BSU preps for free higher ed­u­ca­tion

Sun.Star Baguio - - TOP STORIES - Mi­keen Pen­chog/ BSU UPAO

BENGUET State Univer­sity (BSU) is now pre­par­ing for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of Re­pub­lic Act 10931 or the “Univer­sal Ac­cess to Qual­ity Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion Act of 2017” ef­fec­tive this school year 2018-2019.

Ac­cord­ing to vice pres­i­dent for aca­demic af­fairs Dr. Ken­neth Laruan, BSU will com­ply with the at­tached re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of State and Lo­cal Uni­ver­si­ties and Col­leges (SUCs and LUCs).

Ini­tially, a meet­ing was held on April 27 with the re­spec­tive col­lege deans, sec­re­taries, and di­rec­tors of of­fices in BSU to pro­vide a back­ground on the Im­ple­ment­ing Rules and Reg­u­la­tions (IRR) of the act.

Pro­vided in the IRR is free tu­ition for all de­gree pro­grams, courses, sub­jects, or classes en­rolled dur­ing a par­tic­u­lar se­mes­ter or term. In­cluded also are miscellaneous fees which may in­clude: li­brary fees, com­puter fees, lab­o­ra­tory fees, school ID fees, ath­letic fees, ad­mis­sion fees, de­vel­op­ment fees, guid­ance fees, hand­book fees, med­i­cal and den­tal fees, en­trance fees, and cul­tural fees.

Stu­dents who would avail of the free tu­ition are ob­li­gated to un­dergo the SUC/LUC’s Re­turn Ser­vice Sys­tem. The sys­tem is unique to each SUC/LUC, and ac­cord­ing to Laruan, a pro­posal of the mech­a­nism was given to the Com­mis­sion on Higher Ed­u­ca­tion (CHED).

Laruan also said the drafted pro­posal will be a part of a me­moran­dum of agree­ment (MOA) with the stu­dents agree­ing to avail the free higher ed­u­ca­tion pro­vi­sion and the tagged re­spon­si­bil­i­ties therein.

“The Re­turn Ser­vice is a way of giv­ing back the ser­vice to the govern­ment for be­ing a ben­e­fi­ciary of free ed­u­ca­tion,” he ex­plained.

Other pro­vi­sions of the act such as the Optout and the Vol­un­tary Con­tri­bu­tion mech­a­nism will also be de­vel­oped by the univer­sity. Ac­cord­ing to the IRR, Opt-out mech­a­nism is a pro­vi­sion wherein a stu­dent has also a right not to avail of the free higher ed­u­ca­tion; the

Vol­un­tary Con­tri­bu­tion on the other hand is in cases where a stu­dent de­cides to con­trib­ute a fi­nan­cial amount to the univer­sity.

In cases such as these, stu­dents who would ap­ply for these mech­a­nisms will ei­ther be ex­empted from or will lessen the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as­cribed in the re­turn ser­vice sys­tem.

A re­gional ori­en­ta­tion on the IRR is set on May 25.

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