UST Rector Fr. Richard Ang, O.P. delivers the homily during the welcome Mass for AY 2021-2022 freshmen,

THE UNIVERSITY on Thursday welcomed more than 11,000 first-year students in the virtual Welcome Walk for Academic Year (AY) 2021-2022, which made use of the UST Minecraft server.

This is the second straight year that the traditional rite of passage through the Arch of the Centuries was held virtually.

The number of freshmen, based on current data, declined by 17.73 percent. 

A total of 11,335 first-year UST students have enrolled as of Aug. 5. Last year, there were 13,778 freshmen.

The breakdown of the total is as follows: 7,772 college freshmen, 3,054 Grade 11 students, 430 Grade 7 students from the Junior High School, and 90 Grade 7 students from the Education High School.

The Faculty of Engineering welcomed the most freshmen for the third straight year with 1,071 students.

The Faculty of Pharmacy and the Faculty of Arts and Letters followed with 906 and 744 first-year students, respectively.

The number of freshmen enrollees from the Faculty of Civil Law, Faculty of Canon Law, Faculty of Philosophy, Faculty of Sacred Theology, and Graduate School of Law was unavailable as of writing.

UST received 48,411 applications for the UST Admission Rating (USTAR), which replaced the UST Entrance Test (USTET) amid the pandemic.

‘Focus on your goals’

In his homily during the welcome Mass, UST Rector Fr. Richard Ang, O.P. told the newly minted Thomasians that they should overcome online temptations to better prepare themselves for the future. 

“It’s very tempting to binge-watch on Netflix…but try instead to give focus to your goal and to your performance one at a time to prepare yourself for the future,” he said. 

Ang also told the freshmen to seize opportunities for education amid the pandemic. 

“You are most privileged and most fortunate to be given a chance to continue your education. Don’t put it to waste by neglect… Don’t miss your opportunities.”

UST retained the “enriched virtual mode,” the University’s remote learning strategy, in AY 2021 to 2022.

Regular classes will start on Aug. 12.


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