August 15, 2017

NUSP denounces new round of tuition increase in universities, Duterte’s failed promises

Earlier today, the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) attended a press conference of progressive youth organizations at the House of Representatives denouncing the new round of tuition and other fees increase in universities and colleges. The group also hit the Duterte administration’s failure to deliver on his promise of free tuition in state universities and colleges (SUCs).

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Monday approved the increase in tuition and other school fees in 268 private higher education institutions (HEIs). Tuition hike will be implemented in 262 of the HEIs, while 237 institutions will increase other school fees. According to CHED, the average tuition hike is 6.96 percent or P86.68 per unit.

NUSP’s latest data shows the proposed increases in tuition range up to 3%-10%. Among the schools that proposed to increase tuition and other school fees for the upcoming academic year are De La Salle University (DLSU) 7%, University of the East (UE) Manila and Caloocan campuses 5%, University of Santo Tomas (UST) 10%, Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) 5% average, Far Eastern University (FEU) 3.5%, Saint Louis University – Baguio (SLU) 10%, and Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) 5% among others including 12 HEIs in Western Visayas.

“Every year, the right of the Filipino youth to education is attacked by the incessant desire of capitalist-educators to extract large amounts of profit. These increases are simply inhumane and anti-student. This year, these institutions have the gall to justify these increases by linking it to the K-12 implementation, and their so-called losses. This is in spite of the fact that many of these institutions are included in the Philippines’ most profitable corporations,” NUSP National Spokesperson Mark Vincent Lim said.

The NUSP went on to condemn the Duterte administration’s policies on the Philippine education system.

“The Duterte regime’s policies are nothing more than the perpetuation of the same neoliberal policies used by previous administrations. Once again, the President has reneged on his promise for change. The policies of deregulation, commercialization, and privatization in our education remains firmly rooted, as manifested by the continuing collection of exorbitant fees,” Lim said.

“To make things worse, it seems this administration is set to intensify the crisis of higher education in the country. Promises of free education turned into the nightmare of socialized tuition because of Duterte’s conditional veto. Now, we are faced with bills from both houses of congress that are set to implement a socialized tuition scheme for all SUCs, effectively limiting the number of students able to enter the tertiary level,” Lim explained.

The NUSP continues its call to oppose all forms of tuition and other fees increase. It is adamant in its demand to junk all neoliberal policies in education. The NUSP stands firm in its call for free public education at all levels.

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