Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr calls for all-encompassing strategy to improve higher education

2024 May 15

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday called for a “comprehensive and all-encompassing” strategy to improve the state of higher education in the country.

This as the President noted that no Philippine university reached the Top 100 of the Times Higher Education’s 2024 Asia University Rankings.

“This just goes to show that much work is still to be done. We must pursue a comprehensive and all-encompassing strategy that will turn this trend around,” Marcos said in his speech during the National Higher Education Day Summit (NHEDS) 2024 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

According to the latest The Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2024, Ateneo De Manila University is the highest ranked Philippine university, ranking in the 401-500 bracket, followed by the De La Salle University and the University of the Philippines both at the 501-600 bracket.

Meanwhile, Mapua University and the University of Sto. Tomas wound up at the 601+ bracket.

Speaking before officials of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), higher education institutions (HEIs) and other stakeholders, Marcos emphasized that the future of today’s generation relies heavily on the quality of higher education system that the present leadership could provide.

“Giving the youth the right competencies and skills and training is the only way for them to prevail, and to prosper, in this highly competitive world. Our greatest obligation to them is to mold them into critical thinkers, into problem solvers, into visionaries, wielding the skills that will allow them to succeed in the future,” Marcos said.

“Without an educated workforce that will implement them, any national economic blueprints will remain simply as that — blueprints. We will not have the means or the capacity or the labor force to be able to make those plans a reality,” he said.

“Without skilled manpower who will run them, industries will grind to a halt, social services will cease to function. Without a national pool of talent who can master new technologies and adjust quickly to tectonic changes, the country will be perpetually catching up, left behind by societies whose educational system has been made more adept,” he added.

The NHEDS is the first summit of its kind to be held in observance of the 4th National Higher Education Day and 30th founding anniversary of the CHED, which was created to promote relevant and quality higher education, ensure its accessibility, and protect academic freedom in the Philippines, among other functions. 

Darryl John Esguerra (PNA)