For graduating high school students, UP beckons


By Atty. Antonio P. Pekas

“UP graduates have better chances of getting post-graduate scholarships abroad. And there are more countries which recognize UP degrees compared to those of other local universities.“

For those about to graduate from senior high, if you are interested to enroll for any course in the University of the Philippines (UP), there are important facts you have to know. One big reason to try to get admitted there is you don’t have to pay tuition fees.
But….. you have to pass first the UP College Admission Test (UPCAT). Filing of applications to take the test will be on March 8 to April 15, 2023. There are test centers near you around the Cordillera (check the UP website for other details).
Why UP?
The university is well-known from Batanes to Sulu. If you will graduate there, your chances of getting readily employed around this country would be higher. Your diploma would be recognized and respected wherever you will be.
There are UP units all over the country where you can enroll. It has so many colleges scattered around its campuses in Luzon (UP Baguio, UP Clark , UP Fort Bonifacio Global City, UP Manila, and UP Diliman, Quezon City).
In the Visayas its campuses are found in a number of islands. (UP Iloilo, UP Cebu, and UP Tacloban).
Its Mindanao campus is found in Davao.
It is not uncommon to see students of UP Diliman or Manila or UP Los Banos cross-enrolling for summer classes in UP Baguio. Even during ordinary semesters, the students in UP campuses always have various origins—from all nooks and crannies of this archipelago, thus, the varied exposure of students to different cultures.
Generally, UP facilities are top notch compared to other universities, especially ordinary private ones (as opposed to those exclusive for the rich). And free at that.
UP graduates have better chances of getting post-graduate scholarships abroad. And there are more countries which recognize UP degrees compared to those of other local universities.
An example was a civil engineer who graduated from a reputable and popular engineering college in Baguio. When he applied for an engineering job in Hongkong, he was told by the prospective employer, an international construction firm, that they only recognized engineering diplomas issued by UP Diliman and UP Los Banos. He ended up enrolling first for a master’s degree in Hongkong.
How well rounded is a UP education? It is better rounded than most of those acquired in other campuses. Firstly, you will have so many choices of extra-curricular activities. Not only will you be exposed to so many kinds of people with different cultures and backgrounds, you will also have so many chances to join all sorts of campus groups and organizations. Of course this is double bladed. You can be distracted from your academics but you can also immensely improve as a person or as a professional in the future.
I have to relate here a personal experience. In the weeks before I brought my son last year to enroll in UP Los Banos, I gave him a rundown of the various campus groups whose members will be swarming all over the place to court new faces to join their respective organizations.
I started with the regional groups. There were organizations for Cordillerans, for Bicolanos, for Ilocanos, Iongos, etc. One of the most notorious during our time was the organization of Ilongos. Most of them were the kids of sugar barons. They were the richest in campus. Most of them were examples of spoiled brats due to riches and were not serious about academic achievements.
Then there were the fraternities and sororities. Their names were usually in Greek letters. These were often the headline grabbers due to their notoriety.
There were also the honor societies, religious groups, etc. But due to space limitation, we will have to continue next week.


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