UP eyes revised admission policy due to pandemic
The UP Diliman Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs said the university will conduct further discussions and consultations with concerned offices and stakeholders.
BY-NC-ND/Butch Dalisay
UP eyes revised admission policy due to pandemic
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - November 1, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — As physical restrictions are likely to prevent the conduct of the annual University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT), officials are considering various options to process admissions to the State University for the next school year.

During its meeting last Thursday, the UP Board of Regents (BOR) – the highest policy-making body of the university – failed to come up with a consensus on the admission process for the next academic year.

The UP Diliman Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs said the university will conduct further discussions and consultations with concerned offices and stakeholders.

Earlier, UP said there are five likely scenarios with regard to admissions in the midst of the pandemic.

These include a pen-and-paper administration of the UPCAT, subject to government policies and protocols; online UPCAT; hybrid UPCAT; a no-UPCAT scenario where admissions will be based on the applicant’s personal data sheet and high school records; and a moratorium on freshmen admissions.

The BOR was supposed to decide on the matter during its meeting.

Isaac Punzalan, of the Office of Student Regent, said the regents failed to reach a consensus and agreed to have another briefing on the options “in the coming weeks after the Office of Admissions comes up with a new report with further studies and consultations.”

A report presented during the meeting noted the position of university councils, the highest academic bodies in the respective UP units across the university system, to cancel the UPCAT exam component due to health and safety concerns.

The annual admission test is administered to over 100,000 applicants in 92 testing centers nationwide. It is usually conducted in October or November.

Punzalan said a revised admission system was proposed, with the aim of coming up with an “admission score model” based on high school academic performance and additional layer of assessment at the department or institute level.

The model, he added, must be mindful of equity, inclusivity and diversity.

“Again, nothing is final yet and the University Councils and concerned offices of UP are to discuss the matter again,” Punzalan said.

“We are one with the general public in calling for the most inclusive and compassionate solutions that the university can offer for its admissions during a time like this. The university must exhaust all means to ensure that the admission system that will be implemented will be fair and will accept applicants at a maximum number, giving utmost consideration for the marginalized and those gravely affected by the economic crisis,” he said.

Other universities have already revised their admission policies due to the pandemic.

The Ateneo de Manila University said it will not administer its entrance test for incoming students and would instead base the admission on the students’ past academic performance and other criteria.

Instead of an entrance test, the University of Santo Tomas said admission to the university shall be through an admission rating, “a score that will be computed from a number of parameters derived largely from the academic performance and record of the applicant.”

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