By IRENE CEBA
Colleges and universities in Baguio City posted a higher enrollment rate despite the on-going global financial crisis. This was learned during a Kapihan sa Baguio last June 17 held at the Baguio Convention Center. St. Louis University, for instance, has more than 31 thousand enrollees this school-year compared to 28 thousand last school-year.
CHED-CAR Director Freddie Bernal, Dr. Cleofas Basaen, from the University of the Cordilleras (UC) Academic Affairs, Johann Ben Bautista president of the University of Baguio (UB), and Rosario Marforie Marzo from the Department of Business Economy of the Saint Louis University (SLU) were around to update the public on recent developments in this educational center in the North.
Dr. Nick Gordo, a medical specialist IV from Department of Health (DOH)-CAR also participated to discuss the effect of the AH1N1 and ARD. Teresita Velasco a representative from DepEd-CAR was also present. Police Supt.. Enrico Salapong, the OIC-BCPO, attended to report on the security situation of Baguio City.
Increase in enrollees despite global crisis
Universities are expected to be one of the institutions that will adversely affected by the on-going global crisis yet the three universities’ representatives report that that there is no decrease in enrollees this semester Even foreign students enrollees has increased. This maybe because the three universities did not increase their tuition fee, but the SLU rep said they have minimal increase in the miscellaneous fees only.
The University of the Cordilleras and Saint Louis University declare that Nursing course has the highest number of enrollees, reflecting the continuing global demand for nurses especially in Western countries where aging population is increasing dramatically..
Nothing to worry about A H1N1
Dr. Nick Gordo, a medical specialist from the DOH-CAR said that Baguio City is prepared and ready for the A H1N1.. He also mentioned the viruses that threatened Baguio in the past like SARS and Meninggo were handled adequately. Given these past experiences local hospitals are ready with their health facilities. When asked about their precautionary measures for this present flu pandemic, the three universities said that there are active in putting posters in different strategic locations reminding students to wash their hands and informing them how to avoid the flu. Yet, he said that prevention is still better than cure. Gordo encouraged the people to observe a healthy lifestyle because he believed that this is the best way to fight the flu.
PSSUPT.Enrico Salapong, on his part, said that Baguio is safe in terms of security. He said they are formulating a plan to distribute a credit card-size card to the students where the number of the police station will be written for them to access the police conveniently and easily.
Scholarship is the answer
Dir. Bernal said that there are many scholarships that the CHED and even private sponsors has provided that students can take advantage of. He said that the awareness of the students about these scholarships is high because the lists of applications are always full.
In an interview with Nordis, Dir. Bernan said that their partnership with TESDA is strong, and that they are strengthening the ladderized program, so that students who took short courses in TESDA will be able to continue in a four-year university course. Scholarship from CHED is the main scholarship that benefited many students. He said that the CHED has P57 million scholarship grants and loans.
For a student to be able to receive the CHED scholarship, a student should be enrolled in a state university and if granted a scholarship will be given a P15 thousand allowance.
Aside from this, the three universities representatives said they are still receiving working scholars. These are the students who work inside the campus, enabling them to study while receiving some salary. The University of the Cordillera’s working students’ population is more than 10 % of its enrollees.
Dir. Bernal also mentioned the latest scholarship is “the one town, one scholar program”. There are many kinds of scholarships, according to Bernal. There is the “Study now, pay later program” and even scholarships for students who have disabilities.# nordis.net