2021 highlights of events in education (Part IV)

By Dr. Rex Casiple

The most popular universities in the Philippines were identified in the 2021 Philippine University Ranking of 232 HEIs using the uniRank selection criteria based on the valid, unbiased and non-influenceable web metrics provided by independent web intelligence sources.

There are 18 colleges and universities from Western Visayas included in the ranking: Central Philippine University, UP Visayas, University of St. La Salle, Aklan State University, University of San Agustin, West Visayas State University, University of Antique, John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University, Iloilo Science and Technology University, University of Iloilo-PHINMA, University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos, Capiz State University, Filamer Christian University, Central Philippine Adventist College, Guimaras State College, St. Paul University Iloilo, STI West Negros University and Western Institute of Technology.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has identified four autonomous and two (2) deregulated private HEIs in the Region, namely Central Philippine University, John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation-Bacolod, John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University and University of St. La Salle; and Filamer Christian University and University of San Agustin respectively.

These autonomous and deregulated private HEIs have demonstrated consistent adherence to high standards of instruction, research and scholarships. They were selected through their long tradition of integrity and untarnished reputation, commitment to excellence and sustainability and viability of operations.

Thousands of college graduates were added to the roster of unemployed/under-employed graduates in the Region in 2021. Business Education courses were the most popular courses in school with a lot of graduates followed by Teacher Education and Information Technology (IT) programs.

A number of work-from-home (WFH) jobs available in the Region in time of pandemic can be applied for online. Some of these temporary WFH jobs are home-based typing jobs, data entry jobs, home-based call center, sales associate, operation supervisor, client service specialist, training officer, call center agent, customer service representative, online home-based tutor,  mortgage underwriter, graphic designer, proposal writer, website designer, among others.

Classes in the tertiary level for academic year (AY) 2021-2022 started in August 2021 to September 2021. The CHED has indorsed their call to allow limited face-to-face classes in engineering, maritime, and hotel and restaurant management programs. Schools applying to conduct such classes should pass safety inspections by CHED and the Department of Health, as well as by their local government units.

The allowable programs for limited face-to-face classes were Medicine, Nursing, Medical Technology/Medical Laboratory Science, Physical Therapy, Midwifery, and Public Health. In addition to these, there were additional health-related programs in the field of Dentistry, Respiratory Therapy, Pharmacy, and Radiologic Technology allowed to conduct limited face-to-face delivery delimited to specialized laboratory courses, experiential practice or clinical education or hospital-based clinical clerkship/internship/practicum.

There were at least 118 universities and colleges across the country with at least 9,000 students conducting limited face-to-face classes. The virus’s infection rate has remained low in these schools. Around 76% of those in limited in-person classes and 95% of faculty members were vaccinated.

All undergraduate students of state universities and colleges and recognized local universities and colleges were entitled to free tuition and miscellaneous fees. Aside from this, there were scholarships offered by government agencies to Filipino undergraduate students enrolled in public and private HEIs. Some of these scholarships were offered by the DOST, OWWA, BFAR, GSIS and CHED.

(To be continued)