University of the Philippines System

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This page is about the University of the Philippines System. For other uses, see University of the Philippines (disambiguation).

University of the Philippines System
Sistema ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas
Unibersidad ng Pilipinas.png
UP Centennial Logo.jpg

Established 1908
Motto Honor and Excellence
Type National university, Public university, system
President Alfredo E. Pascual
Nickname UP Fighting Maroons, Isko
Students 53, 285
Faculty 4, 135
Staff 10, 044
Campus 11 Campuses
1 Open University
2 Extension Programs
4 Satellite Campuses
Hymn UP Naming Mahal
Location Flag of the Philippines.pngQuezon City, Philippines
Website UP System Home Page

The University of the Philippines (UP) is the national university of the Republic of the Philippines.

Constituent Universities

University of the Philippines, Baguio

The youngest constituent university in the UP System is UP Baguio (UPB). Formerly a regional unit of UPD, the campus was granted autonomy as a college in 1999 and elevated to university status in December 2002.

With its research arm, the Cordillera Studies Center (CSC), UPB aims to contribute to higher education in Northern Luzon by collaborating with other institutions and expanding its research to preserve the cultural traditions of the Cordilleras, Northern Luzon, and Cagayan Valley.

University of the Philippines, Diliman

UP Diliman is the flagship university as well as the administrative seat of the UP System. UP Diliman is not only the home of diverse colleges, offering 296 graduate and undergraduate courses, it also runs several centers of research, many of which have been declared by the Commission on Higher Education as National Centers of Excellence, among them the Marine Science Institute, National Institute of Geological Sciences, National Institute of Physics, National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, and the National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development.

UP Diliman also has a strong commitment to the arts. Through such units as the UP Vargas Museum, the UP Film Institute, and the Likhaan: UP Institute of Creative Writing, the arts have been provided the space and encouragement they have needed to flourish.

UP Diliman houses the primary school UP Integrated School under UP College of Education. It also have two extension programs--one in Olongapo City, Zambales and the other one is at Clark Freeport Zone, Angeles City, Pampanga.

University of the Philippines, Los Banos

UP Los Banos logo

UP Los Baños, now the agricultural center for Asia, is the recognized leader in agriculture, forestry, and other related fields. Its research activities work towards sustainable productivity and the efficient utilization of natural resources.

Special focus is on rice agriculture, spearheaded by the International Rice Research Institute. UPLB maintains stewardship of the 4,000 hectare Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve, which is a venue for instruction, research, and extension in the fields of forestry, environment, and natural resource management.

UPLB also focuses on the safeguarding of biodiversity in the vicinity as well as preservation of watershed areas for hydro or geothermal development and downstream water consumption.

UP Rural High School is the laboratory school under the Department of Agricultural Education and Rural Studies of UP College of Agriculture.

University of the Philippines, Manila

The UP Manila campus occupies a land area of 14 hectares, occupying approximately two city blocks in the Ermita district of Manila.

UP Manila is the nerve center of studies in medicine and its allied professions. Located here are the UP College of Medicine, UP College of Allied Medical Professions, UP College of Arts and Sciences (Manila), UP College of Dentistry, UP College of Nursing, UP College of Pharmacy, UP College of Public Health, and National Teacher Training Center for the Health Professions. The Extension Services and the Research Development Units of UP Manila enhances its goal of rendering service to the Filipino nation as a center for academic training, research, and development. These research units are the Philippine General Hospital, the National Institutes of Health and the Office of the Ugnayan ng Pahinungod and Continuing Education , the UP’s volunteer outreach service.

Two health satellite schools are under UP Manila administration--one in Palo, Leyte and the other one is at the province of Aurora.

University of the Philippines, Mindanao

UP Mindanao logo

UP Mindanao as an integral part of the University of the Philippines System, the national state university, is dedicated to human resource development and democratization of access to UP education for all sectors particularly the poor, isolated and those inadequately prepared for higher education with all its tradition of excellence, liberalism, total human development, social relevance and leadership will impact on the economic, socio-cultural, political and sustainable development in Mindanao.

It is currently undertaking efforts to address food agriculture concerns and issues in Mindanao.

