No UPCAT 2021: here's how to enter UP

MANILA, Philippines – The University Councils (UCs) of the eight constituent universities (CUs) of the University of the Philippines System, as the highest academic bodies of the CUs, unanimously decided that there will be no UP College Admission Test (UPCAT) for the intake of first year students in Academic Year 2021-2022.

No UPCAT 2021: here's how to enter UP

As stated in a memorandum issued by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs on 30 October 2020, the University Councils of the CUs “unanimously voted NOT to administer UPCAT in light of logistical issues in the paper-and-pencil testing of about 100,000 17-year old applicants.”

Taking into account the uncertain trajectory and uneven spread of COVID-19 in different parts of the Philippines, majority of the UC members did not deem it feasible to administer the usual UPCAT involving around 1,600 testing personnel deployed to 94 testing centers throughout the archipelago.

According to the same memorandum, majority of the UC members did not consider an online UPCAT examination feasible either. This is primarily due to the length of the exam and variety of items that would require a consistently strong Internet connection to download within the time allotted for examinees to answer.

The University Councils are vested with the power to “fix the requirements for admission to any college or unit, graduation and grant of honors subject to minimum system-wide requirements”, according to Sections 16 and 17 of Republic Act No. 9500 or the UP Charter of 2008.

For this reason, proposed changes in the University’s admission policy must be approved by the University Council of each UP constituent university, which consists of the chancellor as chairperson and all faculty members holding the rank of assistant professor and higher as members.

The UP Board of Regents (BOR) instructed the Office of Admissions (OAdms) to come up with a modified freshmen admissions system specific to AY 2021-2022 by February 2021 in light of the pandemic.

This includes the use of big data analytics to arrive at a UP admission score model, which the OAdms, together with other concerned offices, is currently developing, as well as the determination by academic units of an additional layer of screening for particular programs, if deemed necessary.

The OAdms had presented five options for UP admissions to the eight University Councils, the System Academic Affairs Committee, University Executive Committee, and the President’s Advisory Council even while it was simultaneously taking stock of the availability of the UPCAT testing centers and the volunteer testing personnel in the event the UC decided to administer UPCAT 2021.

Had there been no pandemic, UPCAT 2021 would have been administered on October 10-11, 2020.

How to apply amid pandemic and the cancellation of UPCAT?

The submission of UPCAT application Form 1 (Personal Data Sheet) and Form 2 (High School Records) is still required, although these forms have been modified to account for stricter data privacy, efficiency, and the health and safety risks in this pandemic. While UP encourages online accomplishment and submission, it is cognizant of technological limitations and will accept manually accomplished forms.

Following the decision of the University Councils, OAdms has set the start of the application period in December 2020. The exact date will be announced.

For those interested in applying for admission to the University of the Philippines for AY 2021-2022, please watch for further announcements from the OAdms.

UPDATE: UP online application for AY 2021-2022: schedule, requirements, guide

— The Summit Express

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