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The administration and supervision of the country’s higher education rests on the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) as mandated by the Higher Education Act of 1994, while basic education is with the Department of Education (DepEd) as stipulated in the Basic Education Act of 2001.

CHED presently oversees 1,599 higher education institutions in the country. From these, 111 are state universities and colleges (SUCs); 1,431 are private HEIs; 47 are local colleges and universities (LCUs); and 10 are other government-run schools (OGSs). Presently, there are 2,438,855 higher education students enrolled in these colleges and universities. The majority of these students are enrolled in: 1) Business Administration and related courses; 2) Education (teacher training); and 3) Engineering and Technology.

The Philippines has recently issued EO 358, which establishes equivalency pathways and access ramps for a ladderized system to allow for easier transition and progressions between tech-voc and degree programmes. EO 358 would apply to all levels of education in the country. In complement, the Department of Education (DepEd), the Technical Education and Skills DevelopmentAuthority (TESDA) and CHED have jointly approved in principle the Philippine National Qualifications Framework (PNQF). The PNQF was developed to establish a unified national system of all recognized qualification in the country. It covers all levels of formal education, from completion of the high school diploma to accreditation and certification for initial entry into the workplace, to doctoral degrees.

The Commission on Higher Education is mandated to set and enforce minimum standards for programmes and institutions of higher learning. It monitors, evaluates, and awards appropriate incentives to higher education institutions. It can also impose sanctions, such as a diminution or withdrawal of subsidy, permit and/or recognition. CHED issues permits and recognition of academic programmes according to its policies and guidelines.

To attain standards of quality over and above CHED requirements, CHED supports voluntary accreditation under an umbrella organization, the Federation of Accrediting Association of the Philippines (FAAP). The various accrediting bodies are:Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities Inc.; the PhilippineAccreditingAssociation of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU); the PhilippineAssociation of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACU-COA); and the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities in the Philippines (AACUP).

The accreditation process involves four major steps: 1) institutional self-survey; 2) preliminary visit; 3) formal survey; and 4) awarding of a decision by the governing board of the accrediting agency concerned.

In the Philippines, CBE regulations are covered by the CHED Policies, Standards and Guidelines on Transnational Education, or CMO No. 6 s. 2003. The CHED’s transnational education policies define the scope, procedures, extent of regulation, as well as the mechanics of recognizing foreign higher education providers and their courses of study. In the Philippines, transnational education also includes “virtual” forms of education.

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Ninth Session of the Regional Committee

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