GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/26 April) – Thirteen private colleges and universities in Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region are set to raise their tuition and other fees by four to 10 percent starting June, an official of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said.

Dr. Zohrahaydah Panawidan, CHED Region 12 assistant director, said the 13 institutions were among the 222 nationwide that applied and granted approval earlier this month by the CHED central office to increase their tuition for the school year 2012-2013.

“As cited in their applications, they were raising their tuition to cover for the salary increases of their teachers and the improvement of their facilities and equipment,” she said in a radio interview.

Panawidan said a total of 16 colleges and universities in the region have applied for tuition increases by the March 31 deadline.

Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

But she said one institution later withdrew while the two others failed to complete their application requirements.

Panawidan said most of them applied for an eight-percent increase but some also sought for 10-percent and four-percent adjustments.

In this city, the colleges and universities that raised their tuition were the Notre Dame of Dadiangas University, Mindanao Polytechnic College, Ramon Magsaysay Memorial College and the General Santos Doctors Medical School Foundation.

They were joined by Notre Dame University in Cotabato City; Notre Dame of Salaman College in Lebak, Sultan Kudarat; Southern Christian College in Midsayap, North Cotabato; Central Mindanao College and Notre Dame of Kidapawan in Kidapawan City; and, St. Alexius College, King’s College of Marbel, Green Valley College Foundation Inc. and Regency Polytechnic College in Koronadal City.

Based on data from CHED central office, the average tuition increase it approved for the 13 colleges and universities in the region was around eight percent, which is equivalent to P28.81 per unit.

The new increase practically raises the average tuition in the region to P400.78 per unit from the previous P371.97 per unit.

“The increases are actually minimal when added to the old rates,” Panawidan said.

The official assured that the 13 colleges and universities have complied with the requirements set by the agency with regard to the setting of tuition increases, among them the consultations with their stakeholders.

She said they reviewed the applications of the concerned institutions before submitting them to the CHED central office. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews April 27, 2012)