International Education

Higher Education in the PhilippinesHigher education in the Philippines is made up of over 2000 higher education institutions which include state and local public universities and a larger number of sectarian and non-sectarian universities and colleges. The Commission for Higher Education (CHED) overseas all public and private academic higher education. It is responsible for higher education policy as well as allocation of resources and creation and implementation of rules and guidelines. To promote quality and excellence in higher education, some institutions have been designated as Centers of Excellence and Centers of Development. These institutions have been recognized as providing a strong graduate program as well as undergraduate programs that meet international standards. These institutions are given a higher level of autonomy and priority in funding allocations. They are expected to serve as role models and to provide assistance to other higher education institutions. Admissions to public universities can be very competitive, particularly at the University of the Philippines campuses which accepted less than 20 percent of applicants in recent years. Student's secondary school grades along with their scores on the University of the Philippines College Admissions Test are used to determine who will be admitted. Other universities maintain their own admissions criteria which may include a school-administered admissions test, secondary school grades, interview and medical exam. Tuition at public universities in the Philippines is very low in general but varies by location and individual school. Financially needy students can obtain additional financial assistance. Private universities charge much higher tuition rates which vary significantly between schools. Types of Schools and DegreesThere are over 500 public universities and 1500 private universities and colleges, of which a large number are Catholic schools. The bigger public universities offer programs in a wide array of subject areas while many private universities and colleges have more limited offerings. More than 70 percent of students attend private universities due to the lack of spaces available at the public universities. The most highly regarded universities belong to the University of the Philippines System which is comprised of nine campuses. Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees can all be earned in the Philippines and are often considered equivalent to those earned in the US and elsewhere. International StudentsIn recent years over 5000 international students studied in the Philippines each year with over 1200 coming from North America and Western Europe. Foreigners may attend Filipino universities and colleges as full-degree students or as exchange students. Admission of full-degree students is based on secondary school grades and Filipino entrance exam scores although in some cases students may be able to submit SAT scores instead. The school year runs from June through March and courses are taught in English. Students must obtain a student visa which must be renewed each year. Exchange students must obtain an exchange student visa. Generally speaking, international students pay much higher tuition than local students but this varies by school. About the PhilippinesThe Philippines is a country made up of 7, 107 islands located in Southeast Asia, south of Taiwan and east of Vietnam. It is a democratic country which gained independence from the US after World War II. A population of 92 million people reside in the Philippines while another 11 million Filipinos live overseas where they can often earn more money. The Capital of Manila has a population of 20 million people and is the most densely populated city in the world. The official languages are Filipino and English which are used in government, education, broadcast media and business but many official and unofficial auxiliary languages are spoken in various regions. Many ethnicities, cultures and languages are represented throughout the islands. The Philippines is a newly industrialized country which has an economy based on a services sector, industry and agriculture. Their main exports include semiconductors, electronic products, transport equipment and garments although it remains a net importer. Quality of life is fairly low, with a United Nations Human Development Index ranking of 102 out of 180 countries in 2009. Resources Philippines Commission on Higher Education
Department of Tourism - Philippines