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Universities eye later start of school year

Philippine universities

Partly to attract more foreign students, Philippine universities are planning to revise their academic calendars this year. The Philippines is the only country in the ASEAN region starting the school year in June. Shifting the school opening to August, will make it easier for foreign transferees to enroll in the country.

Some school officials say this is also in anticipation of the effect of the K-to-12 program, which will result in zero freshman enrollees by 2016. Colleges and universities will then have to compensate for the loss with tuition from foreign students.

Adamson University is among those at the forefront of the move for a new date for school opening. The school intends to carry out a gradual shift when it starts the next school year this August. High school freshmen in school 2012-2013 will be the first senior high school students under the K-12 program.

So, instead of graduating from high school and enrolling in college come 2016, about a million students will instead be enlisting for Grade 11.

Fr Greg Bañaga, Adamson University President, says foreign enrollees are the option to make up for the impending big loss in school revenue.

Based on previous consultations, Bañaga says the university’s students seem to support the move, although he acknowledges the shift will not be an easy one, with some aspects still not yet ironed out, such as the faculty’s salaries for a four-month gap between this and the next school year from April-July.

Julito Vitriolo, Executive Director of the Commission on Higher Education said CHED is also aware of the needed adjustments, most schools to go slow in adopting the intended changes. The education department, for its part, sees no need for a revised school year.

DepEd is also basing its stand on a survey which showed parents, students and teachers would rather stick with the present academic calendar.

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