Tuition and other schools fees will soon be free in all state universities and colleges (SUCs) under the newly signed Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act. With cost out of the way, students and their parents will next be concerned with the quality of education.
To give readers an idea of the state schools they should be aiming to enroll in, especially for careers that require passing a professional licensure examination, Entrepreneur Philippines is publishing a list of the 30 state universities and colleges with the highest passing rates in board exams in the last three years.
The average passing rate is one of the measures that can indicate the quality of education in the state schools.
Students of the University of the Philippines (UP), who are seen to benefit the most from tuition fee subsidies, hold the highest average passing rate for 36 licensure exams from 2014 to 2016. The country’s premier university, which also has the highest estimated cost per student according to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), has a three-year average passing rate of 92.5 percent.
Philippine Merchant Academy, which has the second highest average cost per student, also ranks second in terms of passing rate. The maritime institution in Zambales has an average passing rate of 81.1 percent from 2014 to 2016.
Of the 113 SUCs that have passing rate data in CHED, only 25 percent have a three-year average of 50 percent and above. The average passing rate of all 113 SUCs with licensure exam data is only 41.1 percent.
There are a number of factors that determine each school’s performance in board examinations. But the budget allotted to the school, as indicated by the average cost that it spends per student, seems to have a strong relationship to the schools’ passing rates in board exams. To boost the SUCs’ performance, the government needs to devote more funds for faculty salaries and operations.
Pauline Macaraeg is Entrepreneur PH's data journalist. Follow her on Twitter @paulinemacaraeg