TAGUM CITY — A high-ranking official of state-run University of Southeastern Philippines in Tagum City believes that the proposal to merge it with another Davao del Norte public college would affect its status as one of the top universities in Asia.

Usep-Tagum University Chancellor Daniel T. Ugay, Jr. said that the university’s recent ranking in the Asean (Association of Souteast Asian Nations) region “proves that they have quality and globally competitive education” and thus, they would oppose its merger that they think would threaten this ranking.

Davao del Norte Rep. Anthony del Rosario filed House Bill 4480 which seeks to merge USEP with other universities in Davao del Norte
Its Asean ranking is one among many distinctions it had received. Usep ranked 5th among Philippine universities in the 2011 to 2013 Asian university rankings done by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a British company specialising in education and study abroad.

In a study of academic institutions conducted by QS in 2011, Usep ranked as one of the Top 201+ academic institutions in Asia.

This year, Usep is one of the Top 10 schools in the country in a study conducted by Quacquarelli Symonds.

“Our local and global recognitions nailed us to be a premiere university, in fact one of the best in Asia,” he said.

The merged universities would be named the Davao del Norte State College-Apokon campus.

The Usep in Tagum is located in Barangay Apokon. It has a satellite campus in Mabini town. Its main campus is located in Barrio Obrero, DAvao City.

The bill would merge with Davao del Norte State College in Panabo City.
Ugay said that the university was doing its best to maintain a high standard of education by continuously upgrading its course offerings and facilities to keep up with the global standards.

Based on a document obtained by Davao Today, among the short list of recognitions bestowed to the university were: Center of Development for Agriculture, Center for Development for Agricultural Engineering, National University for Agriculture and Provincial Institute for Agriculture.

Ugay also cited that Usep-Tagum has produced graduates who topped licensure examinations in various courses such as in agricultural engineering, forestry, and examinations for teachers.

For instance, in 2013, the Philippines Business for Education (PBed) recognized Usep-Tagum for placing 5th (Category B) among the Top 10 schools in elementary and secondary teacher education.

“A total of 513 first-time test takers for both the elementary and secondary exams were fielded by Usep during the study period of which 84% passed,” Ugay said.

Ugay said that the some of its faculty are presently participating in various research programs with local and international schools.

“Vital to our existence as a university is to have a relevant research and extension programs through quality education and sustainable resource management. Our faculty are constantly engaging in various research programs that will enhance our educational system and for their own professional development,” said Ugay.

Congressman Isidro Ungab in 2012 House Bill 5311 or the Davao Regional State University System (DRSUS) whick seesk to merge the region’s four state universities and colleges (SUCs) — the University of Southeastern Philippines, Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology, Southern Philippines Agribusiness and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology and the Davao del Norte State College.

Commission on Higher Education (Ched) XI Regional Director Edward Aquino said the measure will “maximize” the resources of the said universities. (MART D. SAMBALUD/davaotoday.com)

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