Friday, May 31, 2013

No tuition fee hike at Bulacan State University

MALOLOS CITY—The Bulacan State University (BulSU) here may be the only state university in Central Luzon that has not increased its tuition fee since 2007.

This is due to subsidy provided by foreign students including Chinese and Taiwanese nationals.

Aside from the above, the university implemented the provisions of the Republic Act 8292 or the Higher Education Modernization act of 1997 which allowed them to implement income generating projects (IGP).

“We don’t need to raise our tuition fees because we have enough money,” said Dr. Mariano De Jesus, president of BulSU.

He recounted that in his first inaugural speech in 2007 when he was first appointed as President of BulSU, he vowed to exhaust all other means to avoid tuition fee hike.

De Jesus’ decision is contrary to current situations in other schools in the country today which hiked their tuition fees.

“It’s all in the strategy which was provided by RA 8292,” he said in disclosing the secrets of non-tuition fee hike in the last six years.
One of the keys is the opening the BulSU international programs in Hongkong, China, Macau, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and even in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia in East Africa.

Foreign students enrolled in BulSU international programs are taking post graduate courses.

“For every student, let say a Chinese or Taiwanese, we charge them three times the tuition fee paid by our local students,’ De Jesus said.

 This means, he said, for every foreign student, they subsidize tuition fee of two Filipino students.

For other income generating projects, De Jesus opened part of the campus especially the area fronting the MacArthur highway here to commercial establishments.

He said that the university is earning about a million pesos every month for rentals of the commercial establishments that includes a Caltex gas station, a mini-mall with over 100 tenants, and space rented by McDonalds, an international fastfood chain.

According to the president, income generated by the university allowed them to partly subsidize students’ tuition fees, instructors’ salaries, and built ne facilities like a gymnasium a hostel and additional classroom.

The said facilities, especially the gymnasium and the hostel are also being used by some organizations from time to time, wherein the university still able to generate income by charging for rentals.

However, as the biggest state university in central Luzon with student enrollment of at least 35,000 last year, De Jesus said that BulSU is still visited by problems.

As enrollment begins, the president admitted that his biggest problem now is how to reject students.

“We expect that out enrollment will reach to 37,000 this year and we are avoiding it to reach 40,000, otherwise, quality of education will suffer,” he said.

At present, BulSU maintains satellite campuses in the towns of Bustos, Hagonoy, Bulakan, and in the City of San Jose Del Monte.

They are not eyeing the possible opening of a BulSu extension class in the nearby Guiguinto town.  Dino Balabo