa
tayong naipon na pwede natin paghugutan
,” he added.

With high school students required to go
through Grades 11 and 12 starting this June, there will be a significant
reduction in enrollment in college programs for the years 2016 to 2022. Only
around 40 advanced-level high schools will be able to send graduates to college
next academic year.

As a result, the University has opened only
22 out of its existing 53 programs.


target set

The University has set a target of 6,000 new
students, mostly in senior high school, during the K to 12 transition next
academic year to avoid incurring a shortfall in revenues, Fr. Dagohoy bared.

This will be 3,000 students short of the
normal freshman enrollment of 9,000 every year, as only 1,000 first-year
college students are expected to enroll next academic year because of the
implementation of the K to 12 basic education reform.

If UST fails to hit its enrollment targets,
annual losses could hit around P200 million for the next five years, but this
could be plugged by savings, the former rector said. The existing enrollment
would also be able to support University operations, he said.


K to
12 readiness

Fr. Dagohoy gave the University a score of 8
on a scale of 1 to 10 when it came to K to 12 preparedness.

“We don’t know really what would be the
scenario. There will certainly be adjustments [because] nobody could claim that
we are entirely K to 12-ready,” Fr. Dagohoy said.

But he cited the strength of the University
in the implementation of the K to 12 basic education reform—tenured faculty
members who can teach specialized subjects in UST Senior High School (SHS).

K to 12, maswerte ang
University. We don’t have a problem with tenured faculty,” Fr. Dagohoy

Fr. Dagohoy again gave assurances that the
University would retain 1,200 tenured faculty members this coming academic
year, adding UST was still hiring SHS teachers. “We don’t have problem [because]
even [some of the] tenured faculty would still have a load, because our
[general education] is spread out until fourth year,” he said.

Fr. Dagohoy stepped down as rector last March
31, a month ahead of schedule, to give his successor more time to adjust ahead
of the K to 12 transition. Roy Abrahmn D.R. Narra and Alhex Adrea M.


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