Philippines as the Academic Mecca

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The Philippines as the Academic Mecca
It is quite ironic that countless Filipinos are financially deprived to finish even the basic education, while thousands of foreign students who fly into the Philippines claim that with the same education quality, the costs are significantly cheaper. For example, a four-year degree course in the Philippines costs around $1,000 to $2,500 per year; this is remarkably cheaper in comparison with the United States’ educational costs, where students are estimated to spend more than $30,000 annually.

An interesting fact is due to the increasing number of foreign enrollees each school year, the Philippine educational system’s confidence is growing. One reason is foreign students do not find it difficult to socialize and interact with Filipinos, who are reportedly warm and hospitable. Needless to say, foreigners experience the Filipinos’ bayanihan like no other country can provide; thus, it is common to see Filipino and foreign students working together in many activities in several campuses. Second, since the Philippines is an English-speaking nation, students who wish to learn and speak the language flock into the country. In addition, over 19,000 foreigners enrolled in various Philippine colleges and universities as of March 2011; South Koreans were leading with 6,000 enrollees, followed by the Chinese, Iranians, and Americans. With these having been said, foreigners find it easy to adapt to the country’s culture, environment, and norms.

Going back to the 1980s, the government began luring foreign students to study in the Philippines. The following decade, institutions offering short-term courses in hotel and restaurant management, aviation, English, and maritime-related classes rapidly rose. In 2000, the government thought of a smart tactic to promote the Philippines as Asia’s academic mecca–making visa applications for students who desire to study in the Philippines easier. Another strategy was the government initiated...
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