Nasa mahigit 27,000 estudyante ang nakikinabang na sa libreng tuition at miscellaneous fees mula 16 local universities and colleges (LUCs) sa Bicol Region na nagawaran ng Certificate of Program Compliance (COPC) at Institutional Recognition (IR) alinsunod sa RA 10931 o Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act of 2017.
Dagdag na 3,000 estudyante rin ang nakakakuha ng Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES).
Pinangunahan ni CHED at Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary (UniFAST) Education Board Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III ang Gawad Parangal sa 16 na LUCs sa New Blossoms Convention Hall sa Tagas Daraga, Albay. Kasama ng Chairman sina Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda, CHED Commissioner Aldrin Darilag, UniFAST OIC Executive Director Ryan Estevez, at CHEDRO V Regional Director Freddie Bernal.
Fully compliant sa requirements ng CHED ang Aroroy Municipal College; Donsol Community College; Governor Mariano E. Villafuerte Community Colleges – Garchitorena, Libmanan, at Siruma; San Pascual Polytechnic College; Baao Community College; Calabanga Community College; City College of Naga; Daraga Community College; Libon Community College; Ligao Community College; Oas Community College; Polangui Community College; San Jose Community College; at Tiwi Community College.
Nakakuha na rin ng COPC ang Caramoan Community College at Community College of Manito habang sumasailalim pa sa ebalwasyon ang kanilang IR.
Sa ilalim ng RA 10931, may Free Higher Education, TES, Tulong Dunong, at Student Loan Program ang LUCs na mabibigyan ng COPC at IR.
Hinimok din ni Chairman De Vera ang mga lokal na unibersidad at kolehiyo na magsagawa ng linkages sa state universities and colleges para mapabuti pa ang kanilang degree offerings at faculty.
Sinabi rin ng Chairman na tinitingnan din ng CHED kung paano tutulungan pa ang LUCs sa pamamagitan ng institutional grants, faculty scholarships, at university to university linkages.
Sinabi naman ni Albay 2nd District Rep. Salceda, “If we will truly pursue universal access to higher education, we must support community colleges that typically cater to the poorest and most underserved segments of the enrolled population.”
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