Press Release
November 16, 2007


Universities should be educational institutions first, and only businesses second, said Senator Edgardo J. Angara today.

"The trend of big businesses gobbling up universities is alarming. While it does provide much needed private investment for our private educational system, there appear alarming signs that big businesses see schools more as profit centers rather than fountains of knowledge," he said.

Angara pointed to the declining quality of education and weakened competencies of students in the key fields of math, science and engineering.

"Rather than simply buy out nursing or maritime money-making schools, I suggest that big business invest in badly-needed laboratories, equipment and infrastructure in our underfunded technology institutions," he added.

Addressing members of the government, academe and representatives from various industries at the People Competitiveness Summit 2007 organized by the National Competitiveness Council, Angara reiterated his urgent call to focus on math, science, and engineering R&D to improve the country's competitiveness.

"We need a wide and well-trained base of scientists and engineers because our future development will depend on our technological capacity - our capacity to innovate and create new products and services. Otherwise, we will be left behind," he said.

Angara authored the creation of a Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) during the 13 th Congress. COMSTE will undertake a thorough review of science education in public and private schools, particularly at the graduate level. It aims to improve RP competitiveness and build public support for making the wealth-generating fields of science, technology, engineering a national priority.

Angara is the author of major education initiatives including the creation of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Free High School Act and the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education or GASTPE, the country's biggest scholarship program.

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