University of the Philippines in the Visayas

Housing three (3) campuses in Iloilo, Miag-ao, and Tacloban, and , is UP Visayas. Now the country’s acknowledged leader in marine science education and research, fisheries, and aquaculture, the studies conducted by UPV are widely published, awarded, and featured in various local and international fora, workshops, and seminars.

And while it may seem that its focus is mainly on the sciences, its campuses boast of strong regional studies programs on the preservation and enrichment of the Visayan cultural heritage.

High school education under UP in the Visayas includes UP Iloilo High School and UP Cebu High School.

University of the Philippines Cebu

University of the Philippines Open University

UP Open University logo

The UPOU, the leading institution and pioneer of distance education and open learning in the Philippines, offers under graduate and graduate degree programs in various fields.

Through the internet and learning modules, the UPOU provides quality education to students who are constrained by family and professional commitments from attending conventional colleges and universities since its founding in 1995.

University Officials

The highest governing body in the UP System is the UP Board of Regents. Its members come from various sectors in the University, the private sector, and the government.[1]

UP Board of Regents
Chairman Hon. Emmanuel Y. Angeles
Chairman, Commission on Higher Education
Co-Chairman Hon. Alfredo E. Pascual
President, University of the Philippines
Members Hon. Edgardo J. Angara
Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Arts, and Culture
Hon. Juan Edgardo Angara
Chairman, House Committee on Higher Education
Hon. Ponciano E. Rivera, Jr.
Acting President, UP Alumni Association
Hon. Judy M. Taguiwalo
Faculty Regent
Hon. Cori Co
Student Regent
Hon. Abraham F. Sarmiento
Hon. Francis C. Chua
Hon. Nelia T. Gonzalez

University of the Philippines System Officials
President Alfredo E. Pascual, DBA
Vice Presidents Academic Affairs Prof. Amelia P. Guevara, PhD
Planning and Finance Prof. Ma. Concepcion P. Alfiler, PhD
Administration Prof. Arlene A. Samaniego, MD
Development Prof. Ruperto P. Alonzo, PhD
Public Affairs Prof. Cristina P. Hidalgo, PhD
Legal Affairs Prof. Theodore O. Te, LLB


Presidents of the
University of the Philippines
1911-1915 Murray S. Bartlett
1915-1921 Ignacio B. Villamor
1921-1925 Guy Potter Wharton Benton
1925-1933 Rafael V. Palma
1934-1939 Jorge Bocobo
1939-1943 Bienvenido Gonzalez
1943-1945 Antonio Sison
1945-1951 Bienvenido Gonzalez
1951-1956 Vidal A. Tan
1956-1958 Enrique Virata
1958-1962 Vicente G. Sinco
1962-1968 Carlos P. Romulo
1969-1975 Salvador P. Lopez
1975-1979 Onofre D. Corpuz
1979-1981 Emmanuel V. Soriano
1981-1987 Edgardo J. Angara
1987-1993 Jose V. Abueva
1993-1999 Emil Q. Javier
1999-2005 Francisco Nemenzo, Jr.
2005-2011 Emerlinda R. Roman
2011-present Alfredo E. Pascual
Main article: History of the University of the Philippines

At the onset of 1908, there was a clear goal: to establish an institution for higher learning that would provide advance instruction in literature, philosophy, the sciences, and arts, and to give professional, and technical training.

By that time, there were already a number of schools in the country which were set up during Spanish rule, including the University of Santo Tomas, which was initially called the Colegio de Nuestra Señora del Santisimo Rosario when it was established in 1611.

But the decision to establish the University of the Philippines (UP) was to provide "an adequate, secularized, and free" public school system shortly after the defeat of Spain by American forces in 1898, transferring the Philippines to the rule of the US government.

Upon the instructions of then US President William McKinley, free primary instruction was enforced, training the people for the duties of citizenship and avocation. Chaplains, and non-commissioned officers were assigned to teach using English as the medium of instruction. Later, due to the heavy shortage of teachers, the Philippine Commission authorized 509 teachers from the US to enter the country. They were the Thomasites, named after the ship that carried them across the ocean to the archipelago.[2]

With this backdrop, the First Philippine Legislature approved Act. 1870, which established UP in 1908, then called the University of the Philippine Islands. The university began with the College of Fine Arts, the College of Liberal Arts, and the College of Medicine and Surgery occupying buildings distributed along Padre Faura in the Ermita district, and R. Hidalgo in the Quiapo District in Manila, as well as a School of Agriculture in Los Baños in Laguna.The university, under its first president, American Murray S. Bartlett, initially had 67 students.

