The University of the Philippines is set to come out with a system of freshmen admissions unique to the pandemic situation, following a series of consultations with stakeholders.
UP experts had earlier come up with five options or scenarios, UP Office of Admissions Director Francisco de los Reyes, a data scientist, told UP News in an online meeting on October 20, 2020.
The scenarios are the following:
1) A paper-and-pen administration of the UPCAT, subject to IATF and LGU Covid19 protocols and coordination;
2) An online UPCAT;
3) A hybrid paper-and-pen and online mode for UPCAT;
4) A no-UPCAT scenario where UP may mine data from the applicant’s personal data sheet, high school records, the specific high school and performance of its graduates in UP, etc., to arrive at the University Predicted Grade (UPG);
5) A moratorium on freshmen admissions.
The Office of Admissions is holding discussions at every level over which option would be the best for all stakeholders involved. This decision, which is projected to be made during the next meeting of the UP Board of Regents on October 29, will ultimately be based on consultations currently being held with the UP faculty, high schools, UP College Admission Test (UPCAT) contact persons, testing centers, and volunteers.
With a go-signal on any of Options 1 to 4, UP may accept applications by November 2020. The University aims to keep with the usual schedule of releasing the qualifiers list by April each year.
Based on the recent trend, the University expects over 100,000 applicants to be considered for freshmen admission for academic year (AY) 2021-2022.
De los Reyes assures the public that UP remains steadfast to the guiding principle of excellence and equity, whatever option will be taken; and that it will not compromise standardization or waver on the commitment not to disenfranchise any candidate for admission.
“Ultimately, planning for our next round of admissions will be inclusive, with the acknowledgment that some applicants do have the economic privilege, and with empathy for the marginalized,” de los Reyes says in a presentation.
In the meantime, the UP Office of Admissions is beefing up its automation program and IT infrastructure, in cooperation with the UP Information Technology Development Center and Data Privacy Office, which will greatly help it to cope with the pandemic. Foremost in development are dedicated portals for UPCAT inquiries and fully online applications.