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UP shifting class opening to August this year

Manila, Philippines — All campuses of the University of the Philippines (UP) system will be adopting the August to May school calendar starting academic year 2014-2015, after the UP Diliman University Council voted yesterday in favor of the proposal.

The UP Diliman University Council (UC), composed of more than 1,000 regular faculty, voted for the academic calendar shift from June to August by a vote of 284-164. The UP System, in its official Facebook and Twitter page, confirmed the result of the voting.

UP Diliman, UP Oblation, Manila Bulletin

The UP Diliman University Council has voted in favor of a new academic calendar that begins in August for the next SY 2014-2015. (Photo by Alma J. Buelva)

Newly appointed UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan “will now bring this sentiment to the next UP Board of Regents (BOR) meeting on March 28 for approval, the statement said.

“With this development, all UP constituent units will start the school year in August, 2014,” the statement said.

Earlier Approval
The BOR had earlier approved the pilot implementation of the shift in UP campuses in Baguio, Manila, Los Baños, Visayas, Cebu, and Mindanao, as well as in the UP Open University.

However, UP Diliman was not covered by the BOR decision as it had yet to finish its consultations when the regents voted on the proposal in January.

Global University
“The decision to shift the academic calendar is part of the continuing efforts of UP to develop into a regional and global university and to maximize the opportunities offered by ASEAN integration and global educational partnerships,” UP President Alfredo Pascual said.

He said an evaluation of the impact of the academic calendar shift will be presented to the BOR after one year.

Students Opposed
The decision of the UP Diliman UC was met by opposition from students. In a position paper dated March 20, the University Student Council called on school administration to “postpone” the implementation of the academic calendar shift.

“While we agree to the merits of the academic calendar shift, we should not forget the real problems of the university. A shift in the calendar alone does not guarantee a quality education for all students,” the council said.

Pilot Test Okayed
In February, Pascual announced that “the UP has adopted – on a pilot basis – the shift in its academic calendar starting August, 2014.” Recognizing the need to pilot test the shift, the UP BOR approved the start of the school year in August, 2014 in the following campuses: UP Manila, UP Los Baños, UP Baguio, UP Visayas, UP Mindanao, UP Open University and the UP College in Cebu.

The change in the academic calendar consists of June-October to August-December for first semester; November-April to January to May for the second semester; and May-June to June to July for short term.

Big Universities OK Shift
Aside from UP System, some of the country’s biggest universities, including the Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) and the University of the Santo Tomas (UST) have also announced the shifts in their respective academic calendars.

ADMU will implement the shift in academic calendar starting School Year 2015-2016. University President Jose Ramon Villarin, SJ, earlier said “Ateneo needs to ensure that our graduates develop a global outlook and global competencies so that they can navigate a more complex, interconnected world and contribute towards resolving global concerns.”

UST announced that the opening of classes for Academic Year 2014-2015 will be moved to July from June applicable to both college and graduate programs. Secretary General Fr. Winston Cabading, O.P. announced that the University will adopt a new “Academic Calendar beginning next Academic Year (AY) 2014-2015 as a gradual transition to a much later date for the opening of the school year in 2015-2016 and onwards.”

UST’s new academic calendar will be from July to December for the First Semester; January to May for Second Semester; and from June to July for the Third Term. The new collegiate calendar for academic year 2014-2015 was released by the Office of the Secretary General (OSG).