Students seek regulation of ‘imaginative’ fees in colleges

6 06 2011

02-Jun-11, 5:52 PM | Philippine News Agency

http://www.interaksyon.com/article/4733/students-ask-for-regulation-of-imaginative-miscellaneous-fees-in-private-colleges

Student groups asked the government on Thursday to regulate the collection of  miscellaneous fees by private universities and colleges, saying the unregulated fees are being abused by schools to circumvent stricter rules on tuition hikes.

During a Senate inquiry on school fees, Ranulfo Javelosa of the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines said private schools may not have increased tuition fees, but they are making up and collecting various kinds of miscellaneous fees, such as “spiritual development fees”, “publicity and promotions fees”, “affiliation fees”, “cultural fees” and “computerization fees”.

He said some schools are even collecting “energy fees” aside from “aircon fees”, “resumé printing fees” and “stones and pebbles fees” that if totaled would be higher than the tuition itself.

Senator Edgardo Angara proposed short- and long-term fixes to excessive school fees in higher education, which is believed to be a major factor in increasing dropout rates.

According to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), only 324 out of the 1,611 privately run higher education institutions (HEIs) in the country were allowed to raise their tuition this year by an average of 14.37 percent.

The increase ranges from P72.77 per unit among HEIs in Metro Manila to P50.44 per unit among those in Central Luzon.

State universities and colleges are prohibited from increasing their fees while 80 percent of 63 deregulated local universities and colleges increased fees by 5 percent to 10 percent.

CHED does not regulate miscellaneous fees among HEIs.

“Some schools charge imaginative and redundant charges, which sometimes end up costing more than the actual tuition of the students,” Angara said. “Short of putting a cap on tuition or other fees, we must draw up a uniform classification of miscellaneous fees that should be allowed.”

“CHED must be proactive in solving these problems,” he added.

Over the long term, he said that a legislative measure addressing miscellaneous fees in HEIs should be crafted.

“Disparity between the cost of private and public education is growing greater. Private colleges now cost five to 10 times more than our state colleges and universities. We must make higher education more accessible – not less attainable – for Filipino students,” Angara said.#

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