Higher education lies at the apex of the education system. The philosophy, mission, vision and goals of higher education in the Philippines as cited below are embodied in a comprehensive document of the Commission on Higher Education entitled “Long-Term Higher Education Development Plan, 1996-2005.”
In an environment of freedom, excellence and relevance, higher education harnesses, develops and catalyzesthe constructive and productive use of the full potentials and capabilities of Filipino men and women into becomingcreative, decisive, competitive, critically thinking and acting individuals who contribute to the: 1) realization of Filipinoidentity and strong sense of national pride; 2) cultivation and inculcation of moral and spiritual foundation; 3) attainment of political maturity, economic stability and equitable social progress; and 4) preservation and enrichment of the historicaland cultural heritage of the Filipinos, as a people and a nation.
Higher education shall be geared towards the pursuit of better quality of life for all Filipinos by emphasizing theacquisition of knowledge and formation of those skills necessary to make the individual a productive member of society. Itshall accelerate the development of high-level professionals who will search for new knowledge, and provide leadership inthe various disciplines required by a dynamic and self-sustaining economy. Higher education shall likewise be used toharness the productive capacity of the country’s human resource base towards international competitiveness.
Higher education would have provided and expanded opportunities for the technologically useful knowledgeand skills development of Filipinos, and would have constructively advanced the capabilities of Filipinos in society. Itwould have produced in the Filipinos the ability to critically think, act positively and contribute to the full development of the family, community and the larger society.
The attainment of empowered and globally competitive Filipinos shall be ensured through: 1) provision of undergraduate and graduate education which meet international standards of quality and excellence; 2) generation anddiffusion of knowledge in the broad range of disciplines relevant and responsive to the dynamically changing domesticand international environment; 3) broaden the access of deserving and qualified Filipinos to higher educationopportunities; and 4) optimization of social, institutional, and individual returns and benefits derived from the utilization of higher education resources.
3.1 Coordination of the higher education system
Previously, the administration, supervision and regulation of higher education rests on the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) through its Bureau of Higher Education. However, in 1994, two laws were passedin Congress: 1) Republic Act No. 7722 creating the Commission on Higher Education (CHED); and 2) Republic Act No.7796 creating the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).As a result of the trifocalization of education in 1994, the DECS now concentrates only in theadministration, supervision and regulation of basic education (elementary and secondary education). TESDA, an agencyattached to the Department of Labor, is the one which oversees the post-secondary technical and vocational educationincluding skills orientation, training and development of out-of-school youth and unemployed community adults. On theother hand, the system governance and policy guidance over public and private higher education institutions as well asdegree-granting programs in all post-secondary educational institutions rest on CHED, a department-level agency,independent from and co-equal with DECS. The CHED coordinates the programs of higher education institutions andimplements the policies and standards.
3.2 Types of higher education institutions
There are presently 1,282 higher education institutions in the country, broken down into: 98 stateuniversities and colleges, 105 CHED-supervised institutions, 35 local universities and colleges, 14 other governmentschools, and 1,030 private institutions.
State universities and colleges (SUCs)
are institutions funded by the national government. They havetheir own charters and are thus autonomous from CHED.
are non-chartered colleges,directly under the supervision of CHED and whose annual budget allocation is integrated in the government budgetappropriation for CHED.
Local universities and colleges
previously called community colleges are those operated,supported and maintained by local government units. In addition, there are
other government schools
offeringbachelor’s degrees and/or graduate degrees and advanced training such as military and police academies which aresupervised and regulated by the Department of National Defense and Philippine National Police.
, on the other hand, are owned and administered by private individuals, groups or corporations. These are classified either as sectarian or non-sectarian colleges and universities. Sectarian schools (279)are usually non-stock, non-profit institutions, owned and operated by religious orders. Non-sectarian schools (751) areowned by private corporations which are not affiliated to any religious organizations, majority are stock, a few are non-stock, non-profit corporations, and a number are foundations.
3.3 Institutional governance
The CHED oversees the higher education system. It is an agency attached to the Office of the Presidentof the Philippines for administrative purposes. CHED is responsible for administering and supervising both public andprivate higher education institutions in the Philippines.