university in Manila
Updated 2 weeks ago

With more than a hundred universities dotted around the city, Metro Manila is very much the centre of higher education in the Philippines. A newly developing and emerging markets in Asia, the Philippines has welcomed a steadily increasing number of international students in recent years aside from being a popular destination for the country's tropical and sunny beaches. Read on to find out about the top universities in Manila, the programs being offered and the costs.

The higher education system in the Philippines

Not only is the Philippines a beautiful country, but it also has one of the best higher education systems in Asia, ranked 13h in the latest edition of the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings. In the Philippines, there are almost 2,300 higher education institutions, the majority of which are private. Many universities are affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, which reflects the country’s past Spanish colonialism.

Top universities in Manila

The following four universities in Manila were included in the QS World University Rankings.

University of the Philippines

Of the public institutions funded by the government, the University of the Philippines (UP), deemed the national university, is the one that receives the most funding. It ranked 367th in the World University Rankings 2018 and is consistently referred to as the top university in the country. It is made up of seven constituent universities and a total of 15 campuses around the country. Its flagship campus is the University of the Philippines Diliman which is located in Quezon City. To be able to enter into this prestigious university, one would have to pass the University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT). In 2018, the government passed a law making education free up to tertiary level, making tuition free for all public universities, including UP.

Ateneo de Manila University

Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) is the third oldest school in the country, having been established in 1859 by the Society of Jesus. It is a co-ed, private university and ranks 551-600 in the QS World Ranking. Average tuition fees range from 160,000 pesos to 180,000 pesos per year for a 4-year course. ADMU is also a research institution known for its quality facilities, high accreditation and excellent faculty.

De La Salle University

De La Salle University (DLSU) is a trimestrial private university founded in 1911. It ranks 701-750 in the recent QS World Rankings and belongs among the top universities in the Philippines. DLSU has been identified by the Commission of Higher Education as a “centre of excellence” in six of its programs. It offers degrees in Education, Engineering, Business and Communication, to name a few. Tuition fee averages around 205, 000 pesos to 225, 000 pesos per year.

University of Santo Tomas

University of Santo Tomas (UST), also known as Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, or the Catholic University of the Philippines, is the oldest university in both the Philippines and Asia, having been established in 1611. It is a private, Roman Catholic research university ranking 701 in the latest QS World Ranking.

Other universities in Manila

Aside from these 4 top universities in the Manila area, there are also other great universities like the following:

The University of Asia and the Pacific

University of Asia and Pacific (UA&P) was originally a think-tank that offered graduate courses in economics. Some of the courses that it offers are Applied Mathematics, Human Capital Development and Industrial Economics. Tuition fees range around pesos 180,000 to pesos 190,000 per year.

Enderun Colleges

Enderun Colleges is a non-sectarian college specialising in Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management with emphasis on Hotel Administration and Culinary Arts. The college, located in Bonifacio Global City, also offers degrees in Business Administration, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability. Tuition fees range from 250,000 pesos to 320,000 pesos per year.

Admission in Manila Universities

To be able to get into these prestigious universities, one normally has to undergo admission examinations. Any student who wishes to enter UP has to take University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT), University of Santo Tomas Entrance Test (USTET) for UST, and Ateneo College Exam Test (ACET) for ADMU. You have to secure notice of admission prior and submit usual requirements which include high school card (Form 138), transcript of records, and certificate of good moral character. Health examination is also a common requirement to prove that all students admitted are physically fit. Most universities also offer various scholarships which can be availed by deserving students. Make sure to visit each university's website to be able to get the latest updates on each school’s entrance procedures and requirements.

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