By Justin Royce Z. Baluyot and Norelyn M. Villaruel
Published in the FEU Advocate, Vol. XVI No. 8
Far Eastern University (FEU) administration announced a 3.5 percent hike on next school year’s tuition and an 850-peso additional charge on miscellaneous fees.
The increase in tuition was announced on a forum among the administration, students and parents at University Conference Center (UCC) last February 8.
However, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Maria Teresa Trinidad Tinio said that her office was not that prepared to bare concrete plans for the allotment of the 3.5 percent tuition increase, thus was only able to bare prospects.
Among the administration’s plans for next school year are the improvement of online services and acquisition of new software for instructional facilities, renovation of Nicanor Reyes Hall (NRH), modernization of University Library and construction of new and “state-of-the-art” science laboratories.
Moreover, the tuition increase is also expected to aid revisions of Bachelor of Secondary Education and Bachelor of Elementary Education’s curricula to offer a new program on pre-school education.
Bachelor of Arts (AB) in English, AB Literature and AB Political Science, as well as Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology, MA Education and Doctor of Education are set to apply for Level 1 accreditation from private accrediting agencies next school year.
Tinio added that strengthening research and publications of faculty members is also a priority.
“We might call for a second consultation with you…regarding the tuition hike. Because unlike the previous tuition discussion meetings we had before, we are not that much prepared to discuss the allotment of the hike [this time],” Tinio said.
Miscellaneous fees swell
Vice President for Academic Services Miguel Carpio presented the new breakdown of miscellaneous fees and explained the causes of the hike during a meeting on miscellaneous fee increase at UCC last February 28.
Energy fee had the highest raise among all parts of the miscellaneous fees which increased by 200 pesos; from 1,100 pesos in the current school year to 1,300 pesos next school year.
Carpio pointed out Manila Electric Company’s recent announcements about increasing electric fees as the top reason of the energy fee’s hike. Air conditioning systems and facilities in classrooms and offices will also be improved, he said.
Audio-visual fee raised by 194 pesos (from 156 to 350 pesos) to support academic multimedia services, Carpio stressed.
“We want all of us to be given quality education that we all long for and I am pretty sure that you have noted as well that our classrooms are equipped not only with all these facilities… We are still improving the things that we can offer to you,” Carpio said.
Meanwhile, athletic fee soared by 158 pesos (from 592 to 750 pesos) to continue supporting the University’s sports programs.
Carpio admitted that FEU only has few athletic venues for athletes that can be available for training, thus increasing athletic fee to improve FEU’s sports facilities.
Registration fee, moreover, boosted by 129 pesos (from 438 to 567 pesos) while guidance fee hiked by 88 pesos (from 262 to 350 pesos). Medical fee increased by 81 pesos; from 419 to 500 pesos.
“The 419 [pesos] that we charge now [in medical fee] is no longer able to meet the needs of our medical requirements so we have to really put an increase in it; not only that we have to hire additional medical practitioners but we also are continually improving the services that we offer,” Carpio said.
FEUCSO Vice President Andrea Sarile said that even though the event was supposed to be a consultation to FEU’s stakeholders, the administration will still increase the fees anyway.
“I honestly think that what we are paying for energy fees is a little too much… It is good they let us know [about the increase] although at the end of the day, there is actually nothing we can do about it because they will raise the fees regardless of what happens here [in the meeting],” she commented.
Sarile added that she just hopes every student will really have access to the school’s facilities and will be able to utilize its academic services.