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 in the first year of the K to 12 transition.

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 year.

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.

Fr. Dagohoy, a licensed 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.

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“Ito ang problema ng maraming universities kaya ang nakikita natin, marami ang magco-close sa mga ‘yan after a year or two,” Fr. Dagohoy said.

“‘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.

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