ABOUT 300 private colleges and universities are expected to increase their tuition and other school fees in the coming school year, according to a partial list released by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) on Tuesday.
CHEd approved fewer tuition hikes this year than it did last year when at least 354 tuition hike applications were authorized.
As of Tuesday, 171 out of 361 tuition increase petitions had been approved.
CHEd approved the petitions of 16 schools in Region I, 27 in Region III, eight in Region IV-B, 11 in Region IV, 25 in Region VI, 23 in Region VII, 15 in Region IX, 18 in Region X, 30 in Region XI, four in the Cordillera Autonomous Region and five in the Caraga Region.
Meanwhile, 142 other petitions are pending before five CHEd regional offices. Of that number, 74 are from the National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila), 46 from Region IV-A (Calabarzon), 12 from Region XII (Soccsksargen) and nine from Region II. The pending petitions lacked certain requirements.
None of the 81 private tertiary schools in Region VIII (Eastern Visayas), which suffered the most from Super Typhoon Yolanda last November, applied for an increase. No data were given for private colleges and universities in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
According to CHEd Chairman Patricia Licuanan, the commission cannot impose a moratorium on tuition increases for private colleges and universities.
Licuanan said private colleges and universities will not survive if they do not increase their tuition and stressed that these private schools rely solely on fees collected from their students to pay salaries and keep up operations. These increases, she added, would be used to improve facilities and raise teachers’ salaries.
Licuanan said none of the state universities and colleges (SUCs) will increase their tuition this school year.
“Last year, we really asked them not to [increase fees]. But we have not received a notice of the agenda of SUCs. This is understandable because our students are hard up,” she noted.
The commission requires school officials to hold consultations if they plan to increase their fees and to swear that the incremental increase would go to personnel salaries (at least 70 percent), improvement of facilities (20 percent) and return on investment (10 percent).
The approved tuition hikes so far ranged from four percent to 15 per cent, or an average of nine percent while the approved increase in other school fees ranged from six percent to 26 percent, or an average of 14 percent.