Press Release
September 21, 2020

Transcript of Sen. Pia Cayetano's intervention (CHED & SUCs Budget Hearing) on the admission of foreign students in PH SUCs

Sen. Pia: I know international linkages are part of your ranking, and that includes exchanges of professors and students. So would this be covered? Because if this is part of your global mandate, then I want to know before we accept such a proposal.

CHED Chair Popoy De Vera: Yes, it is covered Madam Chair. That's why we have to balance these issues. The attempt to internationalize our education, at the same time the fact that this education is publicly subsidized. And therefore, the only limitation now is when the schools ask for reimbursement of tuition and miscellaneous fees, they cannot claim foreign students from the subsidy of the government of RA 10931. That is the only limitation. But they can, under the powers of their boards, decide on the admission policies of foreign students.

Sen. Pia: What would you propose would be the limitations that we could put in, given that obviously, we have our own population to serve, we are undeserving. But then, on my end, I want to acknowledge the role of international linkages. So I think what we really need is guidance on how we can limit that so that we are not unnecessarily excluding our own Filipino studentry from entering these courses.


Sen. Pia: I don't need a response now, Chair Popoy. But I just want clarification. I really just want to be sure. It seems very clear to me that we're not just talking about public funds being used. Because even if they are paying - can you just nod or thumbs down - I am assuming that these foreigners are paying, right?

But that's not really the issue alone, it's not just that they are getting paid. Because there are facilities that are being used that are not subject to that tuition, plus the fact that they are taking the space that should have been allocated to a Filipino who wants to enter medical school. But for that matter, the report I will ask is comprehensive. Where are these students, these foreign students applying to? What courses? Not just medicine.


Sen. Pia: And Chair Popoy, to add to that, maybe you can even recommend what are those subject matters that will allow us to take advantage of those international linkages. Like if they are in international studies, why not? That would be great. We will directly benefit from that. But yun nga, paki-explore na lang din talaga kung ano dapat.

And again, it all goes back to the educational framework. It goes back to Sen. Drilon's earlier question: what is the direction? What courses are available to the Filipinos? And now, the question is what courses are we giving away to the foreigners.

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