University DLSU to welcome 5000 freshmen in AY 14-15
University DLSU to welcome 5000 freshmen in AY 14-15
DLSU to welcome 5000 freshmen in AY 14-15
Tags:
April 28, 2014
Tags:
April 28, 2014

It is going to be a full house next academic year – the Office of Admissions and Scholarships (OAS) verified that roughly 5,000 students have confirmed enrollment at DLSU, as of press time.

 

Since AY 2011-2012, the number of students admitted into the University has been increasing at an increasing rate. From 2,233 freshmen in AY 2011-2012, a total of 2,712 students were welcomed in AY 2012-2013, followed by an additional 3,736 students this AY 2013-2014. The upcoming increase, however, is by far the biggest, with 4,987 high school graduates having already submitted the required confirmation documents and have paid the confirmation fee. This number is expected to grow once applications for reconsideration have been processed.

 

Br. Ricky Laguda, FSC, President and Chancellor of DLSU, says that the increase is part of an effort to allow more students to receive higher quality education.

 

“St. La Salle advocated education for everybody, especially the poor, and here we are trying to make quality Lasallian education more accessible to more people,” he says. Laguda also tells that the number of St. La Salle Financial Scholarship recipients has also increased together with the admission rate.

 

Anticipated drop due to K-12 and other costs

 

Office of Admissions and Scholarships Director Maria Paz Trinidad shares that the increase in the number of enrollees in the previous years until present is also to compensate for the drop in the expected number of freshmen in AY 2016-2017 and AY 2017-2018, the years when fewer students are expected to graduate from high school as an effect of the K-12 program.

 

“If we will be maintaining our current standards, we can expect only around 1,000 students in those two academic years,” Trinidad claims, “At least we will be able to ensure that we will still have enough students to keep the University running during the two lean enrollment years,” she adds.

 

In particular, Trinidad tells of possible losses the University could experience due to fixed campus operations costs despite a drop in the number of enrolled students in those years. She also cites developments in the Science and Technology Center (STC) in Biñan, Laguna subsidized by the Manila campus as a contributor to the University’s increasing costs.

 

Overcrowding?

 

University Registrar Voltaire Mistades tells that due to the large enrollee population, certain changes will have to be made for the incoming ID 114 students, such as an increase in the maximum number of students per class.

 

“Given the limited number of classrooms and laboratories we have, it will be very difficult to accommodate all of them if we retain the maximum number of students per class to be at 45,” Mistades quips. “There is a very big likelihood that we will be increasing this number to 50 students per class, and hopefully there would not be any additional need to increase that number.”

 

Edwin Santiago, Vice President for Administration, also shares that aside from increasing the maximum class size, the University is also considering a five-day school week for the ID 114 students. “These students will have an average of 18 units each, so increasing the class size may not be enough,” he says.

 

According to Santiago, the five-day school week is similar to the Rationalized Classroom Utilization (RCU) scheme implemented in AY 2011-2012, where Lasallians saw the four days of classes expand into a six-day school week, to address congestion in campus. Although the RCU and the new class schedule is similar in design, based on reviews from the RCU’s one year run, the scheme to be implemented for the incoming batch of freshmen will be limited to five days.

 

Meanwhile, Vice Chancellor for Academics Myrna Austria explains that the class schedules of upperclassmen may also be affected by the surge of new students. “We usually allot the morning and early afternoon time slots for the frehmen… Because we will need to allot more classrooms [for the ID 114 students], some classes of the older students may have to be bumped up to later time slots.”

 

Austria clarifies that because the currently enrolled students have already enlisted for their subjects last March, the adjustments will be most felt by the students come second term of next academic year.

 

Maintaining quality instruction

 

Despite the increase, Laguda is confident that the quality of education imparted to Lasallians will not be affected by the influx of students in the coming year. “There may be some minor difficulties logistically… But in terms of teaching standards, our faculty is very competent. We will also be welcoming fresh faces to help educate and mold the students,” Laguda affirms.

 

Austria explains that the faculty handling general education courses will be most affected by the increase, given that majority of the classes first year students are enrolled in during the first two terms are general education or “floating” subjects.

 

Some administrators and members of the faculty, however, are doubtful of the exorbitant  increase in enrollees and believe that it poses more risks to the University’s graduate standards.

 

“It is admittedly much easier to manage smaller classes,” shares Management professor Mark Velasco. “You want to as much as possible be able to help out and properly instruct all students in each section. This is hard to do if you have 40 to 45, and much more difficult when handling 50 students.”

 

Dr. Elizabeth Mascardo, Chair of the Physical Education Department, foresees trouble in managing students’ P.E. classes, “This academic year, we had over a hundred FITWELL classes in the first term. We are still trying to figure out how next year will work out.”

 

Several students have also voiced out concerns over the high admission rate. Audrey Lizardo (III, BS-BIO) worries over congestion in campus, “Given the current number of students, it already feels so overcrowded. I can’t imagine what it would be like during the ‘rush hours’ like lunch time next school year when there are that many students.”

 

Magiging sobrang haba ng elevator lines, lagi na siguro crowded yung mga hallways,” laments Peter Raja (II, AB-PSM), “Tapos kawawa sila kung ganun karami sa isang class. Forty pa nga lang, parang hindi ka na matutukan ng prof.”