UP: No tuition collection this sem
After initially flip-flopping on the issue, the University of the Philippines (UP) said on Tuesday that no tuition or other fees would be collected this semester following the passage of the free tuition law.
In a memorandum signed on Monday, UP president Danilo Concepcion said that no collections would be made from Filipino undergraduate students in all UP campuses nationwide.
The memo officially implements sections 4 and 6 of Republic Act 10931 which provides for the coverage as well as exceptions to the noncollection of fees.
Under the guidelines, students who already have completed an undergraduate degree or failed to comply with admission and retention rules will have to pay their dues.
Fees will also be collected from those who fail to complete their degree within a year after the prescribed period as well as graduate students and those taking up law and medicine.
The new guidelines were approved by the UP Board of Regents, the state university’s highest policymaking, through a referendum.
Concepcion’s memo also said that students with the financial means to do so may “voluntarily” pay their tuition as their “contribution” to UP.
Those not covered by the zero tuition collection can apply for financial assistance or avail themselves of the Socialized Tuition System which provides discounts based on their capacity to pay.
During registration, fee assessment for qualified students shall be set at zero, the memo said. However, those whose registration forms had already been assessed may undergo reassessment.
The university will soon release separate guidelines on refunds for those who have already paid their tuition this semester.
UP Diliman chancellor Michael Tan, who earlier suspended tuition collection before Concepcion’s reversal, said that the university has “decided to avail of the tuition subsidy” from the Commission on Higher Education to cover miscellaneous fees. He said this would also be supplemented by the university’s own funds.
Kabataan partylist Rep. Sarah Elago welcomed UP’s decision as she called for the junking of the socialized tuition system.
Almira Abril, chair of the militant group Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP, said the move was a “triumph for the students.” However, she called for the inclusion of students who failed to graduate on time, saying they constituted a significant number.
RA 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act was signed into law by the President last week.
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