The battle for prestige among the Big Four of Philippine universities has been going on for decades. But it seems clear that the University of the Philippines lords over all Philippine universities in terms of reputation and academic excellence.
Choosing, however, a higher education institution depends on the kind of training you wish to get. Choosing the school to train you, in other words, depends on the degree program you wish to take and the kind of training and culture you see fits you the most. Yes, generally, UP may be the best, but it certainly is not the master of all trades.
If you are in the stage of choosing the university to go to, we are giving you a number of reasons why you should seriously consider studying at the University of the Philippines.
1. UP is a general comprehensive University. It means they got it all for you!
As a general comprehensive university, UP offers a wide-range of degree programs in its undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. The University boasts of 246 undergraduate degree programs and 362 graduate degree programs distributed among its constituent universities—the most offered by any institution of higher learning in the Philippines.
If the career you wish to take on seems a little non-mainstream, you will most likely find a degree program that suits you in UP. Just visit UP’s website and see if they have the degree program (or course, as most would call it) you like.
2. UP has the most number of National Centers of Excellence. You are getting nothing but only the best training!
Center of Excellence is a designation conferred by the Philippine Commission on Higher Education. And UP has the most number of Centers of Excellence in the country. To be precise, as of 2016, UP has 23 Centers of Excellence in various academic fields.
What does this mean for you academically and, later on, professionally? In terms of academics, this means that if you are enrolled in a Center of Excellence, you are getting the best possible education in the country for the field you choose. It means you have the best teachers and you are receiving the best education. Professionally, this means that you have a greater edge compared to your contemporaries; of course, everything else held equal.
3. In UP, your classmates are the best of the best in the country. And probably, you are, too!
UP admits only the best of the best high school graduates in the country. This means that your classmates will be students of exceptional caliber.
In UP, learning does not solely come from the teachings of the professors. Students learn from their peers as well. The culture of UP is conducive for this kind of learning. In UP, you will usually see focused group discussions conducted by students. Foras, symposiums, and alternative classroom experience are aplenty. In UP, students are free to explore a manifold of philosophies, ideas, or beliefs without the fear for censorship or destructive criticisms.
4. UP has produced leading figures in science, politics, and the arts and humanities. And you can be one, too!
UP has produced 38 National Scientists, 34 National Artists, 13 Chief Justices, and 7 Philippine Presidents, and counting. Become schoolmates with future National Scientists, National Artists, Chief Justices, and even Philippine Presidents. Who knows, you might be the next Chief Justice, National Scientist, or even President!
5. UP is a research university. So, expect topnotch training from the country’s high caliber researchers.
In the ranks of the UP faculty are some of the best minds in the country, among National Artists, prize-winning writers, renowned scholars, national leaders, and scientists. With full support and encouragement from the University, the faculty is also actively engaged in pioneering researches that have helped redefine academic directions, generate new knowledge and shape national policies.
If you want to become a topnotch researcher as well and be at the forefront of pioneering research initiatives, then UP is the school for you.
6. UP is the leading university in the Philippines.
There is no doubt that UP is the top Philippine university. The recent 2017 Quacquarelli-Symonds World University Rankings ranks UP at the 374th spot, while Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University fell on rank brackets 501-550 and 701+, respectively. Among Asian universities, UP is at the 70th spot.
The QS World University Rankings rank 990 universities around the world. The QS World University Rankings are designed to help prospective students make informed comparisons of leading universities around the world. Based on six performance indicators, the ranking assesses university performance across four areas: research, teaching, employability and internationalization. The criteria for ranking are academic reputation, employer reputation, student-to-faculty ration, citations per faculty, international faculty ratio, and international student ration.
7. UP has an extensive international institutional network.
Did you know that UP is the only Philippine university in the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU)? Membership in APRU is based on the nomination and votes of member universities. UP’s international reputation earned it its seat at the association.
Moreover, UP is also the only Philippine university in the ASEAN-European University Network, a network of universities offering comprehensive graduate degree programs. It is a founding member of and is one of only three Philippine universities in the ASEAN University Network (AUN).
As the official National University, UP serves as the primary nerve center for most local and foreign private, government, and non-government institutions providing academic, professional, and leadership training undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral and professional levels of education.
This brings an ocean of opportunities for students of UP to partake in international efforts and exposures!
8. UP is a diverse and generally liberal community.
UP is a large, diverse community. It is a bastion of diverse ideas and identities. The liberal culture of UP allows for a vibrant diversity in ideology, culture, race, and other preferences like gender and religious beliefs.
In UP, you don’t need to fear discrimination because of what you are or what you believe in. In UP, you don’t need to fear speaking your mind. In UP, you can be who you want to be. And yes, UP takes discrimination seriously.
9. UP is at the forefront of nation-building. Take pride in the nationalist tradition of UP.
UP has been at the forefront of nation-building. It has been a bastion of social activism and pioneering research and innovations. The essence of UP’s Oblation statue is UP’s promise to the nation and the people. The Oblation means selfless service to the nation and the people. For decades, UP has embodied this ideal. If you are in UP, you will never fail to hear phrase like “Serve the People”; yes, because this has been its guiding principle.
10. Need we say more?
UP System Website (2017). Institutional Linkages | University of the Philippines System Website. [online] Available at: http://www.up.edu.ph/about-up/institutional-linkages/ [Accessed 11 Mar. 2017].
UP System Website. (2017). University History | University of the Philippines System Website. [online] Available at: http://www.up.edu.ph/about-up/university-history/ [Accessed 11 Mar. 2017].