The UP Board of Regents was unable to reach a consensus on how to admit freshmen for the next academic year due to “many concerns and reservations,” the Student Regent said Thursday, October 29.

Admissions to the University of the Philippines (UP) for the next academic year remain uncertain as the UP Board of Regents failed to reach consensus on the matter in a meeting Thursday, October 29, the UP Office of the Student Regent (OSR) said.

“Another briefing on the options will be conducted in the coming weeks after the Office of Admissions comes up with a new report with further studies and consultations,” the OSR added.

University experts had earlier presented scenarios for the holding of freshmen admissions for academic year 2021-2022 while the world continues to grapple with the pandemic.

In an interview with UP News last week, UP Office of Admissions Director Francisco de los Reyes said school administrators are considering five options which the University may implement for next year’s intake, considering the ongoing public health crisis.

Three scenarios assume the holding of the annual UP College Admission Test (UPCAT) in a paper-and-pen, online, or hybrid setups. The other options suppose the cancellation of the UPCAT in favor of mining data from applicants’ high school records and performance or a moratorium on freshmen admissions.

While nothing is final yet, the OSR disclosed Thursday that University Councils across the UP System voted to call off the UPCAT component for the next school year due to “health and safety risks, huge logistical and manpower challenges for at least 92 testing centers, health insurance, quarantine, hazard pay, and more.”

The country’s top university is currently studying how to proceed with an admission system based on an applicant’s high school academic performance.

“The university must exhaust all means to ensure that the admission system that will be implemented will be fair and will accept applicants at a maximum number, giving utmost consideration for the marginalized and those gravely affected by the economic crisis,” the OSR insisted.

UP is expecting more than 100,000 applicants for the upcoming school year.

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