Dear UA&P students and parents,
We would like to convey our hope that this message finds you well and safe. We keep close in our hearts and prayers those among you and the many who are facing difficulties in this period of the pandemic.
It was only a few years ago when, like other universities and colleges, we had to contend with the disruption in the higher education industry as basic education transitioned to the K-12 curriculum. With your support and understanding, we were able to successfully transition and were well on our way to recovery, at least financially, until this pandemic affected all of us. Here we are again in another unprecedented situation that compels us to respond decisively, always keeping in mind our commitment to our students, their parents, and our institutional partners.
Committed to delivering our promise of quality education, research, and extension and to supporting our personnel during this critical period, we shifted to blended learning and immediately tried to provide necessary student support services including guidance counseling and mentoring, student welfare monitoring, and mental health support. We also reallocated financial resources to (1) vital but unbudgeted services to support distance learning, which entailed subsidies to enable remote work among our faculty and staff, and to (2) addressing the needs of our affected personnel, mainly by paying their salaries and benefits (which account for at least 70% of total university expenses), and (3) extending financial assistance to those afflicted with COVID-19 and to the outsourced personnel under no-work-no-pay arrangements. It has been very heartwarming to see how many members of our community—faculty, administrative staff, students, and alumni—have generously given their time and resources to help those in need.
Early this school year and just before the outbreak of the pandemic, we have already made our investment decisions and committed our resources to major projects, which were meant to upgrade campus services and facilities for our students and institutional partners, such as the renovation of the CAS classrooms and facilities, the expansion of the ALB Library, Alumni Lounge, and the ongoing digitization of our operations, such as finance and accounting, registration, and payment systems. Likewise, we already have paid or continue to pay our service providers for rendered and continuing services and maintenance and subscription fees, like our online library and learning management system (LMS), even if we have not maximized the use of these services during the enhanced community quarantine.
Essentially, because of the suspended school operations, we expect a deficit by the end of the school year as we continue to shoulder fixed expenses and continue university services alongside unrealized revenues due to the drop in midyear enrollment, tuition collections, and returns from executive education programs, seminars, and workshops.
Now and in the next few months, we will finish ongoing digitization projects and upgrade our IT equipment and processes as well as the capabilities of our employees to deliver and support effective blended learning; to facilitate online connectivity of our faculty, administrative staff, and students; to support critical backroom operations such as educational technology and finance and accounting services; and to maintain university premises. Thanks to the past and existing digitization projects, by the start of the incoming academic year, UA&P will be more ready than before to offer online services either on-premise or off-campus. We will also continue devoting a lot of effort to making the University responsive to the new normal through what it does best: teaching, research, and service to the wider community.
In view of our commitment to the university community amidst these uncertain times, it will be in the best interest of the institution and its community not to offer any refunds at the moment, except for a portion of the graduation fee which would have been spent on the graduation ceremonies. While judiciously managing available but dwindling resources, we also need to consider the long-term sustainability of the University as well as the welfare of the community – students, faculty, staff, alumni, institutional partners, contracted personnel – who are dependent on it.
In line with this decision and in consideration of the difficulties that families are experiencing, we will not be implementing any tuition increase for the next school year and will be reducing miscellaneous fees beginning this midyear term. We will also waive penalties for late payments, study requests for payment extension on a case-to-case basis, and continue to support scholars and financial grantees. The updated schedule of fees and the detailed guidelines on the partial refund of the graduation fee will be released soon.
We count once again on your support and understanding during this critical and highly volatile period. As in the past, we are confident that with everyone’s collaboration, spirit of solidarity, and sense of community we will prevail in this crisis and steer UA&P towards the new future. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us or the relevant authorities should you have concerns or suggestions related to this announcement.