Quezon City is home to some of the leading universities and academic institutions of the country. There are about 81 colleges and 9 universities in the city. The City produces more than 20,000 tertiary-level graduates every year.
Located in the northwestern portion of Diliman is the flagship campus and the administrative seat of the University of the Philippines (UP) system, occupying 4.92 km2 of rolling land. It is also the location of various research facilities like the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute, the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, the National College of Public Administration and Governance and the National Computer Institute.
The University of the Philippines (UP) is the national university of the country. Established in 1908, UP has played a very important role in the social, economic and political development of the nation in the last 100 years. To date, it has produced seven out of 14 presidents, 12 chief justices of the Supreme Court, 30 out of 31 national scientists, and 36 out of 57 national artists. Of the close to 250,000 UP alumni, 15,000 are doctors, 8,000 are lawyers and 23,000 are teachers.
UP is internationally recognized as the leading educational institution in the country, with the distinction of being the only Philippine university in the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), where membership is based on the nomination and votes of member universities. It is also the only Philippine university in the ASEAN-European University Network (ASEA UNINET), and is one of the three Philippine universities to have received institutional recognition in the Ramon Magsaysay Awards. At present, the University of the Philippines System is composed of seven Autonomous Universities located in over 10 campuses around the country. The UP Open University offers open and distance education.
Also located in Diliman is the 15-hectare campus of the Far Eastern University’s Institute of Technology. So are the Quezon City Science High School, as well as the main campus of the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) system—where the highest-rated passers, out of the roughly 17,000 students who take the entrance exam, are admitted. Both secondary schools reap awards in various international competitions particularly science and math.
Another internationally recognized university is the Ateneo de Manila University, a private university run by the Society of Jesus in the Philippines. Ateneo’s sprawling campus in Loyola Heights hosts the university’s college and graduate school units, as well as its high school and grade school. It is one of only two universities in the Philippines to receive Level IV accreditation—the highest possible level—from the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP) and the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU).
In keeping with its status as the center of medical and health tourism, Quezon City is home to some prominent medical institutions including the Far Eastern University-Nicanor Reyes Memorial Foundation, ranked today as the medical school with the third overall highest passing averages in the country; the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center, which is acknowledged as one of the top medical schools in the Philippines; and the St. Luke’s College of Medicine, which is the medical school of the world-class St. Luke’s Medical Center.
Other excellent academic institutions are located in Quezon City, including Miriam College (formerly Maryknoll College), St. Paul University, Saint Pedro de Poveda College, and Stella Maris College. Other notable schools in the City are the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, the Entrepreneurs School of Asia (formerly Thames International Business School); and the New Era University (the country’s largest non-Catholic sectarian school).
The Quezon City government manages the Quezon City Polytechnic University (QCPU). To develop skilled human resource assets with the capacity to participate productively in today’s technology-driven world, the City government has retooled and upgraded its city-managed tertiary institution into a university specializing in technology-based education. The Quezon City Polytechnic University (QCPU) sprawls over three campuses, with the main school at San Bartolome, Novaliches and satellite at barangays Sto. Cristo and Batasan Hills. The thrust is to locate the university within easy access of poor communities, so that more indigent but qualified Quezon City residents can gain the benefit of college education. The city government also provides scholarships to qualified residents, to further put within easy reach the benefits of higher education which is a key to improving their opportunities to gain a better quality of life.
Enrollment for about 7,000 students is a choice of three degree courses: Information Technology, Industrial Engineering, and Entrepreneurial Management. The direction of education is to help turn the students into more capable entrepreneurs of technology-based businesses, ably contributing to the ICT character of the city and the modernization of its manufacturing base.
In 2010, the City government launched the country’s first science interactive center that caters especially to public high school students. The Quezon City Science Interactive Center is a modern science facility that features seven laboratories and an exhibit gallery where kids can learn about sound, electricity, magnetism and other scientific concepts the fun way. With this investment, the City government aims to interest its youth in science and technology courses and, hence, guide Quezon City towards a technology-driven growth.
The QC Performing Arts Development Program
In 2001, with the active support and patronage of now Vice Mayor Josefina Belmonte, the Quezon City Performing Arts group flourished, with children in poor communities gaining the presence as well as the skills to perform before local and international audiences. The QCPAD Foundation was established to obtain funding support from generous benefactors from both public and private sectors. Now, with the foundation’s support, the program has not only been able to provide free performing arts training to underprivileged children but also allowance and free uniforms.
Since its inception, the program has taken in more than 400 scholars. The children attest that joining the performing arts development program has instilled pride, self-worth and discipline in them. They would always look forward to training so they can further improve their craft, be it Philippine folk dance, ballet or modern (hiphop) dance. They are also grateful for the opportunities made available to them by the program, including the chance to perform live in various parts of the country and in other countries like Thailand and Hong Kong.
The program also helps scholars who finish the course to find a job related to the performing arts. In fact, many former scholars are now mentors and entertainers in different parts of the country and the Asia-Pacific region, while others chose to remain in the program as teachers as their way of giving back to the institution, and because they want impart their knowledge and experience to the new group of aspiring performers.