TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- A state university is “not obligated” to provide a university education to all students, an official of Cagayan State University (CSU) said amid online uproar on the low passing rate of admission test.
In a Facebook post, Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, the university vice president for administration and finance, said CSU has the academic freedom to set standards in the admission of students who can avail the free tuition in state universities.
CSU on Monday, June 4, released the result of the college admission test (CAT) held simultaneously in the different university campuses. About 4,750 out of 10,523 takers passed the examination.
Aquino said the “tough” entrance exam is required by the Republic Act 10931, or the “Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act “(UAQTE). The same law passed to give free tuition to students in state universities and colleges (SUCs).
“[Why a tough CSU College Admission Test?] The most direct answer is because Republic Act No. 10931 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations require upping quality standards in State Universities and Colleges,” Aquino said.
Aquino took for example the University of the Philippines (UP), the premier state university, for having a “notoriously difficult” entrance examination.
Being poor not enough
Aquino argued that being poor is not the only requirement to acquire a free state university education.
“So, CSU makes quality tertiary education accessible to the needy — insofar as all fees are borne by the State. But being needy alone is not enough entitlement state university education,” Aquino said.
“A state university is [not obligated to provide university education to all,” he added.
Under the “Free Tuition Law,” students who are “academically able and who come from poor families” are given priority since the slots are limited.
“The fact that one is the son or a daughter of a family is certainly a relevant consideration for admission, BUT IT DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY GUARANTEE a candidate admission to a state university — because the CHED holds SUCS to quality standards, and these standards now refer expressly to the ASEAN Quality Quality Assurance Framework,” he added.