Following the outbreak of World War II, and the invasion of the Japanese in 1942, the university had to close some of its colleges, while keeping only the Colleges of Medicine, Engineering and Pharmacy operational.

After the war ended in 1946, UP sought a grant of P13 million from the US-Philippines War Damage Commission. The university used the amount for an intensive rehabilitation and construction effort during the postwar years.

On Feb. 12, 1949, a motorcade made its way from Padre Faura all the way to Diliman, Quezon City. The ceremony marked UP’s transfer from its original site in Manila, to its 493-hectare campus in Diliman, which would have more room for the University’s expansion as it fulfilled its role as educator to the nation.

UP currently has more than 53,000 students and more than 4,100 faculty members in 12 campuses and seven constituent universities nationwide. The university takes pride in its academic excellence, outstanding research, and public service. It currently offers a total of 258 undergraduate, and 438 graduate programs.

The university had educated some of the country’s most popular political and social leaders, medical doctors, creative artists, economists, lawyers, business leaders, and entrepreneurs.

The university has been the Alma Mater of 14 Philippine Presidents, and has been home to 32 of the country’s 57 National Artists, 30 out of the 31 National Scientists, and 49 out of the 107 topnotchers of the Bar examinations.

As a state university, UP receives a partial subsidy from the national government. Hence, UP students, and graduates are popularly referred to as "Iskolar ng Bayan" (Scholars of the Nation).

With its liberal policies that allow students to think what they wish, UP also became noted for students and faculty members who promote various political and social causes, as well as positions on pressing national issues.

Students took part in the "Diliman Commune" and the "First Quarter Storm" of the 1960s and ’70s, two protest activities in the campus which echoed the nation’s anger over unceasing government corruption.

UP students have also been active in challenging the status quo, including, protesting against the perceived American influence on Philippine affairs. This is interesting to note, considering that UP was first conceived as an institution of higher learning that would promote American ideals and world-views.

Centers of Excellence and Development

Centers of Excellence and Development
As of November 2007[3]
(As of November 2007 )
Centers of Excellence Centers of Development
UP Diliman 9 0
UP Los Banos 4 1
UP Manila 0 0
UP Visayas 1 2
UP Mindanao 0 1
UP Baguio 0 1

UP in Popular Culture


  • Peyups. This is an informal word referring to the University of the Philippines which is a play on the letters U and P. This word play is a common method in the generation of new words in the informal Filipino (Tagalog) register such as noypi from pinoy or bogtsi from tsibog. This may also refer to a website hosting articles and other literary and graphic ventures written by alumni and current students of the University of the Philippines.
  • U.P. UP is an acronym for University of the Philippines, the national university of the Republic of the Philippines. This may also refer jokingly to University of Pila, and/or Unexplained Poverty.

See Also

UPD Seal.png Campuses SystemCircle.gif BaguioCircle.gifDilimanCircle.gif Los BanosCircle.gifManilaCircle.gif MindanaoCircle.gif VisayasCircle.gif Open University
Extensions OlongapoCircle.gifPampangaCircle.gifUPSHS-LeyteCircle.gifUPSHS-AuroraCircle.gifCebu CollegeCircle.gifTacloban CollegeCircle.gifUP Philippine General Hospital
Administration UP Board of RegentsCircle.gifUP CharterCircle.gifPresidents of the University of the Philippines
Basic Education University of the Philippines Integrated SchoolCircle.gifUniversity of the Philippines Rural High SchoolCircle.gifUniversity of the Philippines Iloilo High SchoolCircle.gifUniversity of the Philippines Cebu High School
UP Life RGEPCircle.gifUP OblationCircle.gifUP Naming MahalCircle.gifUP College Admission TestCircle.gifUP CentennialCircle.gifOverheard at UP